book: life is beautiful

sydrayMy dissertation, Life Is Beautiful But It Isn’t Always Pretty: Medical Imaging Artifacts Blown Up, formerly known as Green Chairs, Fictional Phalluses, Infiltration, and Love on the Rocks: Medical Imaging Artifacts Blown Up, explores a way of examining all types of problems by deconstructing texts and images produced during medical imaging procedures. Through a collage of ethnographic observations, narrative, theory, and fiction, the text surveys how medical imaging technologies are changing the way we view the roles of patient and physician, as well as how we perceive the health and well-being of our bodies. A wide array of problems is examined through the vortex of stories describing medical procedures combined with the narrator’s personal experiences. The problems addressed range from the narrator deconstructing a dental x-ray to attempt to find a remedy for chronic insomnia to evaluating song lyrics, a weather map, and a catheter insertion procedure to discern how radiologists might reduce perceptual errors when reading medical images. A secondary narrator establishes a self-conscious tone and continually reminds the reader of the limitations of the incomplete, relative nature of this literary form.

Bennett Kravitz, PhD, professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at University of Haifa in Mount Carmel, Israel, was nice enough to write a lovely foreword to the “unusual, creative, and occasionally zany text,” and I appreciate that.

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