Narrative and Medicine

Philoctetes and the Good Companion Story

Arthur W. Frank


The idea of a companion story is developed through an analysis of Sophocles’ play Philoctetes, about living in chronic pain. That story is anchored by an ethnographic report of a boy living with pain, and his companion story. The good companion story is distinguished by three qualities: it consoles its companion, it complicates lives that it enters, and it promises a form of hope. The article thus seeks to demonstrate the therapeutic capacity of stories to effect healing.

Parole chiave

Socio-narratology; companion story; Mattingly; Philoctetes; narrative therapy; chronic pain

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Riferimenti bibliografici

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