A Doctor's Dictionary: Writings on Culture & Medicine by Iain Bamforth

By Iain Bamforth

During this wide-reaching abecedarium, healthcare professional and poet Iain Bamforth dissects the clash of values embodied in what we name medicine—never completely a technology and now not particularly the paintings it was. Bamforth brings to undergo his adventure of medication from all over the world, from the hightech American health facility of Paris to neighborhood future health centres of Papua, together with his enticing curiosity within the stranger manifestations of clinical concerns relating to paintings, literature and tradition. Drawing at the lives and concepts of a few of Europe’s most
celebrated writers, from Auden to Zola with stop-offs on the likes of Darwin, Kafka, Orwell, Proustand Weil alongside the way in which, Bamforth bargains insightful and witty diagnoses of the tradition of drugs within the sleek age.

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For years the pharmaceutical industry has been putting vast resources into gathering and disseminating information to influence treatment lobbies and the manner in which doctors prescribe. Nearly all university research has some involvement 62 with the industry, which may also be funding some patient support groups (Eli Lilly funds the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in the USA, for instance). Experts often rotate between sectors, so that a government adviser may previously have worked for the private sector, or directly for the industry itself.

From then on Jouvet was Knock. The play was a great success. Jouvet played the role throughout his acting life, and after the war played Knock at the Athénée no fewer than eight hundred times. Two film versions were made: one in 1933, directed by Roger Goupillières with the screenplay written by Romains himself, and a better known version, directed by Guy Lefranc, in 1951. Such was Jouvet’s status that he was allowed to supervise casting. In the event, his brilliant performance proved to be the ultimate record on film of a remarkable acting career: he died on stage at the Athénée (which is now named after him) rehearsing Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, just months after the film’s release.

The cost of contemporary liberation from socially ascribed rituals, practices and even family links is a kind of free-floating anxiety. For the one condition that describes our life is its optionality.

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