Narrative Medicine Book Club, April 9, 2020

In today’s pages we see more of the townspeople adjusting to the new reality of life under the plague. Rambert, telling his “case” to everyone he can find as a way to pass the time, ranking their reactions into categories; the man who spits on the cats finding even his pastime is cut off; police patrolling to make sure people stay indoors. I was particularly moved by the paragraph that begins: “In the terrified minds of our fellow-citizens…everything became more important. For the first time, all of us became aware of the colors of the sky and the smells of the earth which mark the passage of the seasons.” Many of us now are experiencing something similar, as we long for the simplest things that we took for granted – the cup of coffee from the corner food cart, the hug from a friend. On another note, is anyone else surprised that all the cafés seem to still be open? That seems one thing that Camus didn’t correctly predict…

FOR TOMORROW: Next 7 pages, up to the line, in dialogue, “‘I’d rather it was done by free men.'” (This is page 95 in my edition!)

5 thoughts on “Narrative Medicine Book Club, April 9, 2020

  1. ngh2101

    Hi Patricia, we will be meeting again this coming Sunday, same time as last week! More info coming soon … we have been working on the security of our zoom accounts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ngh2101

      Oops I’m sorry I spoke too soon! We forgot it is Easter — we will be meeting at 4pm on Sunday instead of 2. More details coming soon!


  2. Patricia D

    Not only the cafes (not to mention no masks, gowns or gloves for the doctor)… this is where the story differs from today and the fact that it was an allegory.
    It has become more obvious to me who the narrator is – Is that the case for other readers?


  3. “On missing the simple things”: (Jennifer Takhar)
    The casual conversations in the bakery, critical commentary with neighbours on the limitations of Parisian life, the lack of breathing space (how ironic to read that now). I don’t really know what my neighbours are doing, how they’re coping. The middle-aged couple on the second floor have stopped talking to anyone, fearful no doubt that conversation expectorate will kill them. So I smile and wave at them from the downstairs courtyard when they pop their heads out their window to test the air. We’re just like animals, all of us, sniffing at the wind to see what it carries…


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