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A Doctor's Dictionary

Writings on Culture and Medicine

Iain Bamforth

A Doctor's Dictionary
RRP: GBP£ 16.99
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 784100 56 8
Categories: 21st Century, Art, British
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: August 2015
216 x 135 x 17 mm
328 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: eBook (EPUB), eBook (Kindle), eBook (PDF)
Digital access available through Exact Editions
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  • In this pithy abecedarium, doctor and poet Iain Bamforth takes a close look at the conflict of values embodied in what we call medicine – never entirely a science and no longer quite the art it used to be. Bamforth brings his wide experience of medicine around the world, from the high-tech American Hospital of Paris to the community health centres of Papua, together with his engaging interest in the stranger manifestations of medical matters in relation to art, literature and culture – such as the mysterious ‘Stendhal’s syndrome’, which caused 106 tourists in Florence to be hospitalised due to an overload of sublime Renaissance art.

     'Many of the most interesting moments in A Doctor's Dictionary are thrown up almost in passing, such as the specifically English nature of "fairness" as a concept, the concordance of Pasteur's germ theory with his hatred of mass society, and Hitler's possibly life-changing experience of being treated for "hysterical blindness" in the First World War [...] a cabinet of curiosities with a more serious underlying theme of humanity in medicine'. - 'Humane Acts',  Times Literary Supplement 11.12.2015.

    Iain Bamforth grew up in Glasgow and graduated from its medical school. He has pursued a peripatetic career as a hospital doctor, general practitioner, translator, lecturer in comparative literature, and latterly public health consultant in several developing countries, principally in Asia. His four books of poetry were joined by a fifth, ... read more
    Praise for Iain Bamforth 'I like his rigour and his epigrammatic flair... he is original despite himself.'
    Robert Nye, The Scotsman
    'This collection is a joy to read, full of so much nuance, and persuasive language, a permanent wistfulness that never strays into the twee and the constant sense of travel, of movement and growth.'
    Matt Macdonald, Scottish Review of Books
    '[Bamforth'€™s] work is rich in perceptual acquaintance,making it not only intelligent but also extremely sensual. To read him makes the patterns of our minds richer'
    David Morley, Guardian
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