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The Power of the BetweenAn Anthropological Odyssey$
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Paul Stoller

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226775340

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226775364.001.0001

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Entering the Village of the Sick

Entering the Village of the Sick

Chapter:
(p.127) 17 Entering the Village of the Sick
Source:
The Power of the Between
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226775364.003.0018

This chapter presents the author's thoughts about the village of the sick. He says that the path to a diagnosis of cancer, which is a path that leads you to the village of the sick, presents severe challenges to immunological thinking. For one thing, the path toward diagnosis erases certainty from life. Just the possibility of developing a serious illness like cancer throws you into a fast-moving stream the current of which takes you to an unknown destination. Illness is no longer a nuisance that is brought to a quick end through pharmacological or medical intervention. Illness, rather, consumes your physical and emotional life with pain, uncertainty, and chaos. Situated in the between, the clarity of the immunological world that constitutes the village of the healthy fades away.

Keywords:   cancer, sickness, illness

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