Victor of Aveyron

Back on line.

Did some research about feral children today. The question among those who philosophize about such creatures can be boiled down to this: Does a wild child possess a soul?

Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron, captured in 1800 and made famous by a book written by his tutor, Jean Marc Gaspard Itard, captivated Europe. He could run like the wind but was more likely to sit and rock silently — he only learned to pronounce two spoken words, “eau” and “oh Dieu”. But he responded like crazy to the weather outside the window, laughing at sunshine or gnashing his teeth, communing with the moon, racing outside to roll around in the snow. He could grow melancholy looking into a pool of water. One intellectual marveled at “the intensity of the boy’s sad pleasure in the natural world.”

I like that: sad pleasure.

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Filed under History, Jean Zimmerman

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