Literary Birthday – 31 January – Daniel Tammet

Happy Birthday, Daniel Tammet, born 31 January 1979.

Nine Quotes

  1. The human brain is like a memory system that records every thing that happens to us and makes intelligent predictions based on those experiences.
  2. I had eventually come to understand that friendship was a delicate, gradual process that mustn’t be rushed or seized upon but allowed and encouraged to take its course over time. I pictured it as a butterfly, simultaneously beautiful and fragile, that once afloat belonged to the air and any attempt to grab at it would only destroy it.
  3. I consider social skills a bit like learning a language. I’ve been practising it for so long over so many years I’ve almost lost my accent.
  4. I love books so much. I’ve read more books than anyone else I know.
  5. We will always have more to discover, more to invent, more to understand and that’s much closer to art and literature than any science.
  6. Aesthetics – rather than reason – shapes our thought processes. First comes aesthetics, then logic. ‘Thinking in Numbers’ is not about an attempt to impress the reader but to include the reader, draw the reader in, by explaining my experiences – the beauty I feel in a prime number, for example.
  7. Of course creativity is a mystery. We don’t know what drives it or what constitutes it. It’s one of those things, like genius, you know it when you see it but it’s impossible to define.
  8. You don’t have to be disabled to be different, because everybody’s different.
  9. Clouds and buttercups exist in poetry, but they are there only because storms and flowers populate the world too.

Daniel Tammet is an English writer, essayist, and autistic savant. His best selling 2006 memoir, Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, is about his life with high-functioning autism and savant syndrome. His other books are Embracing the Wide Sky and Thinking in Numbers.

Source for Image: De Lorelei, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

Are you interested in more authors’ birthdays? Please click here: Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 31st January 2014