July 22, 1983

Healing Arts in Dialogue: Medicine and Literature

Author Affiliations

University of California School of Medicine Los Angeles


edited by Joanne Trautmann (Medical Humanities Series, Glen W. Davidson, ed), 178 pp, $16.95, Carbondale, III, Southern Illinois University Press, 1982.

JAMA. 1983;250(4):534-535. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040074043

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This book seeks to convey the spirit and substance of a series of discussions on the general subject of literature and medicine. The discussants, for the most part, are persons who have a foot in each camp. The exchanges, therefore, are not primarily the reflections of physicians seeking to explicate their science and their purposes to writers, or of writers seeking to satisfy the curiosity of scientists about persons who live comfortably with unfinished manuscripts and symphonies. The dialogues consist largely of philosophical excursions by ten persons (one dropped out early in the series) with credentials in medicine or literature or both who are trying to understand their own commitments and preoccupations. As such, this book is not so much a consistent development of a theme that implies some degree of contrasting values as it is a grand array of ideas and intellectual thrusts that lose none of their appeal