The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, Feb 2, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
12 Reviews

Charlotte Brontë found in her illnesses, real and imagined, an escape from familial and social duties, and the perfect conditions for writing. The German jurist Daniel Paul Schreber believed his body was being colonized and transformed at the hands of God and doctors alike. Andy Warhol was terrified by disease and by the idea of disease. Glenn Gould claimed a friendly pat on his shoulder had destroyed his ability to play piano. And we all know someone who has trawled the Internet in solitude, seeking to pinpoint the source of his or her fantastical symptoms.

The Hypochondriacs is a book about fear and hope, illness and imagination, despair and creativity. It explores, in the stories of nine individuals, the relationship between mind and body as it is mediated by the experience, or simply the terror, of being ill. And, in an intimate investigation of those lives, it shows how the mind can make a prison of the body by distorting our sense of ourselves as physical beings. Through witty, entertaining, and often moving examinations of the lives of these eminent hypochondriacs—James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Alice James, Daniel Paul Schreber, Marcel Proust, Glenn Gould, and Andy Warhol—Brian Dillon brilliantly unravels the tortuous connections between real and imagined illness, irrational fear and rational concern, the mind’s aches and the body’s ideas.


  

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Review: The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives

User Review  - Kirsten Hivon - Goodreads

I was going to give this book a one when I first started it but it's made it to three because, although I didn't finish all the stories, the one's I did finish made me so annoyed and angry at these ... Read full review

Review: The Hypochondriacs: Nine Tormented Lives

User Review  - Justin Smith - Goodreads

Interesting, very interesting. I thought every story would read like a textbook; I was pleased to discover the author managed to make it more story-like. Read full review

Contents

A History of Hypochondria
3
1 James Boswells English Malady
20
A Little Nervous Subject
49
Charles Darwin
76
4 Florence Nightingale and the Privilege of Discontent
100
5 The Exaltation of Alice James
127
6 The Delusions of Daniel Paul Schreber
159
7 Marcel Proust and Common Sense
185
Not of the World
212
9 Andy Warhols Magic Disease
238
Note on Sources
269
Acknowledgements
279
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Brian Dillon was born in Dublin in 1969. His first book, the memoir In the Dark Room, won the 2006 Irish Book Award for nonfiction. The U.K. editor of Cabinet, a quarterly of art and culture based in New York, Dillon is a research fellow at the University of Kent.

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