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Dr. Heidenhoff's Process
by Edward Bellamy
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A novel about a doctor who develops a method of eradicating painful memories from people's brains so that they can feel good about life again. Edward Bellamy (1850-1898) was an American author and socialist, most famous for his utopian novel set in the year 2000, Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887, published in 1888. His books include Dr. Heidenhoff's Process (1880), Miss Ludington's Sister (1884), Equality (1897) and The Duke of Stockbridge: A Romance of Shays' Rebellion (1900). His feeling of injustice in the economic system led him to write Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887 and its sequel, Equality. In Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887 an upper class man from 1887 awakens in 2000 from a hypnotic trance to find himself in a socialist utopia. It influenced a large number of intellectuals, and appears by title in many of the major Marxist writings of the day. His novel also inspired several utopian communities. A short story The Parable of the Water-Tank from the book Equality, published in 1897, was popular with a number of early American socialists. Less successful than its prequel, Equality continues the story of Julian West as he adjusts to life in the future.
Well, said he, "I have been so long engaged in the practical application of the process that I confess I can't realize any element of the strange or mysterious about it. To the eye of the philosopher nothing is wonderful, or else you may say all things are equally so. The commonest and so-called simplest fact in the entire order of nature is precisely as marvellous and incomprehensible at bottom as the most uncommon and startling. You will pardon me if I say that it is only to the unscientific that it seems otherwise. But really, my dear sir, my process for the extirpation of thoughts was but the most obvious consequence of the discovery that different classes of sensations and ideas are localized in the brain, and are permanently identified with particular groups of corpuscles of the grey matter.
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