Tag Archives: Moby Dick

Melville’s Bartleby: An absurd casualty

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   Titian, Sisyphus, 1548–49, oil on canvas, 237 cm x 216 cm (P000426). Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French writer and philosopher. He did not want to be pinned down as an existentialist or an absurdist, or indeed a nihilist. Nevertheless, he is well known […]

Ahab’s gift: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and the meaning of pain

Xi Chen Rochester, New York, United States   A whale being speared with harpoons by fishermen in the arctic sea. Engraving by A. M. Fournier after E. Traviès. Wellcome Collection. Public domain. In the summer months before my first year of medical school, I unfurled the pages of Moby Dick. Immersed in the novel’s adventurous […]

The anatomy of bibliotherapy: How fiction heals, part I

Dustin Grinnell  Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Man Reading Book showing cityscape, suggesting an Open Doorway. From iStock. Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. —Rudyard Kipling   Literature is medicine for the soul In the 1980s, the mother of Northrop Frye, a Canadian literary scholar, was in the hospital, ill […]