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The Silent Twins av Marjorie Wallace
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The Silent Twins (utgåvan 1996)

av Marjorie Wallace (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2028100,405 (3.75)4
When identical twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons were three they began to reject communication with anyone but each other, and so began a childhood bound together in a strange and secret world. As they grew up, love, hate and genius united to push them to the extreme margins of society and, following a five week spree of vandalism and arson, the silent twins were sentenced to a gruelling twelve-year detention in Broadmoor. Award-winning investigative journalist Marjorie Wallace delves into the twins' silent world, revealing their genius, alienation and the mystic bond by which the extremes of good and evil ended in possession and death.… (mer)
Medlem:REINADECOPIAYPEGA
Titel:The Silent Twins
Författare:Marjorie Wallace (Författare)
Info:Vintage (1996), Edition: 40247th, 320 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Silent Twins av Marjorie Wallace

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Avevo letto della vicenda delle gemelle Gibbons varie volte, soprattutto su post trovati qua e la in rete e che avevano titoli come "i 10 articoli più inquietanti di Wikipedia", "i 5 casi psichiatrici più disturbanti" e altre cose del genere, articoli dei era chiarissimo dove volessero andare a parare.
Essendo un estimatore delle stranezze del mondo, quando ho scoperto che esisteva una traduzione italiana del libro che raccontava la storia di queste due inquietanti sorelle, non me lo sono lasciato sfuggire.
"Le gemelle che non parlavano" (domanda al traduttore, perché questo titolo e non "Le gemelle silenziose" molto più simile all'originale "the silent twins"?) non è il resoconto di un caso clinico, come potrebbe far pensare l'introduzione del grande Oliver Sacks, ma una vera e propria biografia. Un opera lontana, nei toni, dagli articoli nominati poco sopra. Non presenta quegli artifici retorici che servono per arricchire di atmosfera la vicenda. L'autrice, una giornalista che aveva seguito il processo alle due gemelle per un caso di piromania, si limita a raccontare le loro vite deducendole dai loro fittissimi diari e dai pochi stentati colloqui avuti con June e Jennifer, questi i nomi delle sorelle, nella saletta di un ospedale psichiatrico. Eppure il libro risulta quanto mai inquietante, ci spinge a porci domande sui limiti della nostra individualità, sulla natura dei nostri rapporti con gli altri.
Le gemelle Gibbons vengono descritte come intrappolate nel gioco infantile che abbiamo fatto un po' tutti da piccoli, quello in cui ci si doveva fissare e il primo che avesse fatto un movimento avrebbe perso. Ma questo gioco, per le due sorelle, si è espande fino a occupare ogni aspetto della loro vita e, addirittura, a confondersi con essa. Ogni ora delle loro giornate è una lotta continua in cui l'una tenta di fagocitare l'individualità dell'altra, un rapporto dal quale entrambe cercano di sottrarsi senza però riuscirci tale è la bramosia di dominarsi a vicenda ma anche di non rimanere sole in un mondo che per loro è una terra straniera.La narrazione di Marjorie Wallace e secca, dettagliata ed efficace nella migliore tradizione anglosassone e fa trasparire una grande empatia verso queste due anime in pena, trascurate prima dalla famiglia, poi dalla scuola e non comprese né dal sistema giudiziario prima né da quello sanitario poi.
Un libro e una vicenda che non lascerà indifferente nessuno.
Coda
Essendo stato scritto nel 1986, il libro si conclude proprio nel bel mezzo del ricovero delle gemelle nell'ospedale psichiatrico di Broadmore, alla vicenda manca quindi il finale che avvenne nel 1993.
Da lungo tempo e dopo molti tormenti, June e Jennifer avevano compreso che, se avessero continuato a vivere entrambe, non sarebbero mai state libere: una di loro doveva quindi morire; Jennifer decise di essere lei stessa a fare questo sacrificio.
Nel Marzo del 1993 subito dopo il loro trasferimento da Broadmoore alla clinica Caswell, nel Galles, la donna entrò in una sorta di stato catalettico dal quale non uscì mai più, almeno fino alla sua morte che avvenne quello stesso mese per un'acuta miocardia. Sul suo corpo non venne trovata alcuna traccia di veleno né di altri segni che potesse far pensare a un suicidio e la sua morte risulta a tutt'oggi misteriosa.June, incontrata dalla Wallace qualche giorno dopo, viene descritta di umore strano e le sue parole a proposito del decesso della sorella furono queste: " sono libera, alla fine Jennifer ha dato la sua vita per me".Ora June vive una vita quieta ma normale, dimessa dall'ospedale molto tempo fa, vive vicino ai genitori e cerca faticosamente di lasciare le vicende della sua giovinezza alle spalle.
( )
  JoeProtagoras | Jan 28, 2021 |
Wow! I can't explain my fascination with this case. I reread it every so often and have recommended the book to many people. A fascinating look at an "evil twin" connection. ( )
  Chrissylou62 | Aug 1, 2020 |
Read years ago, from the public library, and it was such a disturbing story that I haven't been able to forget it. ( )
  Tacuazin | Feb 28, 2018 |
Review: The Silent Twins by Marjorie Wallace.

The twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons story is both tragic and fascinating. I think some of the author’s descriptions of the twins lives were a little over the top. She attached herself and some of her opinions to the story which made me feel like she manipulated the twin’s words and pain to create a moving story. It was horrible what they went through without stretching the truth to publish her book. She claims to have known the twins but did she really understand or have answers to the life within them. There were different things that were considered as; typical twin symbiosis, Schizophrenic, sociopaths, Autistic or Asperger’s Syndrome, some other mental illness or could it be society, the mental health system, family, a simple lack of parents love and support, or even being born into the British lifestyle, or simply being different then others.

June and Jennifer Gibbons were West Indian twins born in Great Britain. They lived silent lives besides the connection between the two to control each other’s non-verbal communication knowingly among themselves. If they did talk, they were difficult to understand because their speech was sped up and not clear. They did attend special education classes for a while but later became victims of political struggles and society’s ignorance. The twins mainly stayed in their small room at home and only came out when no one was home. They didn’t like interacting with their family. During that time they mainly wrote novels and journals and were perceptive to their love/hate relationship with each other.

As teens they did venture away from their home to widen their curiosity of the world around them. However, they were looked upon as strange, and that only got them in trouble because they were exploring with drugs, sexuality orgy tendency‘s, stealing, and arson. They were never taught what was right or wrong nor had any support leading them through their confusing lives. After the arson escapades the twins were institutionalized into a facility were they were never understood and never really received appropriate treatment. Their psychiatrists didn’t even take time to know them so, from the age of nineteen they were incarcerated with no release in sight. Their thinking became unclear because they were heavily medicated.

Through the years they did have an understanding between themselves that if one of then should die, the other must begin to speak and tell their story to the world. By the time they were released in 1993 to a more suitable facility they had come to believe that they needed to be physically separated to live out a normal life but for that to happen one of them must die…..The book does not go beyond that point but researching the Gibbon twins will give you answers.



( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The Silent Twins is about identical twins June and Jennifer Gibbons who were born on 11th April 1963. They spent most of their lives living in their own impenetrable world. June and Jennifer knew what each other felt and thought but they were silent to most people outside of their world, despite having the physical ability to speak. The twins confounded teachers, speech therapist, specialist educational schools and psychologists who crossed their paths. However, a battle raged between the two girls who loved, controlled and hated each other in equal measures.

The author pulls together the story of their experiences through meeting with the twins, their family and countless professionals who were involved in their care and also in using accounts from their diaries. The twins were, at one point, very prolific writers both in diary form and in fiction. Wallace is able to put across the differences in personalities between the twins and also the emotional battles of control and power they had with each other.

Ultimately, the story is a tale of how the 'system' in particular, mental health system, failed two girls whom they didn't know how to support. The girls started to experiment with drink, drugs, bad boys and petty crime in their mid-teens and were eventually caught and charged with vandalism and arson.

After a year spent on remand awaiting their trial, the girls were finally found guilty and sent to Broadmoor high security psyhicatric hospital for an indefinite period of time. For those not familiar with the name, Broadmoor houses some of the most dangerous offenders, examples including Peter Sutcliffe (Yorksire Ripper), Charles Bronson and Ronald Kray. June and Jennifer ended up here merely by default. There were no secure, hospital facilities around which could take on twins with such unique behavioural issues so they ended up at Broadmoor which in itself hadn't reallly got the appropriate tools for supporting the teenage girls.

"Jennifer and June could never come to terms with the fact that they had been given what amounted to a life sentence for vandalism and three counts of arson, when other teenages guilty of far more serious crimes, often involving bodily harm, would spend, at most, a few months in prison" Wallace sums up. (p.255).

The book gives a fascinating insight into this sad story. Woven throughout the story is the difficultly the twins have both being together and being apart. They felt that, sadly, it wouldn't be until one of them dies that the other would be 'free'.

"Without my Shadow would I die?
Without my shadow would I gain life?
Be free or left to die?"
by June Gibbons. ( )
  lilywren | Apr 6, 2014 |
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When identical twins, June and Jennifer Gibbons were three they began to reject communication with anyone but each other, and so began a childhood bound together in a strange and secret world. As they grew up, love, hate and genius united to push them to the extreme margins of society and, following a five week spree of vandalism and arson, the silent twins were sentenced to a gruelling twelve-year detention in Broadmoor. Award-winning investigative journalist Marjorie Wallace delves into the twins' silent world, revealing their genius, alienation and the mystic bond by which the extremes of good and evil ended in possession and death.

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