Oftentimes through the process of seeing, the images we observe inspire the language we write.
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. 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 turn 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. Post below your responses to this essay for extra credit towards your FD2 packet. Note that not all answers will be credited. You can be awarded anywhere from 0 to 10 points per response.
What makes this essay a good example of a process analysis essay — particularly regarding what I have lectured in class about needing to be original, personal and evocative? What was the most original aspect of this essay for you? Selzer uses beautifully metaphoric language for such a gruesome process.
Why do you think he does this? Be sure to copy them down accurately. What are some additional features of this essay that caught your attention? Why did you like this essay?Sep 26, · The following paragraphs from “The Knife,” an essay in Selzer’s first collection, Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery, vividly describe the process of “the laying open of the body of a human being.” from “The Knife”* by Richard Selzer.
A stillness settles in my heart and is . Richard Selzer If looking for a book by Max Aguilera-Hellweg, M. D. Richard Selzer The Sacred Heart: An Atlas of the Body Seen Through Invasive Surgery in pdf form, in that case you come on to right site.
Still, Selzer presents an interesting, unique situation and an exceptional expert. In contrast, Selzer astonishes his readers in the last paragraphs of “Amazons” by portraying an extraordinary medical experience in the response part of the story.
Case: Virgilio Lopez, Richard Lopez and Ariana Lizette Lopez, minors, by and through their Guardian ad Litem, Virgilio Lopez, Jose Guadalupe Andrade and Ana Marie Andrade v. Ronnie Wayne Machado and Land O' Lakes, Inc. Response to Richard Selzer's the Knife. 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.
I would expect a doctor to be comfortable with his tools, but Selzer is as wary of the scalpel as the anesthetized patient on the table. Unlike H.G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau, Selzer fears the power of the knife and the submission that it effects.