In today’s pages we witness the death of Tarrou. It’s a very moving scene, not least for the ways that it shows the deep friendship and tenderness between Tarrou and Rieux. The narrator describes the silence that surrounds the doctor in the wake of the death, a silence that he has noticed throughout the plague but that this time feels like “the definitive defeat, the one that ends wars and makes of peace itself an irremediable suffering.” Again this somber acknowledgement that the suffering goes on even as the plague ends – and for the doctor, who no longer has his immediate task to occupy him, that suffering only deepens. A lesson here, for how we need to support those in our own communities who will be feeling the effects of this time perhaps even more acutely once it has passed.
FOR TOMORROW: read to the end of the book! And don’t forget to register for our final meeting with translator Laura Marris (and submit questions if you have them!) on the book club main page: narrativemedicine.blog/narrative-medicine-book-club