Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: TB

  • Robert Klopstock: Kafka’s fellow patient, friend, and doctor

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “If I had known then what I know now, Franz would be sitting here talking to us.”– Robert Klopstock, M.D., to Kafka scholar Angel Flores, early 1940s Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was born to a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. He got a law degree at his father’s insistence but worked as a…

  • Holden Caulfield’s coughing conundrum: A medical perspective

    Anthony GulottaBethesda, Maryland, United States J.D. Salinger’s 1951 novel, The Catcher in the Rye, captivates readers with the story of Holden Caulfield, a disillusioned teenager. Was Holden’s constant coughing due to pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), as he claims, or some other illness? His own words paint a bleak picture. He mentions being “dead tired,” harboring a…

  • TB-AIDS diary

    Linda TroellerNew York, New York, United States The TB-AIDS Diary was created in 1987 to address issues of stigma, comparing the response to patients with tuberculosis in the 1930s with the reaction to patients with AIDS in the 1980s. Tuberculosis was used as a metaphor for the stigma surrounding contagious diseases and treated primarily as…

  • The art of consumption – TB and John Lavery

    Emily BoyleBelfast, Northern Ireland Tuberculosis, (TB) is often regarded as a historical disease—in the 1880’s it caused a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Mortality rates from TB fell by 17% between 2005 and 2015,1 but it remains an important health concern. Worldwide it is still the second most common cause of death from an…