Harper Lee and Dementia


This is going to get ugly. Harper Lee, who wrote To Kill a Mockingbird, is supposedly publishing another book that she didn’t want published in the past.   This book, called Go Set a Watchman, was set aside 50 years ago. Actually, it was rejected.  You would think she did NOT want that book published ever or she would have done so years ago. So what could have changed her mind?  How about having lost her mind.  Lee seems to have some dementia and so it is very possible that someone influenced her decision.  There is a lot of money at stake here. You can see the discussion here in the NYT.   Dementia is a terrible disease and it is so sad for the family of these patients.  What is left is a shell of person and though many can be happy and go lucky because they seem to have no worries, most of them drive their family insane.  If Harper Lee truly has dementia then this whole thing is a travesty. My gut feeling is that she does.  What tipped me off was when she said her next book, after this one is published, is going to be called To Kill a Mockingbird.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  3 comments for “Harper Lee and Dementia

  1. Ryan
    March 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    I agree completely. Fortunately for Ms. Lee, due to the initial rejection and late arrival of her second novel, if it is an inferior product it will be mostly forgotten and dismissed in the annals of history. If brilliant it will be a publishers hubris. Either way, while the money grubbers look to get rich quick, it will be a short lived income, with the original author’s rather brilliant reputation mostly untarnished. If we are lucky, the monetary value and influence of dementia into publishing will become apparent and those pushing for this will be held sufficiently accountable, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Steve O'
    March 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

    I certainly hope this does get ugly – in the sense of the matter of Harper Lee coming to greater awareness. They have been on her for years; and given advanced age and dementia, she could no longer hold out against predation.
    In the great, innominate ranks of Privilege in the Unites States – a nobility as autocratic and self-serving as the boyars of Russia – there are different hierarchies.
    In the 50’s, Harper Lee was granted a low level of nobility – fame, recognition, etc., on the implicit grounds that she would put out. J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee were among the most hated writers in the 20’th century, because they did not put out, but rather scorned the title granted to them, and the privileges that could only be redeemed in the currency of Upper Society. I am sure that Salinger was wiser, and burned every scrap of paper that he owned before he died.
    People do not see Harper Lee or JD Salinger as in any way the true creators, owners or producers of their product – of owning their own creativity. Rather, their skill is imagined to arise from aggregate demand – call upon them loudly enough, and they will produce. Whether it is crap or excellence is of no matter – just put out!
    For putting out means sales, which means money for the Upper Ranks of the nobility, the 1% of the 1%. There are plenty celebrities with no discernible talent, but are known to everyone, and are met with the same awe-struck adulation as the lesser lords and ladies of the court of Versailles. They will show their underwear, or lack of it, on demand – they know the bargain.
    #Paris Hilton OMG I want a selfie with her!
    Society imagines that the tool conditions the hand of the worker, and there is no such thing as individual skill or ability. Skill and ability are just attributes endowed by those above upon election to the nobility, as Doctor Oz understands. Harper Lee’s chummy little classmate Truman Capote played the role so well as jester to the self-impressed – a man who never stopped putting out. New York’s Best flourished their excess upon the little drunk – and service and entertainment gladly flowed from his hand when the public demanded it. ¡Viva El Putíto! He clashed in bitchy dogfights with Norman Mailer and others on command. How obedient!
    Remember Dr. Hendricks’ words from a little while ago:
    “Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything – except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the ‘welfare’ of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it.”
    Recruit the producers to the lowest level of rank, and demand PERFECTION from them, and punishment if they fall from favor, from their own failings or, more often, the betrayal of others.
    What happens when we run out of cops? The country is on a movement to discipline its police, set conflicting and unattainable standards, and prosecute them for criminal charges for doing what the system forces them to do. I could not imagine being a cop these days. Yes, many are bitter, evil and hopeless men who commit many injustices – they are merely the product of selection pressure upon a population, and what is produced. The system will decline until the true thugs, the Brownshirts, the real psychopaths come patrol the streets – and then, the complaints from the public suddenly cease, once enough terror exists in the population.
    To paraphrase John Kennedy’s opinion on war – “Those who make humanity impossible, make inhumanity inevitable.” That was once the moral of World War II. It is a shame that it was forgotten within a generation or two.

  3. Bill Ameen MD
    March 14, 2015 at 9:29 am

    What made me suspicious of a rip-off is that her lawyer’s name is Tonja…Sorry, I can’t help it. Likely a young person who may see a gold mine in her client. Sadly, I haven’t been able to finish “Mockingbird” in fifty years. I’ll probably reread “Catcher in the Rye” before I ever do. I wish Ms. Lee the best but like you, Doug, I have a bad feeling about the release of the book this summer.

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