What a Tangled Web She Weaves: An American Widow

Part of the Culture, Mind, and Society book series (CMAS)


Helen, a widow, has to struggle with her possible selves. Planting herself solidly in a chair, she looks at me with a stony face, and then begins to tell her story. Appearing sad and tearful—but somehow also managing to look angry—she tells me how her husband died six months ago, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative nerve disease.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Good Person Briefly Treat Guilt Feeling Present Crisis 
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  1. 1.
    Helen may have had the experience of smelling like “blood” during menstruation, so there may be resonances having to do with whatever meaning this has for her.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yeats, “The Circus Animals’ Desertion,” 1939. Obeyesekere quotes this passage in Medusas Hair (1981, 192) using it to make the point that human “thought is the product of reverie, and the masterful images we create springing originally from the shreds and patches of our unconscious” (192).Google Scholar

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© Steven M. Parish 2008

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