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October 1971

Constantin von Monakow: Vita Mea Mein Leben.

Arch Neurol. 1971;25(4):382-383. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00490040108017

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Autobiography is a thankless task. The writer is usually accused of a slanted view of his own importance and suspected of selfaggrandizement. How are we otherwise to explain the avalanche of personal reminiscences and anecdotes published by generals, politicians, and the like. The more literate among them at least giving a personal flavor to their chit-chat, the ghosted volumes leaving us with a stereotyped, hollow ring betraying the lack of personal involvement of the writer. Scientists having a better grasp of their own contributions rarely indulge in autobiography.

Constantin von Monakow practiced neurology at a time when significant neuroanatomical and physiological discoveries were made. A time when most "stones were still unturned" and neurology was just emerging as a science. His work on the lateral geniculate body and its reactions to eye enucleation and occipital cortex ablation has stood the test of time. Monakow lived a long and apparently

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