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Title: Feelings, suffering and events : the poetic writings of Maltese physicians on doctoring
Authors: Fiorini, Anthony (2017)
Keywords: Physicians as authors -- Malta
Literature and medicine -- Malta -- History
Medicine in literature
Maltese poetry -- History and criticism
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Fiorini, A. (2017). Feelings, suffering and events : the poetic writings of Maltese physicians on doctoring (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: This research was conducted (a) to identify local physicians who wrote poetry and (b) to select and analyse those poems which included doctoring as a theme, particularly those that concentrated on feelings, suffering and significant events associated with their medical experiences. Through a mixed methodology approach, twelve such physicians were identified whilst fifty-two out of four hundred and eleven analysed poems could be classified under a broad definition of doctoring. Significant events noted included the execution of Mattew Callus, the healing properties of the earth of St. Paul’s Grotto, Malta acting as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’ in World War I, the clashes between the medical union and government and the scourges of past diseases such as leprosy, brucellosis and plague, all of which touch on elements of local history and identity. Rużar Briffa stands out as the leading physician poet, both in the number of his compositions and in his reflections on the suffering endured by patients. However, as is demonstrated, other physicians also wrote verse on feelings generated by direct patient contact or endowed with a medical sensibility or background. This study also highlights and discusses a number of physicians hitherto unknown or forgotten for their poetry. This thesis, whilst contributing further to the multi-faceted aspects of Maltese studies, should serve as a reminder that the poetic writings of physicians, even in languages other than Maltese, should be acknowledged, appreciated and quoted.
Description: M.MALTESE STUD.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsMS - 2017

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