Tag Archives: Summer 2013

Pushing back at perceptions of epilepsy: the interplay between medicine and literature in three 19th-century British novels

Laura Fitzpatrick, AB Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, United States If I wished to show a student the difficulties of getting at truth from medical experience, I would give him the history of epilepsy to read. —Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1891.1 As the nineteenth century dawned, the average Briton still understood epilepsy much in the […]

Hunters

Nam Nguyen Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States I led her well into the center of the Russian Market, holding her hand behind me so that I could navigate the two of us around curious eyes. I was careful to stay in the dark, aware that the market had not yet been entirely vacated. […]

Medical mysteries and detective doctors: metaphors of medicine

Roslyn Weaver, PhD University of Western Sydney, Australia Most classical detective novels start out with a community in a state of stable order. Soon a crime (usually a murder) occurs, which the police are unable to clear up. The insoluble crime acts as a destabilizing event, because the system of norms and rules regulating life […]

Sylvia Plath: the tortured artist?

Kathleen Coggshall, MD University of California, San Francisco, United States The image of a chain-smoking, booze-addled writer is a common one, occurring so frequently in modern culture that one begins to wonder if depressed people find solace in creative endeavors, or if the soul-searching process of crafting a sonnet or composing a musical piece puts […]

Dr. Blockhead’s victory: up there, down here

Angela Belli, PhD St. John’s University, Queens, New York, United States The iconic image of the prizefighter raising his hands above his head in a gesture of victory is given life in Flannery O’Connor’s The Enduring Chill.1 He appears not as a heavyweight champion of the world but as a country doctor. The main character […]