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Book club: The Hard Problem
  1. Katharine Harding
  1. Correspondence to Dr Katharine Harding, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; katharineharding{at}doctors.org.uk

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In a new departure for our book club, we read a play: The Hard Problem,1 by Tom Stoppard (figure 1), one of the best known dramatists of our time. Though only a short read, our discussion still raised many interesting ideas. Few of our members had read a play before outside of school Shakespeare lessons, and we were initially divided as to whether it was a worthwhile experience. Some had found it liberating, since with dialogue alone, imagination became much more important, particularly in working out a character's reasons and motivations for doing or saying what they did. Others felt that reading a play text seemed clunky and artificial, and something to experience only through watching a real performance.

Figure 1

The Hard Problem (source: https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1422482851l/24736695.jpg).

The story centres around Hilary, a psychology researcher in the …

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