Tag Archives: hallucinations

Did Macbeth have syphilis?

Eleanor J. Molloy Dublin, Ireland   Gerard De Lairesse suffered from congenital syphilis. Image: Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse. Rembrandt van Rijn. 1665–67. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Public Domain. Introduction Syphilis was endemic in Elizabethan England and it was estimated that nearly 20% of the population of London were infected.1 The signs and symptoms […]

Para site

Sophia Wilson New Zealand   Photo by Camila Quintero Franco on Unsplash they burrow, gnaw and niggle I scratch, claw and wriggle they linger, lurk and loom I pick, and probe and groom they crawl, revolt, return I rip and pull and squirm they bite, prick, sting and tunnel under skin I battle, bawl, hand-wring […]

Smetana, his music, his illness

Bedřich (Frederic) Smetana was one of the major figures of nineteenth century European music. Regarded as the founder of the Czech national school of music, he composed The Bartered Bride opera and the symphonic poem “Má Vlast” (My Homeland) with its beloved Vlatava (The Moldau) melody. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, he composed exceptional music even […]

Mental illness in art

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Corridor in the Asylum. Vincent can Gogh. 1889. Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is often said that creative art is linked to eccentricity, sometimes bordering on madness. Examples abound of great musicians, writers, and artists who at some time in their lives were deranged and often committed to institutions for […]

Carroll’s Wonderland

Yvonne Kusiima Kampala, Uganda   Alice experiences total-body macrosomatogonosia. Illustration by John Tenniel (1865) In 1865 the world was introduced to the novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. In the book, a young girl named Alice is feeling bored and drowsy while sitting on […]

Haunted by a living spirit

Bernardo Ng San Diego, California, USA   Witchcraft has been present in the Mexican culture for centuries, both in and out of the context of disease, with witches practicing either white or black magic. The most nationally recognized site for witchcraft is the city of Catemaco, Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. The white magic […]

Nabokov’s first masterpiece

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Gradually the lights disappeared, the phantoms grew sparser, and a wave of oppressive blackness washed over him.   Nabokov famously composed his novels on index cards. ‘I am rather particular about my instruments: lined Bristol cards and well sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.’ The Defense, a […]

Neurologica – disorders of the dream world

Shameemah Abrahams Cape Town   A portrait of the pioneering neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, who was well-known for characterising multiple sclerosis and hysteria. The human mind, so capable of creating works of genius like the orchestral sounds of Beethoven’s symphonies, da Vinci’s enigmatic artwork, or the majestic pyramids of Giza, can easily lose itself and spiral […]