Tag Archives: Literary Essays

Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann and Der Struwwelpeter

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Heinrich Hoffmann: The Struwwelpeter; Frankfurt am Main: Literary Institute Rütten & Loening, 1917 (400th edition); Copy of the Braunschweig University Library Call number: 2007-0968. Via Wikimedia. “Give me a child and I’ll shape him into anything.” – B.F. Skinner Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894) was a general practitioner in Frankfurt. When […]

Elizabeth Barrett Browning—isolation and the artist

Elizabeth Lovett Colledge  Jacksonville, Florida, United States   Portrait of Elizabeth Barrett Browning by Evert Duykinck Via Wikimedia. Elizabeth Barrett Browning is perhaps best known for the poem “How do I Love Thee,” addressed to her husband Robert Browning, as well as their courtship, elopement, and subsequent years together in Europe. However, one might revisit […]

A “most perfect interchange”

Satyabha Tripathi Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India   The Doctor. Luke Fildes. 1891. Tate Gallery, London. Via Wikimedia. “[Lydgate held] the conviction that the medical profession as it might be was the finest in the world; presenting the most perfect interchange between science and art; offering the most direct alliance between intellectual conquest and the social […]

Rejuvenation: “The Adventure of the Creeping Man” from The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

James Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ch’ io sono quell gran medico Dottore enciclpedico, Chiamato Dulcamara, . . .  Rigiovnir bramate? I’m noted as a scientist, Practitioner and specialist. I’m Doctor Dulcamara … Would you like your youth recaptured? L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love), music by Geatano Donizetti, Libretto by Felice Romano, Act […]

On suffering and its depiction in William Carlos Williams’s “The Yellow Flower”

Negin Rezaei Tehran, Iran   Passport photograph of William Carlos Williams. Courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University. Circa 1920. Via Wikimedia Eric Cassell observed that physical pain and suffering are two distinct experiences and that pain is only one of the infinite number of sources that may cause suffering in […]

The use of force in medicine

Angad Tiwari India Mallika Khurana Japan   We walk the wards where Williams walked. Picture from Brueghel and Other Poems by William Carlos Williams: Collected Poems 19650-1962. New York: Directions Publishing Corporation. Source William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), regarded as “the most important literary doctor since Chekhov,” was an American Pulitzer prize-winning writer and poet who […]

Essential tremor in a medieval scribe: extracting hidden historical knowledge from the work of the Tremulous Hand

Andrew P. K. Wodrich Washington DC, United States   “Annotations and Glosses of the Tremulous Hand. An anonymous homily contained within Bodleian Library MS. Hatton 113, f. 68r – written approximately 1075 AD in Old English – shows the characteristic shaky script of the thirteenth-century scribe known as the Tremulous Hand. These additions are likely […]

Catching Your Death: Infectious rain in the works of Jane Austen

Eve Elliot Dublin, Ireland   Willoughby Carries Marianne Home. Image: Carried Her Down the Hill, 1908. By C.E Brock. Wikimedia Commons. Fans of the Netflix romp Bridgerton or any of the Jane Austen film adaptations will likely be familiar with the important social etiquette of inquiring after someone’s health. Unlike the modern throwaway how are […]

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

Under the lime tree: medicine, poetry, and the education of the senses

Alan Bleakley Sennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom   Portrait of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), by Peter Vandyke, 1795. Edited by Sue Bleakley. When in the summer of 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s wife Sara accidentally spilled hot milk over his foot, causing serious burns such that Coleridge could not walk, he sat in the garden of […]