An old literary flame

Fifty years ago this week a press conference was held announcing the discovery of the polio vaccine. The press conference was held here in Ann Arbor, and the anniversary is getting a lot of attention in our local paper. An article I read in yesterday's paper about Doctors Salk and Francis reminded me of a novel I adored as a teenager: Arrowsmith, by Sinclair Lewis. It's a very romantic story of an idealistic young doctor who works in various different settings, getting progressively more and more jaded, until finally he chucks everything and decides to follow his heart and his ideals. He ends up living in a little shack in the woods (or something) doing "pure" research. Despite the book being sexist, and full of slang like "keen!" and "swell!", teenage Bookworm fell head-over-heels for Martin Arrowsmith. Frankly, I think the story of the polio vaccine is quite romantic, too.


  • Can you imagine living life in fear of all the deseases that our parents generation had to fear? Or our grandparents?

    My husband's uncle had polio. It's so hard to imagine.

    posted by Blogger Sleeping Mommy on 3:24 PM  

  • Being I am older than dirt, one of my first childhood memories is standing in a long line with other crying children to recieve the polio vacine.

    posted by Blogger GuusjeM on 8:25 PM  

  • Yeah. Or imagine what it was like even a couple hundred years ago. Doctors didn't even know to wash their hands between patients. They didn't know about germs and microbes. They didn't have antibiotics or anaesthetics. There's a really cool book called Physican -- a novel, but well researched -- about a "physician" living in the 11th century. Yikes!

    posted by Blogger Julie on 6:56 AM  

  • New to your blog (via Mimilou) and I really like it--particularly the title. I was often told as a child to stop reading so much (yeah, I can't believe it either).

    As far as literary crushes (from an earlier post), there are so many it's hard to remember--Nancy Drew and Ponyboy (The Outsiders) and Mr. Knightley(Emma) and Sabine (The Unbearable Lightness of Being) to start.

    I'm also very impressed with the page design. It looks very nice.

    posted by Blogger SuzanH on 12:51 PM  

  • Looking good, Julie. I like the purple. Now, if you could just get a little worm either crawling on her shoes or peeking out of the Bookworm Letters,(a worm with purple somewhere on his body...) it would be perfect.

    Julie screams and runs away from mrsd's html nightmare suggestion.* (But it would be cool!)

    By the way, Darlene, at 'Blogger, Can You Spare A Dime' is graphics talented. She could add a worm faster than a robin could eat one. Tell her mrsd and a little bird sent you. ;)

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 3:44 PM