Thursday, July 31, 2008

Typhoid Mary

I saw a feature about this on the BBC World News Tuesday morning. It was creepy, yet sad, all at the same time. I was fascinated by this story, as at one time in my graduate career, I had wanted to research the letters/journals of late 19th century-early 20th century women who were likewise "institutionalized" for TB. Sanatorium journals and correspondence were very popular, but also very private, so I would have had to search old book stores and private collections for those types of materials. I love archival research, but those things almost have to fall into your lap before you can get them, although some asylums' records and storage have exceeded the 50 or 75 year privacy term. I also considered going through boxes of unclaimed possessions at a local mental hospital here in Knoxville. It sounds odd, but I'm sure their writings were just as valuable as any others that are out there and published. It all ties back to my long-running preoccupation with the Fitzgeralds (Zelda in particular). I'm sure there is a legitimate reason. I promise I'm not just weird.

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