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886 pages, Paperback
First published September 18, 1986
I tried to conceal it from her that she had cancer and that there was no hope for her surviving. She was in a hospital in Madison and then she went to see her parents and I went with her but I didn't want to stay with her parents, of course, because I was, after all, a stranger to her parents. I went for a little while away to Michigan...and then I came back and saw her in her bed at her parents'. And she told me essentially that she knows that she is close to death. She said, 'Should I tell you where the suitcases are?' So she knew when she talked to me. I tried to conceal it from her because I felt that it would be better if a reasonably young person does not realize that she is doomed. Of course, we are all doomed.
Taken as a story of human achievement, and human blindness, the discoveries in the sciences are among the great epics.
Were this thinking not in the framework of scientific work, it would be considered paranoid. In scientific work, creative thinking demands seeing things not previously seen, or in ways not previously imagined...the difference between the thinking of the paranoid patient and the scientist comes from the latter's ability and willingness to test out his fantasies or grandiose conceptualizations through the systems of checks and balances science has established. pg. 151