TORMENTWe do not only die, but die upon the rack, die by the TORMENT of sickness.
-John Donne, Devotions
Torment draws inspiration through writers working at the intersection of pain, illness, and art. In the tradition of Sontag, Artaud, Genesis P-Orridge, and the like, Torment is a review column that venerates pain and disease in literature. Torment takes Novalis at his word, Diseases are the stimulus and the most interesting subject for our meditation and activity... Only, we know little the art of using them. Torment seeks to explore links between cutting edge medicine and streamline literature, and trace spikes in New Age occultism and idiopathic illness. We want reviews that begin to speak to these unspeakables. For inquiries email David: email@example.com
June 11, 2021
DEAD TO THE WORLD: ON BOB FLANAGAN’S THE PAIN JOURNAL
By: ADAM MITTS
“I hate to be so monotonous but I’m still in awful pain,” Bob Flanagan writes on the evening of November 10, 1995. His partner is gone, his lungs and stomach are “killing” and “hurting” him—he is dying: “Sometimes I think they’re missing something and I’m going to die earlier than I have to before they catch it.” The uncertainty and risks of both medicine and temporality are magnified by how the body spends itself in its few remaining days...