Peter Fifield is Lecturer in Modern Literature at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of Modernism and Physical Illness: Sick Literature (Oxford, 2020) and Late Modernist Style in Samuel Beckett and Emmanuel Levinas (Palgrave, 2013), as well as various chapters and articles on subjects including pain, syphilis, and teeth. He is course director for the MA Modern and Contemporary Literature, and the interdisciplinary MA Medical Humanities.
Is Literary History Sick? Thoughts on a Declinist Trope
The diagnostic stance assumes a certain status in the examined object. The doctor is not called to diagnose good health, only the nature of sickness.