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Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery

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In this collection of nineteen unforgettable essays, Dr. Richard Selzer describes unsparingly the surgeon's art, opening up the body to view, one part at a time. Both moving and perversely funny, Mortal Lessons is an established classic that considers not only the workings and misworkings of the human body, but also the meaning of life and death. And although Dr. Selzer's dark humor makes the burgeoning tumors and ulcerations of his essays more bearable, he is frank about the mysterious and dreaded inevitable - ...
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Overview

In this collection of nineteen unforgettable essays, Dr. Richard Selzer describes unsparingly the surgeon's art, opening up the body to view, one part at a time. Both moving and perversely funny, Mortal Lessons is an established classic that considers not only the workings and misworkings of the human body, but also the meaning of life and death. And although Dr. Selzer's dark humor makes the burgeoning tumors and ulcerations of his essays more bearable, he is frank about the mysterious and dreaded inevitable - the sometime surprise, as he calls it, at the center of surgery: death. Behind his traditional "surgeon's arrogance" the reader will find endearing self-mockery, a very real empathy for his patients, and the ready suggestion that even the surgeon is still very small when he stands before nature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671223564
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1977
  • Pages: 219

Table of Contents

Preface 7
The Exact Location of the Soul 15
she Surgeon as Priest 24
Lessons from the Art 37
Bone 51
Liver 62
Stone 78
The Knife 92
Skin 105
The Belly 116
The Corpse 129
Bald! 143
Smoking 149
Abortion 153
The Twelve Spheres 161
Down from Troy 177
Car Sickness 192
Longfellow, Virgil, and Me 198
Jacob Street 206
Birdwatching 211
Picture Credits 219
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