fredag 29 maj 2009


Fredag morgon övervälmigar med sin plötsliga grällhet, som om någon handkolorerat kullerstenen, himlen, och de tegelröda skorstenarna. J avlägsnar sig snabb. Kaffepannan kvider på spisen. Jag läser Frigyes Karinthy's A Journey Round My Skull från 1939, en biografisk skildring av en hjärntumör. Operationen beskrivs såhär:

"Dead silence. I felt a succession of pricks in a circle. Get on - that's enough now! My skin isn't so sensitive as all that. It didn't hurt mem but I distinctly felt the sharp point describe a wide circle on my head. It went over the same path a second time. Then I felt one long horizontal incision at the back of my neck, though this didn't hurt me either. I hear the tinkle of forceps being jumbled up together and then being handled separately. This went on for a long while. I tried to see what was going on, and managed to make out an area as large as a handkerchief at the bottom of the white coat movin in front of me. It was bespattered with black spots like a speckled handkerchief. Off course blood spouted from the arteries in jerks, instead of flowing evenly as from the veins... I felt soft gestures, as if my flesh were being opened and folded back. The skull was certainly exposed by now..."

"For the third time I heard the trephine strike my skull. (...) The noise was now more infernal and continuous than ever. I began to wonder if they couldn't get through the skull, and, in my anxiety, I stiffened my neck, as if I ought to be co+operating with them and holding myself rigid under the trephine. Otherwise I felt the skull might split down the whole of its length."

"There was a sudden jerk as if had seized the opening with a pair of forceps. It was followed by a straining sensation, a feeling of pressure, a cracking sound, and a terrific wrench. … Something broke with a dull noise. … After a moment it began all over again.
A straining sensation, a feeling of pressure, a cracking sound, and a terrific wrench. This process was repeated many times. Each cracking sound reminded me of taking the lid off a jamjar, while the process as a whole was like splitting open a wooden packing case, plank by plank."

"After this my mood underwent a change. Once the trephining of the skull was over there ensued a relative silence. (...)Once more there was a sound of pumping and draining and I could hear the drip, drip of a liquid. How much longer were these gentlemen going to fumble about in my skull? They saw how quiet and wellbehaved I was keeping. How long then did they propose to go on with their scratchings and manipulating? Couldn't they now and again do me the honour of telling me what they were doing with my head?(...) After all those gentlemen and I had never been and would never again be on such confidential terms with one another as we were at that moment, for I knew that they had their fingers in my brain."

"Pain? No, I had no pain."

"More terrifying than actual pain was the fact that my position seemed impossible. It was impossible for a man to lie here with his skull open and his skull exposed to the outer world - impossible for him to lie here and live. It was impossible, incredible, indecent, for him to remain alive - and not merely alive, but conscious and in his right mind."

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