Castel Gandolfo

December, 22, 2014 | 5 Comments


  1. I would wager that Crusoe did not wonder about the potential for rampant unchecked damage from two institutions that claim rights to *divine* power. Neither would risk their divine rights status by admitting to error. Anyone who challenged their divine power from within their ranks must either be made to submit to their will, or be destroyed.

    50 years later, as Crusoe navigated the miraculous, international underground railroad that was created by the internet, she wondered if the potion she and Hans had tested on Harvard’s eminent child psychiatrists, had produced the desired effect. Hans did drop her a line in their customary holiday card exchange, mentioning that he had not been invited to their holiday party this year. Crusoe took this is a positive sign.

  2. As modern myths go, James has swung along with another wonderfully evocative illustration and I thought I might mention that he has a collection on his website along with a few words which a few, just joiners, might also like to read….

    I would like to celebrate James, his talent and nous which compliment the myths, murders and mayhem which have been so beautifully crafted.

  3. Hi David, what interests me most is the transformation of the responding time to this new medicine.
    The tiny man with no charisma told the few people in the audience it would take six days to recover fully.
    But only a few weeks later, when the drug was launched the company wrote something about two weeks.
    Do you have informations about the event, when they changed the duration of the responding time? Or do you have a copy of their first leaflet in german?
    And I have a small correction. The tiny man called this drug – right after administrating it to Paula an antidepressant – and he stayed with that word. The company started a large trial, and after that they did not accept his term. Because it was not working on most depressive patients.
    Paul Schmidlin than called it a “Neuroplegicum”. It took some more time and other interessests before the company turned to the word “antidepressant”.

    Merry Christmas and good Luck in the next year.

    • Peter

      Thanks for this – he was close to 6 foot – 1.80 metres or so would be my guess when I met him. By then he was stooped so it was hard to judge. One of those who was in the room at the time described him to Crusoe as an Ichobod Crane like figure – as in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

      He was never really interested in what the drug should be called – much more interested to emphasize the reality of vital depression. The benefit of the drug for this condition rather than other states of unhappiness was he thought the real discovery.

      He had just got married at the age of 46 to Verbena at the time of the Rome meeting. She was a child psychiatrist and later was one of the first to start giving antidepressants to children – as I understand it. Maybe someone else knows more on this.

      The contrast between this discoverer of the antidepressants, Roland Kuhn, and the other, Nathan Kline, was an extraordinary one.


  4. Hi David, thanks for your answer.
    I never met him in person, but I am sure you are right about the contrast.

    One was too fast and american and the other one too slow and swiss.
    One was convincing and smart and the other one a smart aleck and boring.

    … But that’s not the whole story. To some extent both were the same: Not interested in the health of their depressive patients. Only trying to become famous.

    … and coming back to today … the leading psychiatrists are still the same …

    What a pity.


Leave a Reply