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Notable Notes
July 2013

T. C. Boyle, the Ozone Hole, Skin Cancer, and Blindness

Author Affiliations
  • 1DERMA am DIAKO, Bremen, Germany
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(7):787. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.525

So the sky is falling. Or, to be more precise, the sky is emitting poisonous rays, rays that have sprinkled the stigmata of skin cancer across both of Manuel Banquedano’s cheeks and the tip of his nose and sprouted the cataracts in Slobodan Abarca’s rheumy old eyes.

T. C. Boyle, “Blinded by the Light” 1(p190)

With this description of the effect that sunlight had on the skin of Banquedano and the eyes of Abarca, both cowboys on the ranch of Don Bob in Patagonia, South America, T. C. Boyle starts his story “Blinded by the Light.” Apparently fallen from heaven, a Mr John Longworth appears, allegedly a scientist who came to Patagonia to “study these exemplary skies at the end of the world.” The protagonist is described as “… untethered, [with a] North American face, red hair and a red moustache.”1(p192)