Group Discussion: Eula Biss, “The Pain Scale”

A Crisis of Caring: The Humanities and Our Health | April 11–14, 2022

In her brief, compelling narrative piece, “The Pain Scale,” writer Eula Biss, MFA, contemplates the inexpressible nature of pain and the difficulty of seeking relief through a medical system that relies heavily upon quantitative assessments of pain. In this group discussion, we use Biss’s piece as a starting point for reflecting on the intensely personal experience of suffering and the complexities of translating such experiences in ways that are diagnosable and treatable.