A Fortunate Man: The Story of a Country Doctor by John Berger

By John Berger

During this quietly progressive paintings of social remark and clinical philosophy, Booker Prize-winning author John Berger and the photographer Jean Mohr educate their gaze on an English state general practitioner and discover a common man--one who has taken it upon himself to acknowledge his patient's humanity whilst disease and the terror of demise have made them unrecognizable to themselves. within the impoverished rural neighborhood during which he works, John Sassall have a tendency the maimed, the loss of life, and the lonely. he's not simply the dispenser of therapies however the repository of stories. And as Berger and Mohr stick to Sassall approximately his rounds, they produce a ebook whose cautious aspect broadens right into a meditation at the worth we assign a human lifestyles. First released thirty years in the past, A lucky guy continues to be relocating and deeply relevant--no different ebook has provided this kind of shut and passionate research of the jobs medical professionals play of their society."In modern letters John Berger turns out to me peerless; now not considering that Lawrence has there been a author who bargains such attentiveness to the sensual global with responsiveness to the imperatives of conscience."--Susan Sontag

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They scarcely stirred when the old man came in. He seemed dazed and sleepy. The doctor asked him how he was. ' Neither father nor daughter nor the son outside asked the doctor about the old woman. The doctor said he would be coming back that evening. This disturbed him somewhat. He called out and receiving no answer felt his way up the stairs. The stairs led straight into the first bedroom. Across it he could see the light under the door of the second room. The room smelt now of sickness: under the dressingtable on which stood all the family wedding photographs in leather frames and a nineteenth-century child's mug with the Death and Burial of Cock Robin engraved upon it, there was an enamel bowl with urine in it, and spit stained a little with blood.

From the other side of the valley it is almost too small to be visible. G. 44 »HI i * I «» iS^ff The consulting rooms do not seem clinical. They seem lived-in and cosy. But they are neater than most living-rooms and, despite their smallness, there is more clear space. This is the working area where the patient is examined or treated or manipulated. The rooms remind one of a ship's officer's cabin. There is the same cosiness, the same ingenuity in fitting many things into a small space, the same odd juxtaposition of domestic furniture and personal effects with instruments and appliances.

Or consider Conrad's description of one of the worst moments in Typhoon. With the exception of the one word ga/e, it might describe the crisis of an illness, with the voice of Captain MacWhirr transformed into that of a doctor. 53 And again he heard that voice, forced and ringing feebly, but with a penetrating effect of quietness in the enormous discord of noises, as if sent out from some remote spot of peace beyond the black wastes of the gale; again he heard a man's voice - the frail and indomitable sound that can be made to carry an infinity of thought, resolution, and purpose, that shall be pronouncing confident words on the last day when heavens fall, and justice is done again he heard it, and it was crying to him, as if from very, very far - 'All right'.

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