Tag Archives: Tuberculosis

Poe’s Consumptive Paradox

Gregory Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Tuberculosis may have killed more people than any pathogen in history1  leaving an array of terrible stigmata whenever it extinguished life. The essential image of tuberculosis in the  eighteenth century was that of foul decay.2 Morgagni vividly described the road to a consumptive death as, “(she) threw up pus […]

Patrick Branwell Brontë (1817-1848): A tale of aspiration and decline

JMS Pearce On the bleak, rocky, windswept Yorkshire moors is the famous Brontës’ parsonage of St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Haworth. Here the celebrated Brontë sisters wrote their varied poetry and tales of romance, repressed passions, and frustrated love. This year (2017) marks 200 years since the birth of their brother, Patrick Branwell Brontë. […]

Reflections on early 20th century tuberculosis: a juxtaposition of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain and Edward L. Trudeau’s Autobiography

Gregory Rutecki Cleveland, Ohio, USA   Abandoned German TB sanitarium The early twentieth century was an auspicious time for medicine. Physicians of the era would be the first to transform the mysterious “captain of all these men of death” into a living, “breathing” bacillus named Mycobacterium tuberculosis.1 As a corollary of the fundamental discovery, diagnostic […]

Sunday Sally Rose

Matthew Kinsella Browns Mills, New Jersey   Rose symbolism on gravestone, submitted by author As the new triage nurse on  the City Department Of Homeless Services Street Outreach Team, I could observe at first, orient, get my bearings. Well acquainted with the stark reality of life on the street, my three interdisciplinary teammates  explained the […]

Consumption, Collapse, and Family by Alice Neel

Gregory M. Rutecki   “The personal images in Alice Neel’s work not only reflect her life, they also provide metaphors …There is no peace…in (her) paintings, only agitated recognition of inevitable struggles.”1 “…Alice Neel described the 20th Century as she experienced it, living in the ghetto with those against whom most of society discriminated. She […]