Friday, June 24, 2016


Modern Medicine

Maynard Mack (1909-2001), Alexander Pope: A Life (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1986), p. 333:
The sense of relative security that modern medicine has induced is best appreciated by reading a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century correspondence, where the minor or chronic discomfort of one letter may be succeeded in the next, as if magically, by what we now know must have been some version of coronary or pulmonary failure, an internal hemorrhage, a burst appendix, septicemia, acute uremia, or any of the thousand and one viral and bacterial killers for which today we always have names, frequently have lenitives, and sometimes have cures.

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