By Kevin Kerrane,Marie Borroff
Selzer’s strange kind fuses medical and poetic language. Drawing on favourite readings, from the King James Bible to the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, he used this kind to show a feeling of awe on the attractiveness and complexity of the human physique, even in the middle of discomfort. whereas describing himself as an atheist, Selzer consistently hunted for “sacramental” moments of courtesy, braveness, and beauty in clinical encounters. simply because he usually seemed severely on the failure of medical professionals to treat the complete humanity in their sufferers, Selzer’s paintings has develop into required examining in lots of clinical education programs.
A Richard Selzer Reader includes several of the author’s most famed essays and tales, in addition to dozen choices that experience no longer been amassed in his earlier books. Chronologically, the cloth levels from apprenticeship tales (as a long way again as a high-school composition) to 2 atypical self-portraits that remained unpublished on the time of Selzer’s death. Topically, the fabric levels from meditations at the physique, and on human mortality, to reflections on either drugs and writing as severe vocations. alongside the way in which, Selzer celebrates the paintings of different doctor-writers, like Thomas Browne and Anton Chekhov, and in a chain of formerly unpublished diary entries he discusses the thrill of nature, artwork, and kin as bulwarks opposed to the problems of getting older.
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