If you’ve ever waded through a large academic tome wrangling with a sequence of footnotes at the bottom of nearly every page, you’ll appreciate this piece by Bruce McCall in The New Yorker.
A Harvard medical student describes how he is learning to both treat and heal.
And here’s what he has to say:
Physicians are beginning to understand that the role of language and human expression in medicine extends beyond that horizon of uncertainty where doctor and patient must speak to each other about a course of treatment. The restricted language of blood oxygen levels, drug protocols, and surgical interventions may conspire against understanding between doctor and patient—and against healing. As doctors learn to communicate beyond these restrictions, they are reaching for new tools—like poetry.
Noting that some of the books shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year are longer than they need be, The Guardian asserts “As titles grow longer, the patience of readers can shorten.”
One culprit can be the misguided sense that volume equals value for money. Another is the odd association between physical heft and artistic or intellectual merit – “weighty” is a compliment, “slight” is an insult. One film critic says that studios fear shorter movies will not be deemed worthy of Oscars. The very term the Great American Novel suggests a certain size, though that was not the original intent.
I’m not afraid of big books simply because of their size. But I do object to books that are longer than they should be. The only book I remember in that category is Moo by Jane Smiley, which I thought could have been reduced by about one-third.
How about you? What books have you read that are longer than you thought they needed to be?
I was attracted to this article because, obviously, these chairs and this advice were not created for long bouts of reading.
Fall provides a perfect backdrop for the merging of introverts and extroverts. Colorful scenery is luring people outdoors while the cooler temperatures are inspiring cozy days curled up on the couch under a heap of blankets. Find ideas for spending time with family and friends—both inside and outside your home—and plenty of suggestions for tucking away with a good book.
© 2018 by Mary Daniels Brown