Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 15 September 2014
To mark its 50th anniversary last year, the National Theatre in London relayed its most recent production of Hamlet (2010) to cinemas around the country. The production, much praised, was bad in almost every conceivable way: its scenery, costumes, overall conception, and much of the acting. My wife, ...Read More...
Posted on 09/15/2014 7:13 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
A friend of mine, who knew Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and who died recently, sent me her reminiscences of her in their early days together in Johannesburg. This has prompted me to record my own reminiscences of her.
I think I may fairly claim ...Read More...
Posted on 09/09/2014 7:19 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 5 September 2014
It is said that after the age of about forty the great Norwegian playwright, Henrik Ibsen, read nothing except the Bible and newspapers. These days, alas, newspapers play an ever smaller role in the cultural role of any country. I don’t know a single young person who reads, let alone takes, a newspaper ...Read More...
Posted on 09/05/2014 7:17 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
There are a couple of questions that I have often been asked but to which I still have found no satisfactory answer. The first relates to history: What use is it?
I do not mean to imply that if it had no use, it wouldn’t be worthy of study. There is of course the possibility that something could ...Read More...
Posted on 09/02/2014 3:53 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 23 August 2014
The French newspapers of late have reported clashes in Calais between different nationalities of ‘refugees’ camping there, preparatory to illegal entry into Britain. The French offer them advice as to how to claim asylum in France, but they are not interested in doing so. They want to get to England, ...Read More...
Posted on 08/23/2014 12:42 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 16 August 2014
To adapt slightly the opening sentence of Kafka’s The Trial, someone must have been talking about me. I know this from all the advertisements and offers I receive unsolicited through the internet.
Today came yet another offer of supposedly cheap burial insurance and then an e-mail suggesting ...Read More...
Posted on 08/16/2014 7:49 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
IF fame were the reward of merit alone, Pierre Ryckmans, who wrote under the name of Simon Leys and has just died in Canberra aged 78, would have been one of the most famous men in the world. Not that he would have greatly enjoyed such fame: his probity and attachment to higher values was far too great ...Read More...
Posted on 08/13/2014 9:27 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 10 August 2014
All medical journals these days feel the compulsion to be high-minded, but none is as high-minded as the Lancet. It is as if the editors had taken lessons both in moral philosophy and rhetoric from Mr. Pecksniff himself.
Mr. Pecksniff, you may remember, was the preposterous hypocrite in Dickens’ Martin ...Read More...
Posted on 08/10/2014 1:36 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 8 August 2014
Success in indirection lies, wrote Emily Dickinson, but I think our age responds more to the explicit than to the implicit, at least in literature. Recently, for example, I read of the discovery and sale of the manuscript of Siegfried Sassoon's anti-war poem Atrocities, published in 1919, in which Sassoon ...Read More...
Posted on 08/08/2014 7:09 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 7 August 2014
One of my first medical publications was on the nocebo effect, the unpleasant symptoms patients may suffer as a result of being made aware of potential side effects of a treatment they are about to receive or a procedure they are to undergo. Thus patients who were having a lumbar puncture were either ...Read More...
Posted on 08/07/2014 7:17 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 4 August 2014
I happened to be in Corsica for two weeks during the bitter strike by the workers of the SNCM, la Societé national Corse Méditeranée, the parastatal ferry company with a monopoly on traffic between Marseille and certain ports on the island. Since the island lives by the tourism industry and imports ...Read More...
Posted on 08/04/2014 5:16 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Although football is hardly the American national sport, the New York Times ran more than one article about the German victory in the World Cup, with links to sites that explained the part that advanced technology had played in it. For example, physiological monitoring of the players in training allowed ...Read More...
Posted on 07/22/2014 7:55 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Researching an article about Mr Huhne recently, I was struck by how many public figures now use diminutives of their names. There have always been a few who have done so, of course, but now it is a mass phenomenon, like drunkenness in public. Chris himself does so.
Still, one cannot imagine ...Read More...
Posted on 07/20/2014 7:51 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 19 July 2014
It isn't been easy to avoid the World Cup, impossible if one takes the newspapers. Nor has the competition been entirely without interest: for example, how and why does a man like Luis Suarez become a serial biter of his opponents? Why does he not learn to keep his teeth to himself? I suppose the fact ...Read More...
Posted on 07/19/2014 6:06 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
One of the advantages of living in two countries - in my case Britain and France - is the realisation that modern madness is international. This, of course, is a great consolation for any patriot who sees his own country sliding ever further down the slope of institutionalised idiocy.
In France, ...Read More...
Posted on 07/15/2014 10:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 12 July 2014
The distinction between what the law permits and what the law enjoins is often blurred. An absence of proscription is sometimes mistaken for prescription. The more the law interferes in our lives, the more it becomes the arbiter of our morality. When someone behaves badly, therefore, he is nowadays ...Read More...
Posted on 07/12/2014 8:28 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 11 July 2014
Murder is a subject of perpetual interest, as the history of bestselling fiction amply demonstrates. Having met more than my fair share of murderers in the course of my professional life, I find it fascinating. There are genres of murder as there are of painting. Because I am a doctor, the murders committed ...Read More...
Posted on 07/11/2014 10:51 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Whenever I am in Heidelberg, which is not often, the Prinzhorn Collection is my first port of call. The Prinzhorn Collection is the world’s first, largest, and best collection of art by psychotic patients, founded by the psychiatrist Dr. Hans Prinzhorn. To Prinzhorn belongs the honor, to my mind a considerable ...Read More...
Posted on 06/28/2014 5:46 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recently drew attention to the financial difficulties faced by the psychiatric services in Britain. Just like cows, no bureaucracy, such as that which oversees and directs our psychiatric services, favours the changeover from fat ...Read More...
Posted on 06/25/2014 4:53 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 21 June 2014
Here is an aide-memoire .It contains a number of Qur'anic verses, from the later period, the verses of Jihad and hatred toward Infidels with which the Qur'an is full, and which are glossed by the Sunnah, that is the actual practices and observances of the earliest and most trustworthy Muslims, derived ...Read More...
Posted on 06/21/2014 7:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Wednesday, 18 June 2014
Irritating though conversations on mobile phones may often be to those not involved in them, I nevertheless feel a compulsion sometimes to eavesdrop on them. They can be banal and boring, or they can be entertaining and illuminating. Oddly enough, people speak in public on their mobile phones as if ...Read More...
Posted on 06/18/2014 7:50 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 12 June 2014
The only man whom I ever knew personally who was executed was the Nigerian writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa. The charge was trumped up, of course. “In this country,” he is said to have said as the hangman put the noose around his neck for a fifth attempt, “they cannot even hang a man properly.”
The death penalty ...Read More...
Posted on 06/12/2014 11:15 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
I remember the written response of the senior doctor in the prison in which I worked to an editorial in the British Medical Journal lamenting the difference between health care in prison and health care in the “community.” Yes, he replied, where else in the country but in prison could everyone get to ...Read More...
Posted on 06/10/2014 12:25 PM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 9 June 2014
Returning home from abroad recently, the airline temporarily lost my luggage and promised to deliver it to my house a little later. It did indeed try to do so, but it was at eight in the evening and I was out in a restaurant having dinner with my neighbours. The delivery man left my case at my next ...Read More...
Posted on 06/09/2014 5:35 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 8 June 2014
The expansion of the state and the services it provides, well or badly as the case may be, inevitably changes the relations between citizen and state. Among other effects, it corrodes the idea of privacy and even the very possibility of privacy: for the more the state does for citizens, the wider its ...Read More...
Posted on 06/08/2014 5:51 AM by Theodore Dalrymple