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Old 02-21-2009, 11:32 PM   #1
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Christopher Nolan dies at 43

Novelist and U2's 'inspiration' dies at 43

Christopher Nolan, an Irish poet and novelist who helped inspire super-group U2, has died at 43.

Nolan choked on a piece of food on Friday at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, according to a statement from his family carried in the Irish media. The hospital confirmed his death on Saturday.

"Christopher Nolan was a gifted writer who attained deserved success and acclaim throughout the world for his work," Irish President Mary McAleese said in a statement, adding that his achievements were "all the more remarkable given his daily battle with cerebral palsy".

Nolan attended high school with members of U2 and the band paid tribute to his achievements in Miracle Drug which appeared on their album, How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

Nolan's brain was starved of oxygen during birth, leaving him unable to speak or control his arms or legs. He might have remained isolated from the outside world were it not for a drug, Lioresal, which restored some of his muscle function. His parents nurtured their partially paralysed son's literary talent.

Using a "unicorn stick" strapped to his forehead to tap the keys of a typewriter, Nolan laboriously wrote out messages and, eventually, poems and books as well.

Bernadette Nolan, Christopher's mother, said her son was 11 when his writing first turned lyrical.

"He wrote of a family visit to a cave that was illuminated by electric lights: He said it was 'a lovely, fairy-like effect to the work of nature,'" she told The Associated Press in a 1987 interview. "It was just that turn of phrase," she said. "I thought, that's unusual for a kid of 11."

The next day Nolan wrote a poem packed with metaphors and peppered with alliteration, which his mother said showed a mind "just like a spin dryer at full speed".

His father Joe read his son poetry and passages from James Joyce's Ulysses. Christopher took to writing early: He published Dam-Burst of Dreams, a collection of poetry, at the age of 15. Even then critics compared it to Joyce.

His autobiography, Under the Eye of the Clock: The Life Story of Christopher Nolan won the prestigious Whitbread Award in 1988. The third-person account describes Nolan's longing for an education and the liberation of finally being able to type out his feelings.

The book was a frank but sometimes hilarious account of his disability: he described his arm flying out to grab a woman's skirt and how his mouth sometimes remained stubbornly shut when he wanted to take communion.

As novelist Margaret Drabble noted, the book was "not merely another tale of brave strife against odds", adding that Nolan was "a writer, a real writer who uses words with an idiosyncratic new-minded freshness".

Nolan disliked sentimental stories about his disability. Although the Under the Eye of the Clock drew offers to have his book made into a movie, Nolan refused on the grounds that the production would be a sympathy piece, according to the Irish Independent.

"I want to highlight the creativity within the brain of a cripple and, while not attempting to hide his crippledom, I want instead to filter all sob-storied sentiment from his portrait and dwell upon his life, his laughter, his vision, and his nervous normality," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

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Old 02-21-2009, 11:41 PM   #2
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Oh my God. How sad.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:47 PM   #3
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Well that just sucks. What a sad loss.

I'm playing Miracle Drug in his honor.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:53 PM   #4
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How sad indeed. But this is the way life's supposed to be.
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Old 02-21-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
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What a beautiful song too, my favourite now from Bomb.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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I would be the happiest person in the world if, with my healthy body, could do something half as inspiring as this guy did. R.I.P.
Man, this just sucks.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:33 AM   #7
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oh my god
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:33 AM   #8
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Oh my god that's terrible. Such an unecessary loss.

What a gift and blessing he was to the world though.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .:MrMacPhisto:. View Post
I would be the happiest person in the world if, with my healthy body, could do something half as inspiring as this guy did. R.I.P.
Man, this just sucks.
you said it.

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Old 02-22-2009, 12:38 AM   #10
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He was really an amazing person.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:43 AM   #11
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Much Love to the family.
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Old 02-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #12
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You know, at first I thought it was "The Dark Knight" director who died.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:05 AM   #13
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What terrible news.

R.I.P.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:29 AM   #14
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Yes very sad news.

Miracle Drug is a great song as well very under appriciated.
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Old 02-22-2009, 01:52 AM   #15
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One of my favorite songs. Very sad.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:09 AM   #16
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How very sad.

MD is one of my favourite U2 songs, especially live.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:31 AM   #17
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Christopher Nolan
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:36 AM   #18
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r.i.p.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:52 AM   #19
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Rest in peace... it must have been really hard to cope with this kind of illness.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #20
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The songs are in your eyes, I see them when you smile...
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