Healing arts in dialogue: medicine and literature
Spring, 1975, nine people met for the first time at Sugar Loaf Conference Center in Philadelphia to discuss the relationship between literature and medicine. These humanists were committed to meet four more times during the next eighteen months. Contained in this book is the fruit of these discussions in the form of a dialogue—a dialogue interspersed with lyric statements in prose and poetry.
Participants in the dialogue: Nancy C. Andreasen, perhaps the “world’s only M.D./Ph.D. in literature,” who has evolved from critic and composition teacher to psychiatrist at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. James C. Cowan, University of Arkansas, is editor of the D. H. Lawrence Review and a frequently published Lawrence scholar. Ian R. Lawson, who got his medical training in Scotland, practiced there and in India before serving as Director of the Hebrew Home for the Aged and as a faculty member at the University of Connecticut.
Denise Levertov, a nurse in England before coming to the United States, is a major poet whose work is closely associated with the late poet/physician, William Carlos Williams. Harold Gene Moss is currently on the staff of the National Endowment for the Humanities: “From the patient’s point of view,” he notes, “the situation of serious illness is essentially tragic, but from the doctor’s sequential point of view, it is comedic.” William B. Ober, Director of Laboratories, Hackensack Hospital, is the author of Boswell’s Clap and Other Essays: Medical Analyses of Literary Men’s Afflictions (Southern Illinois University Press, 1979). Richard Selzer, New Haven surgeon, essayist, and short-story writer, came to the dialogue with one book behind him, the second—in which a surgeon is celebrated—just ahead.
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MEETING ONE EXPOSITION I
MADneSS anD ART THE BODY LITERATURE
THE LanGUAGE OF MEDICAL CARE
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