Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyIs There a Doctor in the House? The Maladies of Five Famous Authors

  • Wed, 05 Aug 2015 08:00:00    Permalink

    The perceived connection between suffering and the creation of great literary art is something of a well-worn path. Literary scholars and theorists point to examples throughout the canon of American arts and letters to uphold the notion that great stories are born more often than not of mental, emotional, or existential struggle. Such great authors as Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, and more recently, David Foster Wallace are remembered as much for their internal battles as their narrative insights into the human condition. On balance, the jury is still out on the necessity of emotional struggle in the creation of relevant, lasting works of literature, but much less is made of the connection between physical suffering or disability and some of the world’s most influential and prolific authors. It’s a thread these five authors share: a physical malady that took its toll on each writer while inevitably influencing their work and their legacy.

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