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came under my care

Fig. 304.
Front view of a Patient Affected with Sarcoma of the Clavicle
ex “On Diseases of the Clavicle,” in Joseph D. Bryant and Albert H. Buck, eds, American Practice of Surgery vol 6 (of 8) (1909)
left ex University of Michigan copy, digitized September 7, 2012
right ex Columbia University copy, scandate 20100622
both cropped from border, squared
both links open to Figures 304 and (side view) 305

the case, and a different portrait of the same young woman, first encountered in N. B. Carson his “Excision of the Clavicle.” Transactions of the Meeting of the American Surgical Association 22 (1904) : 248-252
Harvard copy, digitized June 21, 2007, google
University of Virginia copy, digitized July 2, 2009, google
University of Toronto copy, scandate 20090703, archive.org

“a young woman, aged eighteen years, came under my care in the hospital on February 2d, 1904
giving the following history
no hereditary diseases in the family known
habits good
she noticed some enlargement
the part continued to be painful, with occasional sharp, shooting pains
forty minutes
one ligature
left for home on February 20th”
American Practice of Surgery op cit., p 420

a friend writes of a “(defiant) pride” in this and other portraits in the same volume.
that, yes. and a presence. a level-headed challenge.

This is not the first photograph of a medical patient that I have posted here. But I was especially struck by this image, and two others of the same patient, and others too in these and similar volumes, and have hesitated in uncertainty about how to present them (or if I should present them, and if so, in what connection, to what end).

These were technical images in purpose and intention; yet more than that remains; or perhaps the more-than-that that resides within the technical — an aesthetic dimension, beauty and affect — was always there, but asserts itself now. Many such have appeared at asfaltics, tagged metallurgy, for example.

I have secreted — so so speak — several images of human subjects here, in this secondary (and evidently less visible) tumblr, in large part because the affect, the personal, the intimate is so strong, or has come — steeped in time — to overwhelm the ostensibly technical purpose of the images. Or perhaps it has taken the affect this long to surface. And then there is my own discomfort with them.

The young woman reminds me a little of her near contemporary, my grandmother, Ruth.

19 February 2016

cancer; the face; pain; presence; N. B. Carson, “Excision of the Clavicle” (1904)