Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Haley Reading Group: Gaurav Raj Telhan's “Begin Cutting"
[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2016)]
By Rae'Jean Spears
Gaurav Raj’s article “Begin Cutting” illustrates a medical student’s first encounter with cutting a cadaver. Filled with details, Raj highlights the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that go along with cutting open a human being, even after death. Ultimately, the article provides an inside look of working with a cadaver and how it can change one’s outlook on life and death.
Raj’s amount of detail in the article is especially fascinating. At one point, Raj notes “He shut off the power and gripped Stella’s split face with his hands. Back and forth, he torqued her skull until it was freed from the blade" (267). Here, Raj illustrates how the professor had to dislodge Stella’s skull from the saw once it became stuck.
After reading Raj’s article, what was one aspect of examining the cadaver that caught your attention? Why was that passage noteworthy to you? Please provide a page number citation.