"Contact Tracing" and "Before Light"
"From midnight to three is running time ... This part of the night is for fighting. It has escaped the civility of day and evening, but has not yet slipped into the dreaming, drugged morning before light."
~Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures
Thoughts from Queen's campus
Think about it
- How does the story of Dr. Gerstein illustrate the element of chance in medicine? Why is Dr. Gerstein’s rhetoric effective with his patient?
- What coping mechanism do Chen, Fitz and Dr. Zenkie use when discussing the topic of their own death?
- How would you describe the relationship between Chen and Fitzgerald? How is the last event of “Contact Tracing” emblematic of their relationship?
- How does the first person narrative show Chen as a fallible character, rather than that of a physician with a god-complex?
- Look at Chen’s last entry at 12:01 - what is the significance of this passage? Does it reinforce a particular theme in Bloodletting?
- Having read the entire collection of short stories, what do you think the significance of the title is?
In "Before Light," Chen experiences anxiety and insomnia in the hours leading up to his night shift. Stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep can have negative effects on your health and overall well-being. Check out some of the information, resources, and tips offered by Queen's Be Well on maintaining a healthy lifestyle - both physically and mentally.
Media & links
"I had to throw away the book to do justice to the book" - Jason Sherman, writer for the TV adaptation of Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures. In the article "Bloodletting," published in The Walrus, writer Charles Foran visits the set of the Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures television miniseries and speaks to Sherman about some of the challenges of adapting a literary work to the small screen.
"Think about it" questions 1-6 adapted from "Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures Content Questions," Peel District School Board (.doc, 28.5 KB).