Chapter

The Plot of Suffering

David B. Morris

in Illness and Culture in the Postmodern Age

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1998 | ISBN: 9780520208698
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926240 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520208698.003.0008
The Plot of Suffering

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There is no doubt that AIDS has reshaped the postmodern era. No contemporary affliction illustrates better than AIDS how the biology of human illness intersects with cultural practices that increasingly reshape it. While HIV was silently digging into the genetic material of the billions of cells it attacked across the globe, activists with the passion of Larry Kramer, including his critics within the gay community, were generating an unprecedented discourse of protest, analysis, argument, fear, elegy, and denunciation. The role of culture in helping to construct this distinctively postmodern affliction raises an issue that connects AIDS with other forms of traumatic illnesses.

Keywords: AIDS; human suffering; sexuality; HIV; human illness; Larry Kramer; gay community

Chapter.  9529 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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