Epilepsy, Forgetting, and Convalescence in Ondaatje’s Warlight

Rupkatha Journal On Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities 13 (2):1-11 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight (2018), his latest novel to-date, contains nostalgic elements of strangeness and cartography. In this paper, I short-circuit such themes with health under medical humanities, which heeds a Nietzschean counsel of close reading in literature. To do so, I explore the case of Rachel's illness, namely her epileptic seizures, as an instance that drives her impetus for active forgetting and eventual convalescence. A close hermeneutical reading of the novel can reveal that both of Nietzsche’s ideas on active forgetting and convalescence provide traction in terms of what this paper constructs as Rachel’s pathography or narration of illness. Shifting the focus from the main narrator, Nathaniel, I argue that it is not the novel's reliance on memory but the subplot events of Nathaniel's sister and her epilepsy that form a substantial case of medical or health humanities.

Author's Profile

Jan Gresil Kahambing
University of Macau


Added to PP

78 (#74,334)

6 months
51 (#39,291)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?