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Author Bourke, Joanna
Title The story of pain : from prayer to painkillers / Joanna Bourke
Imprint New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2014
book jacket
 Modern History Library  616.0472 B774    AVAILABLE    30550100566957
 人文社會聯圖  BF515 .B58 2014    AVAILABLE    30610020468575
Edition First edition
Descript x, 396 pages. : illustrations ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 375-383) and index
Introduction -- Estrangement -- Metaphor -- Religion -- Diagnosis -- Gesture -- Sentience -- Sympathy -- Pain relief
Everyone knows what is feels like to be in pain. Scraped knees, toothaches, migraines, giving birth, cancer, heart attacks, and heartaches: pain permeates our entire lives. We also witness other people - loved ones - suffering, and we 'feel with' them. It is easy to assume this is the end of the story: 'pain-is-pain-is-pain', and that is all there is to say. But it is not. In fact, the way in which people respond to what they describe as 'painful' has changed considerably over time. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example, people believed that pain served a specific (and positive) function - it was a message from God or Nature; it would perfect the spirit. 'Suffer in this life and you wouldn't suffer in the next one'. Submission to pain was required. Nothing could be more removed from twentieth and twenty-first century understandings, where pain is regarded as an unremitting evil to be 'fought'. Focusing on the English-speaking world, this book tells the story of pain since the eighteenth century, addressing fundamental questions about the experience and nature of suffering over the last three centuries. How have those in pain interpreted their suffering - and how have these interpretations changed over time? How have people learnt to conduct themselves when suffering? How do friends and family react? And what about medical professionals: should they immerse themselves in the suffering person or is the best response a kind of professional detachment?
Subject Pain -- History
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