Dalrymple in the British Medical Journal

Whenever I enter a medical library and look at the ranks (that I dare not call serried) of buckram-bound journals, I think I have entered a graveyard of ambition, with all those heavy, unregarded tomes being the tombstones of the hopes and efforts that produced them.
Still, once they are old enough, they might become of antiquarian interest. It is only the recent past that we do not invest with romance because it is too close to present mundanities.
…and a review of Scarred Hearts, by Max Blecher (1909-38):
The sanatorium is what Erving Goffman would have called “a total institution”: a little world of its own, all absorbing, cut off from everything else and seemingly self sufficient.
Death is ever present in the book, accepted as a fact, but there is also a love of life. There is no hyperbole in it. Completed only one year before the author’s own death, I finished the book feeling ashamed of my own long career of carping complaint. The effect, of course, will not be lasting.
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