Richard selzer the knife theme

It is the quietude of resolve layered over fear. And it is this resolve that lowers us, my knife and me, deeper and deeper into the person beneath. It is an entry into the body that is nothing like a caress; still, it is among the gentlest of acts. Then stroke and stroke again, and we are joined by other instruments, hemostats and forceps, until the wound blooms with strange flowers whose looped handles fall to the sides in steely array.

Richard selzer the knife theme

One holds the knife as one holds the bow of a cello or a tulip by the stem. Not palmed nor gripped nor grasped, but lightly, with the tips of the fingers. The knife is not for pressing. It is for drawing across the field of skin. Like a slender fish, it waits, at the ready, then, go!

It darts, followed by a fine wake of red. The flesh parts, falling away to yellow globules of fat.

Richard selzer the knife theme

Even now, after so many times, I still marvel at its power-cold, gleaming, silent. More, I am still struck with a kind of dread that it is I in whose hand the blade travels, that my hand is its vehicle, that yet again this terrible steel-bellied thing and I have conspired for a most unnatural purpose, the laying open of the body of a human being.

A stillness settles in my heart and is carried to my hand. It is the quietude of resolve layered over fear. And it is this resolve that lowers us, my knife and me, deeper and deeper into the person beneath. It is an entry into the body that is nothing like a caress; still, it is among the gentlest of acts.

Then stroke and stroke again, and we are joined by other instruments, hemostats and forceps, until the wound blooms with strange flowers whose looped handles fall to the sides in steely array.

There is sound, the tight click of clamps fixing teeth into severed blood vessels, the snuffle and gargle of the suction machine clearing the field of blood for the next stroke, the litany of monosyllables with which one prays his way down and in: And there is color.

The green of the cloth, the white of the sponges, the red and yellow of the body. Beneath the fat lies the fascia, the tough fibrous sheet encasing the muscles. It must be sliced and the red beef of the muscles separated.

Richard selzer the knife theme

Now there are retractors to hold apart the wound. Hands move together, part, weave. We are fully engaged, like children absorbed in a game or the craftsmen of some place like Damascus.

The peritoneum, pink and gleaming and membranous, bulges into the wound. It is grasped with forceps, and opened. For the first time we can see into the cavity of the abdomen. Such a primitive place. One expects to find drawings of buffalo on the walls.

The vista is sweetly vulnerable at this moment, a kind of welcoming. An arc of the liver shines high and on the right, like a dark sun. It laps over the pink sweep of the stomach, from whose lower border the gauzy omentum is draped, and through which veil one sees, sinuous, slow as just-fed snakes, the indolent coils of the intestine.

You tum aside to wash your gloves. It is a ritual cleansing. One enters this temple doubly washed. Here is man as microcosm, representing in all his parts the earth, perhaps the universe. I must confess that the priestliness of my profession has ever been impressed on me.

In the beginning there are vows, taken with all solemnity. Then there is the endless harsh novitiate of training, much fatigue, much sacrifice. At last one emerges as celebrant, standing close to the truth lying curtained in the Ark of the body.Richard Selzer quotes (showing of 7) “I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish.

A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth has been severed. Anything by Richard Selzer, a former surgeon, including “Letters to a Young Doctor,” “Confessions of a Knife”, and many others more info here. His writing style is so easy to follow, humorous, and inspiring.

The Knife, Richard Selzer Richard Selzer presents an amazing account of sense imagery throughout “The Knife.” The opening paragraph leaves the reader in a sort of literary haze, as the careful details and description leave the essay’s main subject a mystery.

Hawaii Five-O () -- Season 1 Episode Reviews

Because /19 is the 50th anniversary of Classic Five-O's first season, I'm revisiting reviews of episodes from this season. Many have not been updated since the s.

Today's News: The Riley Report JUNE Tuesday - June 13, On This Day In History - The Marquis de Lafayette arrived in the American colonies to help with their rebellion against the British.

Oct 12,  · The Knife (Richard Selzer) Posted on October 12, by Admin. One holds the knife as one holds the bow of a cello or a tulip by the stem.

Not palmed nor gripped nor grasped, but lightly, with the tips of the fingers. The knife is .

List of The Wild Wild West episodes - Wikipedia