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Views & Reviews Between the lines

A novel approach to typhus

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 08 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:539
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    One of the most famous medical students in all literature is Bazarov, the young nihilist in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. A forerunner of the revolutionary class in Russia, if not of the revolution itself, he accepts nothing, questions everything, and believes with religious intensity in the ability of the natural sciences to answer all questions. He falls in love, and begins to glimpse the inadequacy of his pain-in-the-neck philosophy.

    As a student, I was a little like Bazarov and thought I was God's gift to philosophy, until it dawned on me that I had never had an original thought in my life and, what was more, that I was never going …

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