Migraine, Words and Fiction

There are many migraine sufferers worldwide. However, the lack of confirmatory scan or blood test poses a major barrier to their diagnosis, which must be based on their account of the pain. As a consequence, language is of utmost importance in the diagnosis of migraine. This book deals with this relation between words and migraine, and considers how persons with migraine make their pain ‘readable’ and how fictional texts ‘perform’ migraine. Its analysis utilises the theories of Wittgenstein (‘beetle in the box’), Foucault, de Saussure and Scarry, as well as works of fiction including Hustvedt’s The Blindfold, Lasdun’s The Horned Man and Yalom’s When Nietzsche Wept.

Joost Haan is a neurologist and headache specialist working in the Leiden University Medical Centre and the Alrijne hospital Leiderdorp, the Netherlands. He has (co-)authored more than 100 articles and several books on headache, and holds a PhD in Literary Sciences. He was one of the editors of the Oxford Textbook of Headache Syndromes (2020). At present, his main scientific interests are the genetics of migraine, cerebral amyloid angiopathy, CADASIL and cluster headache.

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ISBN: 1-5275-8359-7

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-8359-7

Release Date: 17th May 2022

Pages: 240

Price: £67.99