Tag Archives: George Orwell

Sports and the uneven playing field

Jayant Radhakrishnan Darien, Illinois, United States   An illustration from Clinical Gynecology Medical and Surgical by Keating JM, Coe, Clark H. Published by Lippincott, Philadelphia in 1895. The illustration is labeled as Masculine pseudo-hermaphroditism but it appears to be of a patient with Persistent Mullerian Duct Syndrome with one discrepancy. Such a patient would not […]

Somerset Maugham

JMS Pearce  Hull, England   Fig 1. Somerset Maugham by Graham Sutherland, black chalk, pencil and gouache, 1953. NPG 5327 I have two professions, not one. Medicine is my lawful wife and literature is my mistress; when I get tired of one I spend the night with the other. -Anton Chekov, 1888 As a graduate […]

Plain Words, or pandemic medical gobbledygook

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Fig 1: Comic featuring Plain Words The great essayist and philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) once said: “Words, when written, crystallize history; their very structure gives permanence to the unchangeable past.” I suggest that the problems posed by writers who fail to convey meaning are not new.1,2 As long ago as […]

George Orwell and the Spanish Civil War: A brush with death

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Picture of George Orwell which appears in an old accreditation for the BNUJ. From: Archive.org Accessed via Wikimedia   Robert Capa’s “The Fallen Soldier” is the iconic photograph of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The original title was “Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Carro Muriano, September 5, […]

Mustard: history of the yellow seed

Carol Sherman Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. The Sign from the Mustard Museum. Photo taken by Douglas R. Siefken, August 15th, 2019. Provided for this article. The National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin1 describes itself as having over 5,600 mustards. They originate from all fifty states of the United States and from more […]

Heroes and alcohol

Cal Bartley Penarth, South Wales, United Kingdom   Photo by Cal Bartley It would seem that literary heroes cannot function without alcohol, as so many great books reference alcohol in a positive light. Even if it does not lubricate the plot, a glance at many classics suggest that a stiff drink is needed for the […]

Starvation as metaphor

Michael Shulman  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   “Boy and Girl at Cahera” (1847) Image of the Great Famine for middle-class readers of London Illustrated News.  The mystery of Food Increased till I abjured it And dine without Like God — Emily Dickinson Susan Sontag’s 1978 essay Illness as Metaphor,1 published in serial form in The […]

George Orwell and the ethics of dealing in or dealing with cigarettes

Lynn T. Kozlowski Buffalo, NY, United States   Early in World War II, George Orwell wrote the essay “England, my England,” commenting that as he was writing “highly civilized human beings” were flying overhead trying to kill him: They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are […]

Connecting literature with medicine

Rubina Naqvi Karachi, Pakistan   Portrait of Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, 1898 Osip Braz Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow There is a need for increasing the education of medical students through the use of literature, so that physicians can become knowledgeable about and eager to confront the social, economic, and cultural contributors to illness. This is particularly important […]