The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat And Other Clinical Tales

The last thing one settles in writing a book,’ Pascal observes, ‘is what one should put in first.’ So, having written, collected and arranged these strange tales, having selected a title and two epigraphs, I must now examine what I have done—and why.

The doubleness of the epigraphs, and the contrast between them— indeed, the contrast which Ivy McKenzie draws between the physician and the naturalist—corresponds to a certain doubleness in me: that I feel myself a naturalist and a physician both; and that I am equally interested in diseases and people; perhaps, too, that I am equally, if inadequately, a theorist and dramatist, am equally drawn to the scientific and the romantic, and continually see both in the human condition, not least in that quintessential human condition of sickness— animals get diseases, but only man falls radically into sickness.