Tag Archives: Sylvia R. Karasu

Albert C. Barnes, MD: the physician who spun silver into gold

Sylvia R. Karasu New York, New York, United States   Argyrol, the compound developed by Dr. Albert C. Barnes and Dr. Hermann Hille to treat ophthalmia neonatorum, a conjunctivitis that led to blindness in newborns then caused by gram-negative gonococcus bacteria. Infection was contracted from mothers during vaginal delivery. Credit: Argyrol bottle, c. 1902-1907, Barnes […]

Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark:’ a failure to find a perfect future in an imperfect present

Sylvia R. Karasu New York City, NY, USA   In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark, 1 Aylmer, “a man of science” leaves the somber, factory-like atmosphere of his laboratory to marry the beautiful Georgiana.  Aylmer “had devoted himself, however, too unreservedly to scientific studies ever to be weaned from them by any secondary passion,” and seems […]

Compassion failure, schadenfreude, and the fall of Icarus

Sylvia R. Karasu New York, USA   “About suffering they were never wrong / The Old Masters…how it takes place / While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along.”1 So wrote W.H. Auden in his poem Musée des Beaux Arts in response to his viewing the painting Landscape with […]