Narrative Medicine Book Club: April 22, 2020

In today’s pages Rambert finally decides to stay in the town; “if he went away he would feel ashamed.” Rieux says there is no shame in happiness — Rambert answers, “But there may be shame in being happy all by oneself,” as “this business concerns all of us.” This exchange made me think of those currently protesting orders to stay at home – the false idea that one lives in an unconnected universe where achieving what one wants is possible without the help of others, or without putting others at risk. And another wise statement by Rieux, on the ability to understand and process what one is living through in the moment of living it: “One can’t heal and know at the same time. So let’s heal as fast as we can.” 

FOR TOMORROW: Next 7 pages, up to “It was everything or nothing,” in section 4 of Part IV.

One thought on “Narrative Medicine Book Club: April 22, 2020

  1. Anne C.

    As April 22 is Earth Day much of what is being discussed references this idea of our being in this world as a connected humanity – climate change and the health of the world is a responsibility that belongs to everyone. I was quite aware of this as I read Rambert’s decision to stay, to be in it with everyone. The struggle to decide between happiness with his lover or staying with the suffering; noone would blame him for leaving as “there is nothing shameful in preferring happiness.” Yet he stays. I was surprised.


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