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blooiejagwa
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20 Nov 2018, 12:50 am

I think it has to be a fact that autism was always present in society, and all levels of the spectrum.


Charles Dickens and Dostoyevsky and Bronte sisters and other classic writers surely had autistic and Asperger's characters in their books.


Obviously these are still speculations, esp as they are fictional characters before ASD was even categorized, but based on the criteria, I think it fits.

Everything they describe is basically autism, about these characters, on the spectrum somewhere. This shows that there is no 'epidemic' and it was always part of mankind.

Dostoyevsky: Prince Myshkin

Dickens: Dora (I believe her to be a female Aspie), Mr. Dick (level 2 or 3), William Dorrit, Thomas Gradgrind (obsessed with facts and numbers, couldn't comprehend social norms), Sydney Carton (I believe, others may dispute)

Charlotte Bronte: Lucy Snowe

And I think it was prevalent and accepted as 'eccentricity' or 'reclusiveness' in real people. E.G. I think Emily Dickinson herself had ASD, too.


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HighLlama
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20 Nov 2018, 6:14 am

Mr. Stevens in The Remains of the Day. He misses sarcasm, romantic hints, and many other social cues. However, he is an excellent butler due to the routines and guidelines he gets to follow. He has to be begged to take a vacation at one point, since it breaks his routine. He's also sensitive to light. A great book, in part because it never mentions autism or Asperger's. It's interesting to see readers' reactions to Stevens' way of life.


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IstominFan
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20 Nov 2018, 7:20 am

I know that Dostoyevsky had epilepsy, and his character in The Idiot had it, too.



IstominFan
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20 Nov 2018, 7:23 am

More modern books mentioning ASDs are:

The Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime
The Rosie Project
House Rules

I wrote a book (never published) entitled Work In Progress about a Spanish woman with Asperger syndrome.



naturalplastic
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20 Nov 2018, 7:26 am

HighLlama wrote:
Mr. Stevens in The Remains of the Day. He misses sarcasm, romantic hints, and many other social cues. However, he is an excellent butler due to the routines and guidelines he gets to follow. He has to be begged to take a vacation at one point, since it breaks his routine. He's also sensitive to light. A great book, in part because it never mentions autism or Asperger's. It's interesting to see readers' reactions to Stevens' way of life.


Interesting observation.

Never read the book, but I saw the movie. The butler was superbly played by Anthony Hopkins, and Hopkins recently came out as having aspergers himself in real life.



AnnieAnn
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20 Nov 2018, 8:32 am

A recent book I read and loved called "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" seems like she is definitely ASD.



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20 Nov 2018, 10:14 am

Bartleby The Scrivener-Maybe more avoidant personality than autism, but he said, "I prefer not to," when asked to do something, an overly formal statement.

Randall in the book "Family Pictures," by Sue Miller. He was severe on the spectrum and also had the mental age of approximately a five year old.

I know of a lot of characters in literature that had low mental age, but probably weren't autistic, per se.



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20 Nov 2018, 1:02 pm

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.


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