I’m fighting a losing battle with my solitaire addiction which, apparently, has successfully cured my Tetris addiction…for the time being anyway. My blog and poor Julia have suffered. I’m working on it…
When I was in high school, my mom and I would talk about cancer (I mean, really, what else do teens and parents talk about?). My mom blamed the rise in people’s chemical-use for the rise in cancer. I thought that cancer had been around forever and we just has a name for it now. That and people were living longer and had better diagnostics.
To me, the amount of people in the literary-1800s who just wasted away seemed a bit high to not be something that we’d recognize in a patient today. After all, those authors were patterning their characters’ illnesses off of something real that they saw around them. While some authors could have made up symptoms to match their plot line, I doubted that all did, especially the ones that we deemed good enough to still be reading today.
That’s why I love articles like this one from the BBC: Were the ‘Mad’ Heroines of Literature Really Sane?
I have immense respect for an author who can write a character realistic enough to be diagnosed over a hundred years later. And I wonder what authors are writing about today that people one hundred years from now will say “oh, well, it’s obvious that Julia had XY disease.”
Or they’ll say that The Empty Pen wasn’t really addicted to solitaire, she was just procrastinating. Nah, that would never happen.