Read by QxMD icon Read

Literature and Medicine

Nancy Pedri, Helene Staveley
Why do recent graphic narratives about illness play with metaphors of merry-go-rounds, board games, and games of pretend and performance to explain the experience of being ill? Play and game typically associate with nostalgia, with pleasure, and with a sense of freedom, none of which come to mind as viable images to discuss a struggle with difficult physical and mental illnesses. Acclaimed graphic narratives including Miriam Engelberg's Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person (2006), Daryl Cunningham's Psychiatric Tales (2011), Ellen Forney's Marbles (2012), Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen (2006), and Brian Fies's Mom's Cancer (2006) use the rich narrative ambiguities of game situations to work against the grain, correlating the gap between "player" and "played" with the gap between an active, organically healthy self and a self being unmade by illness...
2018: Literature and Medicine
S A Larson
During the early twentieth century, public health campaigns taught Americans from all strata of society to recognize that a great threat to the health and prosperity of the South was not an enemy abroad, but rather a bloodsucking parasite living underfoot in Southern soil: hookworm. According to the information widely disseminated by these campaigns, hookworm infection was responsible for the physical "backwardness" of Southern men, women, and children. By linking physical and cognitive symptoms to a parasitic source, the public health campaign introduced a new literary tool for constructing characters who are not "quite right" that continues to be employed in contemporary fiction...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Woods Nash
I propose a new role for literature in medical ethics: rewriting short stories as ethics cases. This activity is instructive for its power to show that our standard ways of analyzing cases can overlook deeper ethical problems, such as those the short stories raise. To illustrate this claim, I begin by distilling Richard Selzer's story "Fetishes" to an ethics case. Then, using principle-based ethics as a representative analytical framework, I argue that a typical principlist's response to the "Fetishes" case misses the point, failing to address insidious issues like physician arrogance and patient mistrust...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Sarah Nance
This essay examines the position of illness within a capitalist economy, exploring how labor, production, and consumption change through the bodily experiences of illness. Using contemporary poetry by Elizabeth Arnold and Anne Boyer, I suggest first that the experience of illness places women in an alternative economy, not unlike the familiar ways in which women are routinely devalued when their labor is under-appreciated or under(/un)compensated. I argue that being ill often challenges the productivity required by capitalism, and that as a response, experiences of illness play a role in the formation of an alternative economy...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Sarah A Kuczynski
In this article, I contend that Plath's Three Women (1962) stages a poetic commentary on the theory of natural childbirth pioneered by Dr. Grantly Dick Read and popularized during the mid-1950s in Great Britain and the United States as an alternative to the "Twilight Sleep." Plath annotated Read's bestseller Childbirth Without Fear (1959) and attended relaxation classes before the birth of her daughter Frieda; however, the long poem has yet to be read in terms of this medical intertext. As this article demonstrates, treating Plath's poem alongside Read's popular manual pushes us to consider poetry's (generic) place in making legible psychologically complex embodied states...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Marta Cerezo Moreno
Despite acknowledging the centrality of Anna's illness in studies of John Banville's The Sea, scholars have not attended to the close relationship between Anna's cancer and her husband Max's process of self-stigmatization. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's notion of the trace, I analyze Max's experience of his wife's illness to show how Banville depicts disease imprinting psychic traces not only on the patient but also on his/her family. My main contention is that an assay of Max's self-stigma creates new insights into The Sea that show how the novel's superb reflections on disease, stigma, pain, suffering, age, death, and artistic creation promote a narrative destabilization of time categories...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Lorenzo Servitje
Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange is rarely considered in terms of psychopharmacology. Furthermore, the connection between the novel and the development of neuroscience-including the use of drugs that affect the brain-has yet to be considered. This essay explains the function and representation of drugs in the novel within the context of neuroscience's development during the 1960s. I argue that the novel engages the dynamics among psychopharmacology, neuroscience, and psychiatry, and investigates how these specialties function within Western culture to mediate between dominant and subordinate divisions...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Pascale Antolin
This article analyzes Hollis Seamon's Somebody Up There Hates You in light of Mikhail Bakhtin's theory of the carnivalesque as it is developed both in Rabelais and His World and in Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics. The novel shows the power of carnivalesque episodes and ironic laughter to question both the conventional approach to illness and death, and to illness literature in general. However, it also exposes the limits of parody and laughter in the face of death-no matter how regenerating this carnivalesque novel may prove to be for literature as a whole...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Evie Kendal
This essay explores how feminist utopian literature can inform bioethical debates regarding the fundamental differences between female and male experiences of human reproduction, focusing on the use of biological and technological methods to redress natural inequalities arising from biological difference. Inherently speculative, utopian fiction serves as a useful tool for interrogating social and political attitudes toward procreation and childrearing, adopting a similar degree of abstraction as a philosophical thought experiment...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Rachel A Blumenthal
This article reveals how Elizabeth Keckley framed American citizenship as a psychiatric rather than political category. In Behind the Scenes (1868), Keckley emblematizes Mary Todd Lincoln's "scandalous" behavior to describe and critique what I call the psychiatric republic: a politico-economic paradigm that paradoxically condemns women as mad, often for expressing the very traits required of men elected to public office, while simultaneously positing feminine virtues as foundational for republican citizenship...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Jay Sibara
I argue that Ann Petry in her novel The Street (1946) portrays chronic illness, disfigurement, and disability as embodied effects of racism resulting from labor exploitation, crowded and unsafe housing conditions, and lack of access to nourishing food and respectful, thorough, and effective health care. Further, Petry conveys that Western medicine (as practiced in the United States) reproduces and maintains white supremacy through mechanisms including how treatment resources are allocated, how medical institutions collaborate with law enforcement officials and institutions, and how medical professionals and spaces authorize the objectification of Black bodies...
2018: Literature and Medicine
Sander L Gilman
Dieting as a fashionable undertaking in the public sphere appears in the course of the long eighteenth century. It is part of a shift to an awareness of the public stigma of obesity and marks the rise of a dieting culture focused on psychological rather than a purely somatic phenomenon. It is coterminous with the redefinition of the "reasonable" (rational) person both in law as well as in the public sphere.Reasonableness comes to define the normal within a cult of the rational; obesity comes to mark that state beyond reasonableness...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Mascha Hansen
Elizabeth Carter suffered from severe headaches all her life. Her letters are peppered with references to fits of "head-ach" so bad they made her bold enough to demand her own room wherever she visited, and to cherish a preference for solitude contrary to the ideal of Bluestocking sociability. Following her friends and physicians, she bowed to fashionable diagnoses in considering these headaches the result of a nervous constitution, and she was prescribed the usual remedies, including sociable trips to fashionable watering places...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Jessica Monaghan
Throughout the eighteenth century the issue of authenticity shaped portrayals of fashionable diseases. From the very beginning of the century, writers satirized the behavior of elite invalids who paraded their delicacy as a sign of their status. As disorders such as the spleen came to be regarded as "fashionable," the legitimacy of patients' claims to suffer from distinguished diseases was called further into question, with some observers questioning the validity of the disease categories themselves...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Clark Lawlor
This essay examines the way in which disease was framed and narrated as fashionable in the long eighteenth century, and argues that the intensifying focus on women's fashionable disorders in the period grew in tandem with the rise of an unstable capitalism in its manifold forms. Using the satirical articles written by Henry Southern in the London Magazine-"On Fashions" (August 1825), "On Fashions in Physic" (October 1825), and "On Dilettante Physic" (January 1826)-and the literature that led to them, I analyze the role that women were now taking in the newly capitalized world of the early nineteenth century...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Katherine Allen
This chapter focuses on the individualistic nature of medicine by considering manuscript recipe collections, and the concerns and rhetoric of the elite patients who wrote about fashionable diseases and experienced them. Domestic medicine in the eighteenth century was a facet of elite health care that included commercial medicine and professional assistance. Looking broadly at the fashionability of health care, including the fashionability of the consumer goods and services linked to self-management and leisure time, reveals the realities of fashionable diseases in elite lives...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Jonathan Andrews, James Kennaway
This article examines how sufferers experienced, understood, and expressed themselves as bilious, focusing on the late Georgian era when the disease became one of the most fashionable and oft diagnosed amongst the elites. We show that responses to bile were more complex, varied, and less credulous than contemporary diatribes and subsequent historiography imply. Nonetheless, we foreground the socioculturally negotiated elements of the malady rather than its "reality." Applying Rosenberg's framing diseases model reveals biliousness as one of the most problematic conditions to frame, but one of the most malleable to self-fashion...
2017: Literature and Medicine
David E Shuttleton
This essay considers why the eighteenth century has particular significance for anyone concerned with the cultural forces necessary to render a disease fashionable. A brief overview of a pervasive cult of sensibility addresses the role of popular medical writing, imaginative literature, and spas in circulating a romanticized model of nervous disorders as signs of intellectual and moral superiority. Attention is drawn to the ambiguity in the term "fashionable" implying "popular," but also something that might be contrived; to what extent were Georgian fashionable diseases merely cultural constructs? Here the medicalization of masturbation suggests a limit-case...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Jonathan Andrews, Clark Lawlor
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2017: Literature and Medicine
Andrew W Perez
In 2006, Laura Otis provided the first English translation of five short stories written by the Spanish artist, neuroscientist, and histologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal. These stories, originally published in 1905 by Cajal under the pseudonym "Dr. Bacteria," are called "Cuentos de vacaciones: narraciones seudocientíficas" or "Vacation Stories: Pseudoscientific Tales." In 1973, a version of Cajal's manuscript "La vida en el año 6000" (Life in the year 6000) was revealed...
2017: Literature and Medicine
Fetch more papers »
Fetching more papers... Fetching...
Read by QxMD. Sign in or create an account to discover new knowledge that matter to you.
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"