How does literature help us understand the nature of human illness and suffering? Can written works of art, ancient and contemporary, that depict moments of compassion and compassionate acts lay bare the moral, spiritual, psychological, and physical reality of suffering? There is a long association between literature and medicine, exemplified by physician-writers, such as Anton Chekhov, William Carlos Williams, and Richard Seltzer, as well as poets, novelists, and dramatists the world over. This six week series of seminars will explore the experiences of illness and healing; and reflect on the nature of empathy, the meaning of suffering, and the human need for compassion by reading and discussion of poetry, fiction, drama, memoirs, and essays.
In a unique collaboration, the New York Council for the Humanities has joined forces with the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association to offer a weekly reading and discussion series that runs from September 10, 2015 to October 15, 2015.
Facilitated by Jack Coulehan, MD and WWBA Trustee
Six Thursdays, 2-4 pm , September 10, 17, 24, October 1, 8, & 15
This series is free and open to the public. To register, please call 631-427-5240 x112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.