Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Franz Kafka

  • Robert Klopstock: Kafka’s fellow patient, friend, and doctor

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “If I had known then what I know now, Franz would be sitting here talking to us.”– Robert Klopstock, M.D., to Kafka scholar Angel Flores, early 1940s Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was born to a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. He got a law degree at his father’s insistence but worked as a…

  • Life lessons from death

    Pedro T. LimaRecife, Brazil “How would you like to die?” the professor asked without breaking eye contact. I averted my gaze to ponder the question, but no answers came to mind. “I’ve never thought about it. I guess that I would hope to be with people I love,” I stuttered, still collecting my thoughts. “You…

  • Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Louis Jouvet and André Dalibert in Knock, by Guy Lefranc (1951) “The man who feels well is actually sick and doesn’t know it.” —Dr. Knock   Jules Romains (1885-1972), author of the play Knock, or the Triumph of Medicine, was a novelist, poet, essayist, playwright, and short story writer. He…

  • Franz Kafka, A Country Doctor, (and Bob Dylan)

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Elk Viewing Sleigh Ride – Thunder Bay Resort, Hillman MI. Photo by Joe Ross. Via Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0 “Certainly doctors are stupid, or rather, they’re not more stupid than other people but their pretensions are ridiculous; [but] you have to reckon with the fact that they become more and…

  • The anatomy of bibliotherapy: How fiction heals, part III

    Dustin Grinnell Boston, Massachusetts, United States A cure for loneliness In the video “What is Literature For?” produced by The School of Life, author Alain de Botton claims that books are a cure for loneliness. Since we cannot always say what we are really thinking in civilized conversations, literature often describes who we genuinely are more…