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  • #16
    Thanks Robert, but please don't worry about the case notes as I'm on that now, and I've sent you my new email.

    The following is a quote from the fascinating link that How provided some three years ago, and I think we should all study it and take serious note of what the author is telling us:

    'Raphael’s narrative of invasion of the female body clearly resonates with the Whitechapel Murders in several ways. First, Raphael’s status as London Jew allied him with those who came under intense scrutiny in 1888. Second, his fantasised violence against female reproduction, and its associations with aberrant sexuality leading to sexually-transmitted disease, repeats the activities of the Whitechapel murderer. Yet his narrative is also more complex than this. By narrating a clearly fictional version of himself as a latter-day Jack the Ripper, Raphael is associating himself both with the medical profession and the sexual psychopath who may have committed the crimes. The reason for the latter association is self-evident: Raphael is himself suffering from syphilitic dementia that has already undermined his mental stability. He presents this, from a patient’s fearful perspective, within the condition of an historical myth that stresses the gothic horror of such suffering as well as the gothic associations with the institution (Bedlam) in which he found himself. At the same time his present medical encounter colours his relationship with the attending physicians, and he incorporates into his myth-making fiction a view of their clinical investigations of his illness made equally horrific and transgressive. Indeed what Raphael’s historical analogy with the Whitechapel murderer achieves here is to offer an extreme critique of the depersonalised medical gaze by making that gaze monstrous and destructive, reinforcing the idea that the patient must be conceptualised as an integral part of biomedicine (Armstrong; Warner 1999).6 More radical, however, is Raphael’s association of his own position with the female victims of the Whitechapel murders. It is, after all, he and they, in his narrative, who are potential victims of both syphilis and medical intervention (horrifically perceived as that is). What this allows Raphael to register is both a fantasy of good health and recognition of the horror of illness. His re-enactment of Jack the Ripper is a mode of prevention in which the women (and he) are saved from the dangers of syphilis. Yet to imagine the women (and himself) as victims of Jack the Ripper is to acknowledge, too, his own destruction. To read Raphael’s fantastic narratives in the case notes from an historically-informed perspective is to gain access to his self-understanding of his condition in ways not otherwise possible. His Jack the Ripper narrative is an aesthetic enactment that comes to knowledge through collaboration with a myth-making history that exists beyond the medical encounter. To limit the narrative either to clinical concerns, or to presentist readings of the patient within the moments of the clinical experience, would be to deny it that knowledge.'


    • #17
      Hi AP

      I think his position as a schoolmaster at a home for orphans would have coloured his views of pregnancy once madness took hold. I counted about 320 pupils in 1901.


      • #18
        And he fed them a thousand eggs a minute, and then went down the local wine bar and drank a million pints of red wine with Jesus! I like him.
        But on a serious note though, eh, the clinical staff at Bedlam diagnosed him with syphilis, but he maintained that he only had gonorrhoea, which is very very different, so we must see the end of the rainbow.


        • #19
          A couple months ago I posted something on Nathan Shine. It was another of my incorrect ponderings but the basis of it was that Nathan Shine's story is similar to Israel Schwartz' tale. Nobody has ever exactly found Israel Schwartz as far as I know.

          It was back in a month when Schwartz was a topic of the month and in a census search I had found a Nathan Szwarz which should be a Hungarian spelling that is = to the Germanic Schwartz. A number of these Szwarz ended up in Poland and it looks like most of them, at least those who retained the spelling, immigrated to the U.S.

          Long story short, Nathan Shine is not Israel Schwartz. He is probably not Nathan Szwarz either. For what it's worth this is what I found.
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript