By Kathlyn Conway
"Author Kathlyn Conway, a three-time melanoma survivor, believes that the triumphalist method of writing approximately affliction fails to do justice to the shattering adventure of disorder. through wrestling with the problem of writing in regards to the fact of great sickness and harm, she argues, writers can provide a more true photograph of the advanced courting among physique and mind"--Provided by means of publisher.
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Additional resources for Beyond words : illness and the limits of expression
In the stories written by Horatio Alger the protagonist, by dint of hard work and moral rectitude, rises from poverty to achieve wealth and a place in society. In the triumph narrative the sufferer who works hard at recovery—rehabilitation, proper diet, rest—will be rewarded with survival or at least peace of mind. Here it is not suffering but work and determination that are rewarded by restored health. This distinctly American myth expresses a belief in progress toward a better future and in the ef‹cacy of an optimistic attitude, what Harold Brodkey calls the “American fondness for the ad pitch .
The registrar said, “We orthopods are really carpenters, in a way. We are called in to do a job. 56 Sacks had hoped the understanding of his doctor would serve as bulwark against his increasing fears, but “by saying nothing . . ”57 Sacks describes the abyss of despair he sank into, feeling he was losing himself. He believes that his doctor could have helped him, that human communication can function to make psychic survival possible even in the face of overwhelming terror at the loss of self.
9 For this reason he shapes his story as a resurrection. The climax occurs at the moment he seemed to stop breathing and then the plot unfolds from the point minutes later when his breathing resumes. The triumph-over-illness narrative also contains echoes of the Horatio Alger myth. In the stories written by Horatio Alger the protagonist, by dint of hard work and moral rectitude, rises from poverty to achieve wealth and a place in society. In the triumph narrative the sufferer who works hard at recovery—rehabilitation, proper diet, rest—will be rewarded with survival or at least peace of mind.