LINGUIST List 32.2634

Fri Aug 13 2021

Books: The Language and Imagery of Coma and Brain Injury: Colbeck

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 13-Aug-2021
From: Khadija Ahmed <>
Subject: The Language and Imagery of Coma and Brain Injury: Colbeck
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Title: The Language and Imagery of Coma and Brain Injury
Subtitle: Representations in Literature, Film and Media
Published: 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)

Book URL:

Author: Matthew Colbeck
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350077805 Pages: 226 Price: U.K. £ 85.50 Comment: ePDF
Electronic: ISBN: 9781350077812 Pages: 226 Price: U.K. £ 85.50 Comment: ePub
Hardback: ISBN: 9781350077799 Pages: 226 Price: U.K. £ 95.00

"What occurs within coma? What does the coma patient experience? How does the patient perceive the world outside of coma, if at all?"

The simple answer to these questions is that we don't know. Yet the sheer volume of literary and media texts would have us believe that we do. Examining representations of coma and brain injury across a variety of texts, this book investigates common tropes and linguistic devices used to portray the medical condition of coma, giving rise to universal mythologies and misconceptions in the public domain. Matthew Colbeck looks at how these texts represent, or fail to represent, long-term brain injury, drawing on narratives of coma survivors that have been produced and curated through writing groups he has run over the last 10 years.

Discussing a diverse range of cultural works, including novels by Irvine Welsh, Stephen King, Tom McCarthy and Douglas Coupland, as well as film and media texts such as The Sopranos, Kill Bill, Coma and The Walking Dead, Colbeck provides an explanation for our fascination with coma. With a proliferation of misleading stories of survival in the media and in literature, this book explores the potential impact these have upon our own understanding of coma and its victims.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Ling & Literature

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 13-Aug-2021