YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

November 29, 2010

Index to lobotomy blogs

Dr. Walter Freeman and patient

The History of Madness website has noted the research of Miriam Posner into Walter Freeman’s photos of his patients before and after lobotomy. Here is what already existed on the YDS website. [I found a website on lobotomies that claimed that Freeman had been killed by a “berserk” patient in 1955. This is not true: he died of cancer in 1976.]

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/07/disparities-between-image-and-text-some-cases-of-lobotomy/. (This image shows case 123 before and after lobotomy, along with Rockwell Kent illustration for Moby-Dick that erases the male-bonding and tattoos. I have seen the preliminary drawings for this text and it morphed from realism to primitivism. Kent obviously pulled back from insinuations of homosexuality.)

https://clarespark.com/2010/03/04/before-lobotomy-case-123/.

https://clarespark.com/2010/03/04/after-lobotomy-case-123/. (These illustrations from Freeman’s book are the single most shocking example of medical malpractice that I have found in my work on the history of medicine. Please read the before and after sequence together.)

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/16/when-lobotomies-cured-the-romantic-agony/. (Lobotomy was originally seen as a cure for anxiety and depression, but it also seemed from the pictures, and from Freeman’s book Psychosurgery, as a way to control rebellious females.)

https://clarespark.com/2009/11/16/nobody-is-perfect/.

https://clarespark.com/2010/09/27/cannibals-negro-jazz-and-servile-revolt/. This is about Tennessee Williams and the film Suddenly, Last Summer, with its terrifying mob scene, redolent of the French Revolution. Video clip of the movie included. Elizabeth Taylor’s character is threatened with lobotomy.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] Where have journalists been all these years? Even anti-science, anti-psychiatry students of the history of medicine consider this lurid chapter to be closed, though my blog index to lobotomies remains popular. See https://clarespark.com/2010/11/29/index-to-lobotomy-blogs/. […]

    Pingback by The Wall Street Journal discovers lobotomy craze for vets | YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — December 12, 2013 @ 8:11 pm | Reply

  2. […] in the form of lobotomies were deployed for many decades before they were stigmatized.  (See https://clarespark.com/2010/11/29/index-to-lobotomy-blogs/.) Moreover, the notion of psychiatrists or other mental health workers proposing medical […]

    Pingback by The “Brain Trust” at UCLA « YDS: The Clare Spark Blog — December 13, 2012 @ 9:47 pm | Reply


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