Susan Sontag's Illness As Metaphor PDF

By Susan Sontag

ISBN-10: 0374174431

ISBN-13: 9780374174439

In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a vintage paintings defined by means of Newsweek as "one of the main freeing books of its time." A melanoma sufferer herself while she was once writing the e-book, Sontag exhibits how the metaphors and myths surrounding yes health problems, specifically melanoma, upload drastically to the affliction of sufferers and sometimes inhibit them from looking right therapy. via demystifying the fantasies surrounding melanoma, Sontag exhibits melanoma for what it is--just a sickness. melanoma, she argues, isn't really a curse, no longer a punishment, not at all a humiliation and, it's hugely curable, if sturdy therapy is undefined.

Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a brand new, stigmatized affliction replete with mystifications and punitive metaphors, Sontag wrote a sequel to Illness as Metaphor, extending the argument of the sooner booklet to the AIDS pandemic.

These essays now released jointly, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, were translated into many languages and proceed to have a massive impact at the taking into account doctors and, specially, at the lives of many millions of sufferers and caregivers.

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Investigations are cited—most articles refer to the same ones—in which out of, say, several hundred cancer patients, two-thirds or three-fifths report being depressed or unsatisfied with their lives, and having suffered from the loss (through death or rejection or separation) of a parent, lover, spouse, or close friend. But it seems likely that of several hundred people who do not have cancer, most would also report depressing emotions and past traumas: this is called the human condition. And these case histories 50 are recounted in a particularly forthcoming language of despair, of discontent about and obsessive preoccupation with the isolated self and its never altogether satisfactory "relationships/' which bears the unmistakable stamp of our consumer culture.

The disease that individualizes, that sets a person in relief against the environment, is tuberculosis. What once made TB seem so "interesting'—or, as it was usually put, romantic—also made it a curse and a source of special dread. In contrast to the great epidemic diseases of the past (bubonic plague, typhus, cholera), which strike each person as a member of an afflicted community, TB was understood as a disease 37 that isolates one from the community. However steep its incidence in a population, TB—like cancer today —always seemed to be a mysterious disease of individuals, a deadly arrow that could strike anyone, that singled out its victims one by one.

The physician who treated Alexandre Dumas for cancer, G. von Schmitt, published a book on cancer in 1871 in which he listed "deep and sedentary study and pursuits, the feverish and anxious agitation of public life, the cares of ambition, frequent paroxysms of rage, violent grief" as "the principal causes" of the disease. Quoted in Samuel J. , "Emotions as a Cause of Cancer: 18th ard 19th Century Contributions," Review of Psychoanalysis, 42, 3 (July 1955). 52 equanimity; above all things, not to 'give way' to any grief/' Such stoic counsels have now been replaced by prescriptions for self-expression, from talking it out to the primal scream.

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Illness As Metaphor by Susan Sontag


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