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world : Public Intellectual Noam Chomsky Suffered ‘Massive Stroke’ and Is Recovering in Brazil

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:45 PM

Nafeza 2 world - June 12, 2024 4:55 AM EDT

Renowned linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky suffered a stroke last June and is recovering in a hospital in his wife’s native country of Brazil.

Chomsky’s absence from the public eye over the past year fueled speculation about his health, culminating in an outpouring of tributes over the weekend.

On Monday, Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo reported that the 95-year-old American public intellectual has not commented on the ongoing war in Gaza, despite requests from his supporters and the press, because he had “a massive stroke” in the U.S. last year. “He has difficulty speaking, and the right side of his body is numb,” it said.

According to the report, after American doctors said little more could be done, Chomsky’s wife Valeria decided to fly him to São Paulo, where the couple has had a residence since 2015, to receive specialized treatment. Upon arriving via a rented ambulance jet, Chomsky was reportedly admitted to an intensive care unit, and he is visited daily by a neurologist, speech therapist, and pulmonologist. “His condition has improved significantly,” the paper added. “He left the ICU and is now in a regular room.”

Folha de São Paulo also reported that Chomsky, a vocal anti-war advocate, would raise his left arm “in a gesture of lament of anger” when he sees images in the news of the war in Gaza. The paper added that, given the progress in Chomsky’s recovery, the University of São Paulo is considering appointing him an ad hoc professor of linguistics and political science. While reportedly pleased by the idea, Valeria Chomsky is instead considering moving the couple to an apartment near the beach in Rio de Janeiro, because she read that it is beneficial for stroke victims to live in a sunny, flat city.

Valeria Chomsky confirmed the details of the Brazilian report in an email to the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Noam Chomsky, one of the most prolific and most cited living scholars, is known for his transformative theories in linguistics as well as his political activism and criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, capitalism, and mass media.

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