Sunday Stories: “Frontier Psychiatrist”

"Frontier Psychiatrist"

Frontier Psychiatrist
by Chris Molnar

There is a disorder that arises from the reading of a certain medical text. This text describes a disorder, most common in the unorganized territories of mid-19th century North America, in which a patient experiences transient global amnesia, in conjunction with an obsessive, persistent compulsion to organize an expedition to the North Pole, creating polar amnesia. An account from the 1890s tells of a young gold miner walking north from Dawson. Months later pale bones and a pickax are discovered by incredulous Inuit near the Arctic coast, his remains scattered along gravel shores and pingos.

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