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  #1  
Old 20 December 2007, 07:21 PM
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Reading Agatha Christie was dyslexic

Comment: I'm a fan of mystery writer Agatha Christie, and I just heard a rumor
about her that I was curious about. According to some websites, she
supposedly suffered from dyslexia, and according to one website she was
forced to dictate all of her novels to a typist. I'm fairly certain that
this isn't entirely true, but I can't find any reliable information
concerning her supposed dyslexia.
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  #2  
Old 20 December 2007, 07:47 PM
apersonofsomesort
 
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According to this website, she did...

http://dyslexiamylife.org/who_els.html

As for me, I'm not so sure. Doesn't really make that much sense to me. I'm right in the middle of one of her books right now, and it's not really stuff that you could read aloud, something you would have to go write down.

If that makes any sense.

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  #3  
Old 20 December 2007, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apersonofsomesort View Post
As for me, I'm not so sure. Doesn't really make that much sense to me. I'm right in the middle of one of her books right now, and it's not really stuff that you could read aloud, something you would have to go write down.
She didn't read it out loud, she dictated it. It's not quite the same thing. And you can dictate anything you like, so long as the person giving dictation and the person taking dictation can come to an understanding about things like how to denote punctuation, or a new paragraph.

Reporters used to routinely dictate news stories over the telephone to typists, or other reporters, back at their office.
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Old 20 December 2007, 07:51 PM
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While not conclusive, I can find nothing on wikipedia to suggest she suffered from dyslexia much less that she dictated her novels to anyone to type.
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  #5  
Old 20 December 2007, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
She didn't read it out loud, she dictated it. It's not quite the same thing. And you can dictate anything you like, so long as the person giving dictation and the person taking dictation can come to an understanding about things like how to denote punctuation, or a new paragraph.

Reporters used to routinely dictate news stories over the telephone to typists, or other reporters, back at their office.

Well, not read out loud exactly, I meant more like said out loud.
I think with a reporter it's a little different, because you're not trying to do this horribly complicated mystery. I mean, yeah, it is possible.

But I just think it is unlikely.
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  #6  
Old 22 December 2007, 01:21 AM
KingDavid8 KingDavid8 is offline
 
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FWIW, Stephen J. Cannell is dyslexic and dictates when writing. He's the guy who created (or co-created) the shows "A-Team", "Rockford Files", "21 Jump Street" and "The Commish" (among others) and is now a novelist. He's written about a dozen novels, I believe.

David
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  #7  
Old 22 December 2007, 03:59 AM
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If she was dyslexic I don't remember reading about it in her autobiography or in any biogs I've read about her. I could have forgotten of course but as my son is dyslexic it is the kind of thing I would tend to focus on and remember.

Chris "...no prizes if you can figure out where my snopes name came from ..." tie
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  #8  
Old 22 December 2007, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
She didn't read it out loud, she dictated it. It's not quite the same thing. And you can dictate anything you like, so long as the person giving dictation and the person taking dictation can come to an understanding about things like how to denote punctuation, or a new paragraph.
And there are editors to make sure the story flows and is understandable, yet still says what the writer meant.

I won't believe this info is necessarily true, but I won't doubt that it's possible either. Lot's of people overcome adversity to do what they are passionate about.
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  #9  
Old 22 December 2007, 12:44 PM
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I have heard that she dictated her novels to a typist, but I never heard that it was because of dyslexia.

I think it's entirely possible, though.

My son, who is 12 has a profound written expressive language disability (it doesn't really have a name, because it's rare). However (speaking as a teacher), he is a brilliant writer. If he has to physically write something, it's short and missing most of the relevant information. If he dictates or speaks into his computer, his writing is lengthy, complex, and demonstrates a prodigious vocabulary.

Stuart McLean, who writes the Vinyl Cafe stories for CBC radio, is a horrible speller. He says he needs an editor for everything he writes (he disclosed this in email conversations with my son).

So, the ability to put marks on paper, has very little to do with the ability to create a story.
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  #10  
Old 22 December 2007, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
She didn't read it out loud, she dictated it. It's not quite the same thing. And you can dictate anything you like, so long as the person giving dictation and the person taking dictation can come to an understanding about things like how to denote punctuation, or a new paragraph.

Reporters used to routinely dictate news stories over the telephone to typists, or other reporters, back at their office.
Dictating is far easier than writing if you can get a flow going. Barbara Cartland (by her own admission) dictated most of her later work to a typist.
But the point about dyslexia I wanted to check is - don't dyslexic find it easier to type than to write by hand, because the brain part dealing with keyboard layout is different from the part that handles writing. My son is mildly dyslexic but can use a computer all day long.
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  #11  
Old 23 December 2007, 12:43 AM
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My wife's mom is dyslexic and has written over a hundred books. My father-in-law does the editing. Spellcheck is a big help; she does her work on a laptop. I'm sure people in Christie's day were unlikely to be able to write if they were dyslexic, and were probably seen as "slow" in school (I know my MIL was).
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  #12  
Old 23 December 2007, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie View Post
If she was dyslexic I don't remember reading about it in her autobiography or in any biogs I've read about her. I could have forgotten of course but as my son is dyslexic it is the kind of thing I would tend to focus on and remember.

Chris "...no prizes if you can figure out where my snopes name came from ..." tie
And I just realized it wasn't your first name. :o

I have a step-uncle born on Christmas, so everyone calls him Nick. I don't remember when I learned this, but my sister learned it only two Christmas' ago, because I casually mentioned it when we headed to the celebration.

Sister "I'll fish her as well for good measure" Ray
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