Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them

Book - 2011
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Combining original research with a sympathetic and evocative sensibility, award-winning author Mary Cappello restores the narratives, lives and desires of the physician-artist Dr. Chevalier Jackson and his patients that haunt the uncanny collection of items which have been swallowed (both accidentally and deliberately) at the world famous Mutter Museum. Swallow journeys deep into the nature of human experience, both as a literary and psychological exploration which uncovers rather than gawks at sword swallowers and women who lunch on hardware.
Publisher: New York : The New Press : Distributed by Perseus Distribution, c2011
ISBN: 9781595583956
Characteristics: [xi], 292 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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Nov 27, 2011

I was fascinated by the subject matter when I read a review of the book. The story of the ingestion of foreign objects and the "curious" doctor who extracted many of them (and kept a record which is available for all to see in a museum in Pennsylvania) fascinted me.

Unfortunately, the writing style of the author left a lot to be desired. She did not focus on the objects and the people who swallowed them but seemed to add them incidentally. Dr. Chevalier Jackson is mentioned throughout the book but different bits and pieces are added at different places, often seeming random. As a retired teacher of writing, I know it is important to write for the audience, something the writer has not done clearly.


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