By Susan Sontag
In 1978 Susan Sontag wrote Illness as Metaphor, a vintage paintings defined by way of Newsweek as "one of the main releasing books of its time." A melanoma sufferer herself whilst she used to be writing the publication, Sontag indicates how the metaphors and myths surrounding definite health problems, particularly melanoma, upload significantly to the discomfort of sufferers and sometimes inhibit them from looking right remedy. through demystifying the fantasies surrounding melanoma, Sontag indicates melanoma for what it is—just a sickness. melanoma, she argues, isn't really a curse, now not a punishment, on no account a humiliation and, it's hugely curable, if solid therapy is undefined.
Almost a decade later, with the outbreak of a brand new, stigmatized illness 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 big impact at the considering doctors and, particularly, at the lives of many millions of sufferers and caregivers.
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Additional info for Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors
I awoke to a voice in my head, a kind of inner narration, which explained, “The appendage that hangs at the back of your throat, the uvula, the punch ing bag/ is a reminder of the uselessness of trying to wrestle the sacred down to earth. It doesnt touch the ground and never will. It’s like the finger of God up there on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, almost touching the finger of Adam, but not quite. ” That unreconciled part, I came to understand, is the control freak who goes after meaning with a pitchfork; who uses reason the way children use fuzzy blankets; who uses discernment as a way of gaining mastery over events in the particular and over life in general.
One day she just seized up, literally and figuratively. She landed in Massa chusetts General Hospital in Boston with generalized peritonitis, an inflam mation of the lining that cradles the guts. She couldn’t digest. She couldn’t absorb. Nothing moved, either in or out. During the seven days she was in the hospital, her stomach ballooned to the equivalent of a six-month pregnancy. It was more than the peritonitis, she sensed. Something was brewing. When she got up the nerve to ask the doctor if she was going to die, he shrugged and walked out of the room.
I hate good-byes because I always prefer to assume that I will see people again. It obviates the need for all that awkwardness; it avoids the issue, which is that we may never see each other again. Saying good-bye is understanding that existential fact. Our paths may never cross again. The first time Robin did this, I simply couldn’t take it in. “You’re only going shopping,” I reminded her, as if the sheer mundaneness of it was a guar- T H E E AR OF T HE A N I M A L 31 antee of safety. Her remark was too full of truth and foreboding for me to let it in.