On Sickness, the Sick, and the Search for the Soul of Medicine

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Book Description

“An eminent Polish physician reflects on his lifetime practice of medicine . . . A profound celebration of the human spirit.” —Kirkus Reviews

There is a grand tradition of physicians who are also great writers and philosophers. When his first book, Catharsis, was published in English, critics from Seamus Heaney to Czeslaw Milosz stood to applaud. Now Andrzej Szczeklik has followed with an ever deeper and more accomplished book.

It has become unfortunately rare for a scientist or doctor to find his grounding in a broad understanding of literature and the humanities. But in Kore, the author insists that only with a curiosity thoroughly at home in both worlds can one expect to discover what we should mean about sickness and about the soul. No tedious academic, Szczeklik writes with the grace of a poet and the ease of a fine storyteller. Anecdotes drawn from a personal immersion in art, music, and literature are woven with reports on experimental medicine and daily clinical experience. From DNA and the re–creation of the Spanish Flu virus, to contemporary research in genetics, cancer, neurology, and the AIDS virus, from Symptoms and Shadows, to Dying and Death, to Enchantment of Love, every chapter of this book is alive and engaging. The result is a life–affirming work of science, philosophy, art, and spirituality.

“No medical experience necessary: readers need only approach with a love of the human body and an understanding of how it relates to emotion and story . . . Readers may find it difficult to keep up, but few are likely to forget this book.” —Publishers Weekly

Praise For This Book

Praise for Kore

"An eminent Polish physician reflects on his lifetime practice of medicine. Szczeklik weighs in on the ongoing debate about the compatibility of religion and science, supporting the view of leading geneticist Francis Collins and rejecting the stance of Richard Dawkins, who embraces atheism. [This medication is] a profound celebration of the human spirit."—Kirkus