Futurism – Wikipedia

Futurism (Italian: Futurismo) was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized speed, technology, youth, and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures were the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carr, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. It glorified modernity and aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past.[1] Cubism contributed to the formation of Italian Futurism’s artistic style.[2] Important Futurist works included Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni’s sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla’s painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo’s The Art of Noises. Although it was largely an Italian phenomenon, there were parallel movements in Russia, England, Belgium and elsewhere. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even Futurist meals. To some extent Futurism influenced the art movements Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and to a greater degree Precisionism, Rayonism, and Vorticism.[citation needed]

Futurism is an avant-garde movement founded in Milan in 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.[1] Marinetti launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto,[3] which he published for the first time on 5 February 1909 in La gazzetta dell’Emilia, an article then reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday 20 February 1909.[4][5][6] He was soon joined by the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carr, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and the composer Luigi Russolo.Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. “We want no part of it, the past”, he wrote, “we the young and strong Futurists!” The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, “however daring, however violent”, bore proudly “the smear of madness”, dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science.

Publishing manifestos was a feature of Futurism, and the Futurists (usually led or prompted by Marinetti) wrote them on many topics, including painting, architecture, religion, clothing and cooking.[7]

The founding manifesto did not contain a positive artistic programme, which the Futurists attempted to create in their subsequent Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting (1914).[8] This committed them to a “universal dynamism”, which was to be directly represented in painting. Objects in reality were not separate from one another or from their surroundings: “The sixteen people around you in a rolling motor bus are in turn and at the same time one, ten four three; they are motionless and they change places. … The motor bus rushes into the houses which it passes, and in their turn the houses throw themselves upon the motor bus and are blended with it.”[9]

The Futurist painters were slow to develop a distinctive style and subject matter. In 1910 and 1911 they used the techniques of Divisionism, breaking light and color down into a field of stippled dots and stripes, which had been originally created by Giovanni Segantini and others. Later, Severini, who lived in Paris, attributed their backwardness in style and method at this time to their distance from Paris, the centre of avant-garde art.[10] Severini was the first to come into contact with Cubism and following a visit to Paris in 1911 the Futurist painters adopted the methods of the Cubists. Cubism offered them a means of analysing energy in paintings and expressing dynamism.

They often painted modern urban scenes. Carr’s Funeral of the Anarchist Galli (191011) is a large canvas representing events that the artist had himself been involved in, in 1904. The action of a police attack and riot is rendered energetically with diagonals and broken planes. His Leaving the Theatre (191011) uses a Divisionist technique to render isolated and faceless figures trudging home at night under street lights.

Boccioni’s The City Rises (1910) represents scenes of construction and manual labour with a huge, rearing red horse in the centre foreground, which workmen struggle to control. His States of Mind, in three large panels, The Farewell, Those who Go, and Those Who Stay, “made his first great statement of Futurist painting, bringing his interests in Bergson, Cubism and the individual’s complex experience of the modern world together in what has been described as one of the ‘minor masterpieces’ of early twentieth century painting.”[11] The work attempts to convey feelings and sensations experienced in time, using new means of expression, including “lines of force”, which were intended to convey the directional tendencies of objects through space, “simultaneity”, which combined memories, present impressions and anticipation of future events, and “emotional ambience” in which the artist seeks by intuition to link sympathies between the exterior scene and interior emotion.[11]

Boccioni’s intentions in art were strongly influenced by the ideas of Bergson, including the idea of intuition, which Bergson defined as a simple, indivisible experience of sympathy through which one is moved into the inner being of an object to grasp what is unique and ineffable within it. The Futurists aimed through their art thus to enable the viewer to apprehend the inner being of what they depicted. Boccioni developed these ideas at length in his book, Pittura scultura Futuriste: Dinamismo plastico (Futurist Painting Sculpture: Plastic Dynamism) (1914).[12]

Balla’s Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912) exemplifies the Futurists’ insistence that the perceived world is in constant movement. The painting depicts a dog whose legs, tail and leashand the feet of the woman walking ithave been multiplied to a blur of movement. It illustrates the precepts of the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting that, “On account of the persistency of an image upon the retina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves; their form changes like rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running horse has not four legs, but twenty, and their movements are triangular.”[9] His Rhythm of the Bow (1912) similarly depicts the movements of a violinist’s hand and instrument, rendered in rapid strokes within a triangular frame.

The adoption of Cubism determined the style of much subsequent Futurist painting, which Boccioni and Severini in particular continued to render in the broken colors and short brush-strokes of divisionism. But Futurist painting differed in both subject matter and treatment from the quiet and static Cubism of Picasso, Braque and Gris. Although there were Futurist portraits (e.g. Carr’s Woman with Absinthe (1911), Severini’s Self-Portrait (1912), and Boccioni’s Matter (1912)), it was the urban scene and vehicles in motion that typified Futurist paintinge.g. Boccioni’s The Street Enters the House (1911), Severini’s Dynamic Hieroglyph of the Bal Tabarin (1912), and Russolo’s Automobile at Speed (1913)

In 1912 and 1913, Boccioni turned to sculpture to translate into three dimensions his Futurist ideas. In Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913) he attempted to realise the relationship between the object and its environment, which was central to his theory of “dynamism”. The sculpture represents a striding figure, cast in bronze posthumously and exhibited in the Tate Modern. (It now appears on the national side of Italian 20 eurocent coins). He explored the theme further in Synthesis of Human Dynamism (1912), Speeding Muscles (1913) and Spiral Expansion of Speeding Muscles (1913). His ideas on sculpture were published in the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture[13] In 1915 Balla also turned to sculpture making abstract “reconstructions”, which were created out of various materials, were apparently moveable and even made noises. He said that, after making twenty pictures in which he had studied the velocity of automobiles, he understood that “the single plane of the canvas did not permit the suggestion of the dynamic volume of speed in depth … I felt the need to construct the first dynamic plastic complex with iron wires, cardboard planes, cloth and tissue paper, etc.”[14]

In 1914, personal quarrels and artistic differences between the Milan group, around Marinetti, Boccioni, and Balla, and the Florence group, around Carr, Ardengo Soffici (18791964) and Giovanni Papini (18811956), created a rift in Italian Futurism. The Florence group resented the dominance of Marinetti and Boccioni, whom they accused of trying to establish “an immobile church with an infallible creed”, and each group dismissed the other as passiste.[citation needed]

Futurism had from the outset admired violence and was intensely patriotic. The Futurist Manifesto had declared, “We will glorify warthe world’s only hygienemilitarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.”[6][15] Although it owed much of its character and some of its ideas to radical political movements, it was not much involved in politics until the autumn of 1913.[14] Then, fearing the re-election of Giolitti, Marinetti published a political manifesto. In 1914 the Futurists began to campaign actively against the Austro-Hungarian empire, which still controlled some Italian territories, and Italian neutrality between the major powers. In September, Boccioni, seated in the balcony of the Teatro dal Verme in Milan, tore up an Austrian flag and threw it into the audience, while Marinetti waved an Italian flag. When Italy entered the First World War in 1915, many Futurists enlisted.[16] The experience of the war marked several Futurists, particularly Marinetti, who fought in the mountains of Trentino at the border of Italy and Austria-Hungary, actively engaging in propaganda.[17] The combat experience also influenced Futurist music.[18]

The outbreak of war disguised the fact that Italian Futurism had come to an end. The Florence group had formally acknowledged their withdrawal from the movement by the end of 1914. Boccioni produced only one war picture and was killed in 1916. Severini painted some significant war pictures in 1915 (e.g. War, Armored Train, and Red Cross Train), but in Paris turned towards Cubism and post-war was associated with the Return to Order.

After the war, Marinetti revived the movement. This revival was called il secondo Futurismo (Second Futurism) by writers in the 1960s. The art historian Giovanni Lista has classified Futurism by decades: “Plastic Dynamism” for the first decade, “Mechanical Art” for the 1920s, “Aeroaesthetics” for the 1930s.

Russian Futurism was a movement of literature and the visual arts. The poet Vladimir Mayakovsky was a prominent member of the movement. Visual artists such as David Burlyuk, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova and Kazimir Malevich found inspiration in the imagery of Futurist writings and were poets themselves. It has also a larger impact on the all suprematism movement. Other poets adopting Futurism included Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksey Kruchenykh. Poets and painters collaborated on theatre production such as the Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun, with texts by Kruchenykh and sets by Malevich.

The main style of painting was Cubo-Futurism, adopted in 1913 when Aristarkh Lentulov returned from Paris and exhibited his paintings in Moscow. Cubo-Futurism combines the forms of Cubism with the representation of movement. Like their Italian predecessors the Russian Futurists were fascinated with dynamism, speed and the restlessness of modern urban life.

The Russian Futurists sought controversy by repudiating the art of the past, saying that Pushkin and Dostoevsky should be “heaved overboard from the steamship of modernity”. They acknowledged no authority and professed not to owe anything even to Marinetti, whose principles they had earlier adopted, obstructing him when he came to Russia to proselytize in 1914.

The movement began to decline after the revolution of 1917. Some Futurists died, others emigrated. Mayakovsky and Malevich became part of the Soviet establishment and the Agitprop movement of the 1920s. Khlebnikov and others were persecuted. Mayakovsky committed suicide on April 14, 1930.

The Futurist architect Antonio Sant’Elia expressed his ideas of modernity in his drawings for La Citt Nuova (The New City) (19121914). This project was never built and Sant’Elia was killed in the First World War, but his ideas influenced later generations of architects and artists.[citation needed] The city was a backdrop onto which the dynamism of Futurist life is projected. The city had replaced the landscape as the setting for the exciting modern life. Sant’Elia aimed to create a city as an efficient, fast-paced machine. He manipulates light and shape to emphasize the sculptural quality of his projects. Baroque curves and encrustations had been stripped away to reveal the essential lines of forms unprecedented from their simplicity. In the new city, every aspect of life was to be rationalized and centralized into one great powerhouse of energy. The city was not meant to last, and each subsequent generation was expected to build their own city rather than inheriting the architecture of the past.

Futurist architects were sometimes at odds with the Fascist state’s tendency towards Roman imperial-classical aesthetic patterns. Nevertheless, several Futurist buildings were built in the years 19201940, including public buildings such as railway stations, maritime resorts and post offices. Examples of Futurist buildings still in use today are Trento’s railway station, built by Angiolo Mazzoni, and the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence. The Florence station was designed in 1932 by the Gruppo Toscano (Tuscan Group) of architects, which included Giovanni Michelucci and Italo Gamberini, with contributions by Mazzoni.[citation needed]

Futurist music rejected tradition and introduced experimental sounds inspired by machinery, and would influence several 20th-century composers.

Francesco Balilla Pratella joined the Futurist movement in 1910 and wrote a Manifesto of Futurist Musicians in which he appealed to the young (as had Marinetti), because only they could understand what he had to say. According to Pratella, Italian music was inferior to music abroad. He praised the “sublime genius” of Wagner and saw some value in the work of other contemporary composers, for example Richard Strauss, Elgar, Mussorgsky, and Sibelius. By contrast, the Italian symphony was dominated by opera in an “absurd and anti-musical form”. The conservatories was said to encourage backwardness and mediocrity. The publishers perpetuated mediocrity and the domination of music by the “rickety and vulgar” operas of Puccini and Umberto Giordano. The only Italian Pratella could praise was his teacher Pietro Mascagni, because he had rebelled against the publishers and attempted innovation in opera, but even Mascagni was too traditional for Pratella’s tastes. In the face of this mediocrity and conservatism, Pratella unfurled “the red flag of Futurism, calling to its flaming symbol such young composers as have hearts to love and fight, minds to conceive, and brows free of cowardice.”

Luigi Russolo (18851947) wrote The Art of Noises (1913),[19][20] an influential text in 20th-century musical aesthetics. Russolo used instruments he called intonarumori, which were acoustic noise generators that permitted the performer to create and control the dynamics and pitch of several different types of noises. Russolo and Marinetti gave the first concert of Futurist music, complete with intonarumori, in 1914. However they were prevented from performing in many major European cities by the outbreak of war.

Futurism was one of several 20th-century movements in art music that paid homage to, included or imitated machines. Ferruccio Busoni has been seen as anticipating some Futurist ideas, though he remained wedded to tradition.[21] Russolo’s intonarumori influenced Stravinsky, Arthur Honegger, George Antheil, Edgar Varse,[11] Stockhausen and John Cage.[citation needed] In Pacific 231, Honegger imitated the sound of a steam locomotive. There are also Futurist elements in Prokofiev’s The Steel Step and in his Second Symphony.

Most notable in this respect, however, is the American George Antheil. His fascination with machinery is evident in his Airplane Sonata, Death of the Machines, and the 30-minute Ballet Mcanique. The Ballet Mcanique was originally intended to accompany an experimental film by Fernand Lger, but the musical score is twice the length of the film and now stands alone. The score calls for a percussion ensemble consisting of three xylophones, four bass drums, a tam-tam, three airplane propellers, seven electric bells, a siren, two “live pianists”, and sixteen synchronized player pianos. Antheil’s piece was the first to synchronize machines with human players and to exploit the difference between what machines and humans can play.

Other composers offered more melodic variants of Futurist music, notably Franco Casavola, who was active with the movement at the invitation of Marinetti between 1924 and 1927, and Arthur-Vincent Louri, the first Russian Futurist musician, and a signatory of the St Petersburg Futurist Manifesto in 1914. His five Synthses offer a form of dodecaphony, while Formes en l’air was dedicated to Picasso and is a Cubo-Futurist concept. Born in Ukraine and raised in New York, Leo Ornstein gave his first recital of ‘Futurist Music’ at the Steinway Hall in London on 27 March 1914. According to the Daily Sketch newspaper “one listened with considerable distress. Nothing so horrible as Mr Ornstein’s music has been heard so far. Sufferers from complete deafness should attend the next recital.”

The Futuristic movement also influenced the concept of dance. Indeed, dancing was interpreted as an alternative way of expressing man’s ultimate fusion with the machine. The altitude of a flying plane, the power of a car’s motor and the roaring loud sounds of complex machinery were all signs of man’s intelligence and excellence which the art of dance had to emphasize and praise. This type of dance is considered futuristic since it disrupts the referential system of traditional, classical dance and introduces a different style, new to the sophisticated bourgeois audience. The dancer no longer performs a story, a clear content, that can be read according to the rules of ballet. One of the most famous futuristic dancers was the Italian Giannina Censi(it). Trained as a classical ballerina, she is known for her “Aerodanze” and continued to earn her living by performing in classical and popular productions. She describes this innovative form of dance as the result of a deep collaboration with Marinetti and his poetry. Through these words, she explains: ” I launched this idea of the aerial-futurist poetry with Marinetti, he himself declaiming the poetry. A small stage of a few square meters;… I made myself a satin costume with a helmet; everything that the plane did had to be expressed by my body. It flew and, moreover, it gave the impression of these wings that trembled, of the apparatus that trembled,… And the face had to express what the pilot felt.”[22][23]

Futurism as a literary movement made its official debut with F.T. Marinetti’s Manifesto of Futurism (1909), as it delineated the various ideals Futurist poetry should strive for. Poetry, the predominate medium of Futurist literature, can be characterized by its unexpected combinations of images and hyper-conciseness (not to be confused with the actual length of the poem). The Futurists called their style of poetry parole in libert (word autonomy) in which all ideas of meter were rejected and the word became the main unit of concern. In this way, the Futurists managed to create a new language free of syntax punctuation, and metrics that allowed for free expression.

Theater also has an important place within the Futurist universe. Works in this genre have scenes that are few sentences long, have an emphasis on nonsensical humor, and attempt to discredit the deep rooted traditions via parody and other devaluation techniques.There are a number of examples of Futurist novels from both the initial period of Futurism and the neo-Futurist period, from Marinetti himself to a number of lesser known Futurists, such as Primo Conti, Ardengo Soffici and Giordano Bruno Sanzin (Zig Zag, Il Romanzo Futurista edited by Alessandro Masi, 1995). They are very diverse in style, with very little recourse to the characteristics of Futurist Poetry, such as ‘parole in libert’. Arnaldo Ginna’s ‘Le locomotive con le calze'(Trains with socks on)plunges into a world of absurd nonsense, childishly crude. His brother Bruno Corra wrote in Sam Dunn morto (Sam Dunn is Dead) a masterpiece of Futurist fiction, in a genre he himself called ‘Synthetic’ characterized by compression, and precision; it is a sophisticated piece that rises above the other novels through the strength and pervasiveness of its irony.

When interviewed about her favorite film of all times,[24] famed movie critic Pauline Kael stated that the director Dimitri Kirsanoff, in his silent experimental film Mnilmontant “developed a technique that suggests the movement known in painting as Futurism”.[25]

Many Italian Futurists supported Fascism in the hope of modernizing a country divided between the industrialising north and the rural, archaic South. Like the Fascists, the Futurists were Italian nationalists, radicals, admirers of violence, and were opposed to parliamentary democracy. Marinetti founded the Futurist Political Party (Partito Politico Futurista) in early 1918, which was absorbed into Benito Mussolini’s Fasci di combattimento in 1919, making Marinetti one of the first members of the National Fascist Party. He opposed Fascism’s later exaltation of existing institutions, calling them “reactionary”, and walked out of the 1920 Fascist party congress in disgust, withdrawing from politics for three years; but he supported Italian Fascism until his death in 1944. The Futurists’ association with Fascism after its triumph in 1922 brought them official acceptance in Italy and the ability to carry out important work, especially in architecture. After the Second World War, many Futurist artists had difficulty in their careers because of their association with a defeated and discredited regime.

Marinetti sought to make Futurism the official state art of Fascist Italy but failed to do so. Mussolini chose to give patronage to numerous styles and movements in order to keep artists loyal to the regime. Opening the exhibition of art by the Novecento Italiano group in 1923, he said, “I declare that it is far from my idea to encourage anything like a state art. Art belongs to the domain of the individual. The state has only one duty: not to undermine art, to provide humane conditions for artists, to encourage them from the artistic and national point of view.”[26] Mussolini’s mistress, Margherita Sarfatti, who was as able a cultural entrepreneur as Marinetti, successfully promoted the rival Novecento group, and even persuaded Marinetti to sit on its board. Although in the early years of Italian Fascism modern art was tolerated and even embraced, towards the end of the 1930s, right-wing Fascists introduced the concept of “degenerate art” from Germany to Italy and condemned Futurism.

Marinetti made numerous moves to ingratiate himself with the regime, becoming less radical and avant-garde with each. He moved from Milan to Rome to be nearer the centre of things. He became an academician despite his condemnation of academies, married despite his condemnation of marriage, promoted religious art after the Lateran Treaty of 1929 and even reconciled himself to the Catholic Church, declaring that Jesus was a Futurist.

Although Futurism mostly became identified with Fascism, it had leftist and anti-Fascist supporters. They tended to oppose Marinetti’s artistic and political direction of the movement, and in 1924 the socialists, communists and anarchists walked out of the Milan Futurist Congress. The anti-Fascist voices in Futurism were not completely silenced until the annexation of Abyssinia and the Italo-German Pact of Steel in 1939.[27] This association of Fascists, socialists and anarchists in the Futurist movement, which may seem odd today, can be understood in terms of the influence of Georges Sorel, whose ideas about the regenerative effect of political violence had adherents right across the political spectrum.

Futurism expanded to encompass many artistic domains and ultimately included painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre design, textiles, drama, literature, music and architecture.

Aeropainting (aeropittura) was a major expression of the second generation of Futurism beginning in 1926. The technology and excitement of flight, directly experienced by most aeropainters,[28] offered aeroplanes and aerial landscape as new subject matter. Aeropainting was varied in subject matter and treatment, including realism (especially in works of propaganda), abstraction, dynamism, quiet Umbrian landscapes,[29] portraits of Mussolini (e.g. Dottori’s Portrait of il Duce), devotional religious paintings, decorative art, and pictures of planes.

Aeropainting was launched in a manifesto of 1929, Perspectives of Flight, signed by Benedetta, Depero, Dottori, Filla, Marinetti, Prampolini, Somenzi and Tato (Guglielmo Sansoni). The artists stated that “The changing perspectives of flight constitute an absolutely new reality that has nothing in common with the reality traditionally constituted by a terrestrial perspective” and that “Painting from this new reality requires a profound contempt for detail and a need to synthesise and transfigure everything.” Crispolti identifies three main “positions” in aeropainting: “a vision of cosmic projection, at its most typical in Prampolini’s ‘cosmic idealism’ …; a ‘reverie’ of aerial fantasies sometimes verging on fairy-tale (for example in Dottori …); and a kind of aeronautical documentarism that comes dizzyingly close to direct celebration of machinery (particularly in Crali, but also in Tato and Ambrosi).”[30]

Eventually there were over a hundred aeropainters. Major figures include Fortunato Depero,Enrico Prampolini, Gerardo Dottori and Crali. Crali continued to produce aeropittura up until the 1980s.

Futurism influenced many other twentieth-century art movements, including Art Deco, Vorticism, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and much later Neo-Futurism.[31][32] Futurism as a coherent and organized artistic movement is now regarded as extinct, having died out in 1944 with the death of its leader Marinetti.

Nonetheless the ideals of Futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture; the emphasis on youth, speed, power and technology finding expression in much of modern commercial cinema and culture. Ridley Scott consciously evoked the designs of Sant’Elia in Blade Runner.[citation needed] Echoes of Marinetti’s thought, especially his “dreamt-of metallization of the human body”, are still strongly prevalent in Japanese culture, and surface in manga/anime and the works of artists such as Shinya Tsukamoto, director of the “Tetsuo” (lit. “Ironman”) films. Futurism has produced several reactions, including the literary genre of cyberpunkin which technology was often treated with a critical eyewhilst artists who came to prominence during the first flush of the Internet, such as Stelarc and Mariko Mori, produce work which comments on Futurist ideals.[citation needed] and the art and architecture movement Neo-Futurism in which technology is considered a driver to a better quality of life and sustainability values.[33][34]

A revival of sorts of the Futurist movement in theatre began in 1988 with the creation of the Neo-Futurist style in Chicago, which utilizes Futurism’s focus on speed and brevity to create a new form of immediate theatre. Currently, there are active Neo-Futurist troupes in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Montreal.[35]

Futurist ideas have been discerned in Western dance music since the 1980s.[36]

Japanese Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1986 album ‘Futurista’ was inspired by the movement. It features a speech from Tommaso Marinetti in the track ‘Variety Show’.[37]

In 2009, Italian director Marco Bellocchio included Futurist art in his feature film “Vincere”.[38]

In 2014, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum featured the exhibition “Italian Futurism, 19091944: Reconstructing the Universe”.[39] This was the first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism to be presented in the United States.[40]

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is a museum in London with a collection centered around Italian futurist artists and their paintings.

Umberto Boccioni, 1911, La rue entre dans la maison; Luigi Russolo, 1911, Souvenir dune nuit. Published in Les Annales politiques et littraires, 1 December 1912

Paintings by Gino Severini, 1911, La Danse du Pan-Pan, and Severini, 1913, Lautobus. Published in Les Annales politiques et littraires, Le Paradoxe Cubiste, 14 March 1920

Paintings by Gino Severini, 1911, Souvenirs de Voyage; Albert Gleizes, 1912, Man on a Balcony, LHomme au balcon; Severini, 191213, Portrait de Mlle Jeanne Paul-Fort; Luigi Russolo, 191112, La Rvolte. Published in Les Annales politiques et littraires, Le Paradoxe Cubiste (continued), n. 1916, 14 March 1920

Original post:

Futurism – Wikipedia

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Blockchain Futurist Conference | Aug 15-16 2018 Toronto …

Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Whole brain emulation (WBE), mind upload or brain upload (sometimes called “mind copying” or “mind transfer”) is the hypothetical futuristic process of scanning the mental state (including long-term memory and “self”) of a particular brain substrate and copying it to a computer. The computer could then run a simulation model of the brain’s information processing, such that it responds in essentially the same way as the original brain (i.e., indistinguishable from the brain for all relevant purposes) and experiences having a conscious mind.[1][2][3]

Mind uploading may potentially be accomplished by either of two methods: Copy-and-transfer or gradual replacement of neurons. In the case of the former method, mind uploading would be achieved by scanning and mapping the salient features of a biological brain, and then by copying, transferring, and storing that information state into a computer system or another computational device. The simulated mind could be within a virtual reality or simulated world, supported by an anatomic 3D body simulation model. Alternatively the simulated mind could reside in a computer that is inside (or connected to) a (not necessarily humanoid) robot or a biological body in real life.[4]

Among some futurists and within the transhumanist movement, mind uploading is treated as an important proposed life extension technology. Some believe mind uploading is humanity’s current best option for preserving the identity of the species, as opposed to cryonics. Another aim of mind uploading is to provide a permanent backup to our “mind-file”, to enable interstellar space travels, and a means for human culture to survive a global disaster by making a functional copy of a human society in a Matrioshka brain, i.e. a computing device that consumes all energy from a star. Whole brain emulation is discussed by some futurists as a “logical endpoint”[4] of the topical computational neuroscience and neuroinformatics fields, both about brain simulation for medical research purposes. It is discussed in artificial intelligence research publications as an approach to strong AI. Computer-based intelligence such as an upload could think much faster than a biological human even if it were no more intelligent. A large-scale society of uploads might, according to futurists, give rise to a technological singularity, meaning a sudden time constant decrease in the exponential development of technology.[5] Mind uploading is a central conceptual feature of numerous science fiction novels and films.

Substantial mainstream research in related areas is being conducted in animal brain mapping and simulation, development of faster supercomputers, virtual reality, braincomputer interfaces, connectomics and information extraction from dynamically functioning brains.[6] According to supporters, many of the tools and ideas needed to achieve mind uploading already exist or are currently under active development; however, they will admit that others are, as yet, very speculative, but still in the realm of engineering possibility. Neuroscientist Randal Koene has formed a nonprofit organization called Carbon Copies to promote mind uploading research.

The human brain contains, on average, about 86 billion nerve cells called neurons, each individually linked to other neurons by way of connectors called axons and dendrites. Signals at the junctures (synapses) of these connections are transmitted by the release and detection of chemicals known as neurotransmitters. The established neuroscientific consensus is that the human mind is largely an emergent property of the information processing of this neural network.[citation needed]

Neuroscientists have stated that important functions performed by the mind, such as learning, memory, and consciousness, are due to purely physical and electrochemical processes in the brain and are governed by applicable laws. For example, Christof Koch and Giulio Tononi wrote in IEEE Spectrum:

Consciousness is part of the natural world. It depends, we believe, only on mathematics and logic and on the imperfectly known laws of physics, chemistry, and biology; it does not arise from some magical or otherworldly quality.[7]

The concept of mind uploading is based on this mechanistic view of the mind, and denies the vitalist view of human life and consciousness.[citation needed]

Eminent computer scientists and neuroscientists have predicted that specially programmed computers will be capable of thought and even attain consciousness, including Koch and Tononi,[7] Douglas Hofstadter,[8] Jeff Hawkins,[8] Marvin Minsky,[9] Randal A. Koene, and Rodolfo Llinas.[10]

Such an artificial intelligence capability might provide a computational substrate necessary for uploading.

However, even though uploading is dependent upon such a general capability, it is conceptually distinct from general forms of AI in that it results from dynamic reanimation of information derived from a specific human mind so that the mind retains a sense of historical identity (other forms are possible but would compromise or eliminate the life-extension feature generally associated with uploading). The transferred and reanimated information would become a form of artificial intelligence, sometimes called an infomorph or “nomorph”.[citation needed]

Many theorists have presented models of the brain and have established a range of estimates of the amount of computing power needed for partial and complete simulations.[4][citation needed] Using these models, some have estimated that uploading may become possible within decades if trends such as Moore’s law continue.[11]

In theory, if the information and processes of the mind can be disassociated from the biological body, they are no longer tied to the individual limits and lifespan of that body. Furthermore, information within a brain could be partly or wholly copied or transferred to one or more other substrates (including digital storage or another brain), thereby from a purely mechanistic perspective reducing or eliminating “mortality risk” of such information. This general proposal was discussed in 1971 by biogerontologist George M. Martin of the University of Washington.[12]

An uploaded astronaut could be used instead of a “live” astronaut in human spaceflight, avoiding the perils of zero gravity, the vacuum of space, and cosmic radiation to the human body. It would allow for the use of smaller spacecraft, such as the proposed StarChip, and it would enable virtually unlimited interstellar travel distances.[13]

The focus of mind uploading, in the case of copy-and-transfer, is on data acquisition, rather than data maintenance of the brain. A set of approaches known as loosely coupled off-loading (LCOL) may be used in the attempt to characterize and copy the mental contents of a brain.[14] The LCOL approach may take advantage of self-reports, life-logs and video recordings that can be analyzed by artificial intelligence. A bottom-up approach may focus on the specific resolution and morphology of neurons, the spike times of neurons, the times at which neurons produce action potential responses.

Advocates of mind uploading point to Moore’s law to support the notion that the necessary computing power is expected to become available within a few decades. However, the actual computational requirements for running an uploaded human mind are very difficult to quantify, potentially rendering such an argument specious.

Regardless of the techniques used to capture or recreate the function of a human mind, the processing demands are likely to be immense, due to the large number of neurons in the human brain along with the considerable complexity of each neuron.

In 2004, Henry Markram, lead researcher of the “Blue Brain Project”, stated that “it is not [their] goal to build an intelligent neural network”, based solely on the computational demands such a project would have.[16]

It will be very difficult because, in the brain, every molecule is a powerful computer and we would need to simulate the structure and function of trillions upon trillions of molecules as well as all the rules that govern how they interact. You would literally need computers that are trillions of times bigger and faster than anything existing today.[17]

Five years later, after successful simulation of part of a rat brain, Markram was much more bold and optimistic. In 2009, as director of the Blue Brain Project, he claimed that A detailed, functional artificial human brain can be built within the next 10 years.[18]

Required computational capacity strongly depend on the chosen level of simulation model scale:[4]

Since the function of the human mind and how it might arise from the working of the brain’s neural network, are poorly understood issues, mind uploading relies on the idea of neural network emulation. Rather than having to understand the high-level psychological processes and large-scale structures of the brain, and model them using classical artificial intelligence methods and cognitive psychology models, the low-level structure of the underlying neural network is captured, mapped and emulated with a computer system. In computer science terminology,[dubious discuss] rather than analyzing and reverse engineering the behavior of the algorithms and data structures that resides in the brain, a blueprint of its source code is translated to another programming language. The human mind and the personal identity then, theoretically, is generated by the emulated neural network in an identical fashion to it being generated by the biological neural network.

On the other hand, a molecule-scale simulation of the brain is not expected to be required, provided that the functioning of the neurons is not affected by quantum mechanical processes. The neural network emulation approach only requires that the functioning and interaction of neurons and synapses are understood. It is expected that it is sufficient with a black-box signal processing model of how the neurons respond to nerve impulses (electrical as well as chemical synaptic transmission).

A sufficiently complex and accurate model of the neurons is required. A traditional artificial neural network model, for example multi-layer perceptron network model, is not considered as sufficient. A dynamic spiking neural network model is required, which reflects that the neuron fires only when a membrane potential reaches a certain level. It is likely that the model must include delays, non-linear functions and differential equations describing the relation between electrophysical parameters such as electrical currents, voltages, membrane states (ion channel states) and neuromodulators.

Since learning and long-term memory are believed to result from strengthening or weakening the synapses via a mechanism known as synaptic plasticity or synaptic adaptation, the model should include this mechanism. The response of sensory receptors to various stimuli must also be modelled.

Furthermore, the model may have to include metabolism, i.e. how the neurons are affected by hormones and other chemical substances that may cross the bloodbrain barrier. It is considered likely that the model must include currently unknown neuromodulators, neurotransmitters and ion channels. It is considered unlikely that the simulation model has to include protein interaction, which would make it computationally complex.[4]

A digital computer simulation model of an analog system such as the brain is an approximation that introduces random quantization errors and distortion. However, the biological neurons also suffer from randomness and limited precision, for example due to background noise. The errors of the discrete model can be made smaller than the randomness of the biological brain by choosing a sufficiently high variable resolution and sample rate, and sufficiently accurate models of non-linearities. The computational power and computer memory must however be sufficient to run such large simulations, preferably in real time.

When modelling and simulating the brain of a specific individual, a brain map or connectivity database showing the connections between the neurons must be extracted from an anatomic model of the brain. For whole brain simulation, this network map should show the connectivity of the whole nervous system, including the spinal cord, sensory receptors, and muscle cells. Destructive scanning of a small sample of tissue from a mouse brain including synaptic details is possible as of 2010.[19]

However, if short-term memory and working memory include prolonged or repeated firing of neurons, as well as intra-neural dynamic processes, the electrical and chemical signal state of the synapses and neurons may be hard to extract. The uploaded mind may then perceive a memory loss of the events and mental processes immediately before the time of brain scanning.[4]

A full brain map has been estimated to occupy less than 2 x 1016 bytes (20,000 TB) and would store the addresses of the connected neurons, the synapse type and the synapse “weight” for each of the brains’ 1015 synapses.[4][not in citation given] However, the biological complexities of true brain function (e.g. the epigenetic states of neurons, protein components with multiple functional states, etc.) may preclude an accurate prediction of the volume of binary data required to faithfully represent a functioning human mind.

A possible method for mind uploading is serial sectioning, in which the brain tissue and perhaps other parts of the nervous system are frozen and then scanned and analyzed layer by layer, which for frozen samples at nano-scale requires a cryo-ultramicrotome, thus capturing the structure of the neurons and their interconnections.[20] The exposed surface of frozen nerve tissue would be scanned and recorded, and then the surface layer of tissue removed. While this would be a very slow and labor-intensive process, research is currently underway to automate the collection and microscopy of serial sections.[21] The scans would then be analyzed, and a model of the neural net recreated in the system that the mind was being uploaded into.

There are uncertainties with this approach using current microscopy techniques. If it is possible to replicate neuron function from its visible structure alone, then the resolution afforded by a scanning electron microscope would suffice for such a technique.[21] However, as the function of brain tissue is partially determined by molecular events (particularly at synapses, but also at other places on the neuron’s cell membrane), this may not suffice for capturing and simulating neuron functions. It may be possible to extend the techniques of serial sectioning and to capture the internal molecular makeup of neurons, through the use of sophisticated immunohistochemistry staining methods that could then be read via confocal laser scanning microscopy. However, as the physiological genesis of ‘mind’ is not currently known, this method may not be able to access all of the necessary biochemical information to recreate a human brain with sufficient fidelity.

It may be possible to create functional 3D maps of the brain activity, using advanced neuroimaging technology, such as functional MRI (fMRI, for mapping change in blood flow), magnetoencephalography (MEG, for mapping of electrical currents), or combinations of multiple methods, to build a detailed three-dimensional model of the brain using non-invasive and non-destructive methods. Today, fMRI is often combined with MEG for creating functional maps of human cortex during more complex cognitive tasks, as the methods complement each other. Even though current imaging technology lacks the spatial resolution needed to gather the information needed for such a scan, important recent and future developments are predicted to substantially improve both spatial and temporal resolutions of existing technologies.[23]

There is ongoing work in the field of brain simulation, including partial and whole simulations of some animals. For example, the C. elegans roundworm, Drosophila fruit fly, and mouse have all been simulated to various degrees.[citation needed]

The Blue Brain Project by the Brain and Mind Institute of the cole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne, Switzerland is an attempt to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering mammalian brain circuitry.

Underlying the concept of “mind uploading” (more accurately “mind transferring”) is the broad philosophy that consciousness lies within the brain’s information processing and is in essence an emergent feature that arises from large neural network high-level patterns of organization, and that the same patterns of organization can be realized in other processing devices. Mind uploading also relies on the idea that the human mind (the “self” and the long-term memory), just like non-human minds, is represented by the current neural network paths and the weights of the brain synapses rather than by a dualistic and mystic soul and spirit. The mind or “soul” can be defined as the information state of the brain, and is immaterial only in the same sense as the information content of a data file or the state of a computer software currently residing in the work-space memory of the computer. Data specifying the information state of the neural network can be captured and copied as a “computer file” from the brain and re-implemented into a different physical form.[24] This is not to deny that minds are richly adapted to their substrates.[25] An analogy to the idea of mind uploading is to copy the temporary information state (the variable values) of a computer program from the computer memory to another computer and continue its execution. The other computer may perhaps have different hardware architecture but emulates the hardware of the first computer.

These issues have a long history. In 1775 Thomas Reid wrote:[26] I would be glad to know… whether when my brain has lost its original structure, and when some hundred years after the same materials are fabricated so curiously as to become an intelligent being, whether, I say that being will be me; or, if, two or three such beings should be formed out of my brain; whether they will all be me, and consequently one and the same intelligent being.

A considerable portion of transhumanists and singularitarians place great hope into the belief that they may become immortal, by creating one or many non-biological functional copies of their brains, thereby leaving their “biological shell”. However, the philosopher and transhumanist Susan Schneider claims that at best, uploading would create a copy of the original person’s mind.[27] Susan Schneider agrees that consciousness has a computational basis, but this does not mean we can upload and survive. According to her views, “uploading” would probably result in the death of the original person’s brain, while only outside observers can maintain the illusion of the original person still being alive. For it is implausible to think that one’s consciousness would leave one’s brain and travel to a remote location; ordinary physical objects do not behave this way. Ordinary objects (rocks, tables, etc.) are not simultaneously here, and somewhere else. At best, a copy of the original mind is created.[27] Neural correlates of consciousness, a sub-branch of neuroscience, states that consciousness may be thought of as a state-dependent property of some undefined complex, adaptive, and highly interconnected biological system.[28]

Others have argued against such conclusions. For example, Buddhist transhumanist James Hughes has pointed out that this consideration only goes so far: if one believes the self is an illusion, worries about survival are not reasons to avoid uploading,[29] and Keith Wiley has presented an argument wherein all resulting minds of an uploading procedure are granted equal primacy in their claim to the original identity, such that survival of the self is determined retroactively from a strictly subjective position.[30][31] Some have also asserted that consciousness is a part of an extra-biological system that is yet to be discovered and cannot be fully understood under the present constraints of neurobiology. Without the transference of consciousness, true mind-upload or perpetual immortality cannot be practically achieved.[32]

Another potential consequence of mind uploading is that the decision to “upload” may then create a mindless symbol manipulator instead of a conscious mind (see philosophical zombie).[33][34] Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it displays behaviors that are highly indicative of consciousness? Are we to assume that an upload is conscious if it verbally insists that it is conscious?[35] Could there be an absolute upper limit in processing speed above which consciousness cannot be sustained? The mystery of consciousness precludes a definitive answer to this question.[36] Numerous scientists, including Kurzweil, strongly believe that determining whether a separate entity is conscious (with 100% confidence) is fundamentally unknowable, since consciousness is inherently subjective (see solipsism). Regardless, some scientists strongly believe consciousness is the consequence of computational processes which are substrate-neutral. On the contrary, numerous scientists believe consciousness may be the result of some form of quantum computation dependent on substrate (see quantum mind).[37][38][39]

In light of uncertainty on whether to regard uploads as conscious, Sandberg proposes a cautious approach:[40]

Principle of assuming the most (PAM): Assume that any emulated system could have the same mental properties as the original system and treat it correspondingly.

It is argued that if a computational copy of one’s mind did exist, it would be impossible for one to verify this.[41] The argument for this stance is the following: for a computational mind to recognize an emulation of itself, it must be capable of deciding whether two Turing machines (namely, itself and the proposed emulation) are functionally equivalent. This task is uncomputable due to the undecidability of equivalence, thus there cannot exist a computational procedure in the mind that is capable of recognizing an emulation of itself.

The process of developing emulation technology raises ethical issues related to animal welfare and artificial consciousness.[40] The neuroscience required to develop brain emulation would require animal experimentation, first on invertebrates and then on small mammals before moving on to humans. Sometimes the animals would just need to be euthanized in order to extract, slice, and scan their brains, but sometimes behavioral and in vivo measures would be required, which might cause pain to living animals.[40]

In addition, the resulting animal emulations themselves might suffer, depending on one’s views about consciousness.[40] Bancroft argues for the plausibility of consciousness in brain simulations on the basis of the “fading qualia” thought experiment of David Chalmers. He then concludes:[42] If, as I argue above, a sufficiently detailed computational simulation of the brain is potentially operationally equivalent to an organic brain, it follows that we must consider extending protections against suffering to simulations.

It might help reduce emulation suffering to develop virtual equivalents of anaesthesia, as well as to omit processing related to pain and/or consciousness. However, some experiments might require a fully functioning and suffering animal emulation. Animals might also suffer by accident due to flaws and lack of insight into what parts of their brains are suffering.[40] Questions also arise regarding the moral status of partial brain emulations, as well as creating neuromorphic emulations that draw inspiration from biological brains but are built somewhat differently.[42]

Brain emulations could be erased by computer viruses or malware, without need to destroy the underlying hardware. This may make assassination easier than for physical humans. The attacker might take the computing power for its own use.[43]

Many questions arise regarding the legal personhood of emulations.[44] Would they be given the rights of biological humans? If a person makes an emulated copy of themselves and then dies, does the emulation inherit their property and official positions? Could the emulation ask to “pull the plug” when its biological version was terminally ill or in a coma? Would it help to treat emulations as adolescents for a few years so that the biological creator would maintain temporary control? Would criminal emulations receive the death penalty, or would they be given forced data modification as a form of “rehabilitation”? Could an upload have marriage and child-care rights?[44]

If simulated minds would come true and if they were assigned rights of their own, it may be difficult to ensure the protection of “digital human rights”. For example, social science researchers might be tempted to secretly expose simulated minds, or whole isolated societies of simulated minds, to controlled experiments in which many copies of the same minds are exposed (serially or simultaneously) to different test conditions.[citation needed]

Emulations could create a number of conditions that might increase risk of war, including inequality, changes of power dynamics, a possible technological arms race to build emulations first, first-strike advantages, strong loyalty and willingness to “die” among emulations, and triggers for racist, xenophobic, and religious prejudice.[43] If emulations run much faster than humans, there might not be enough time for human leaders to make wise decisions or negotiate. It is possible that humans would react violently against growing power of emulations, especially if they depress human wages. Emulations may not trust each other, and even well-intentioned defensive measures might be interpreted as offense.[43]

There are very few feasible technologies that humans have refrained from developing. The neuroscience and computer-hardware technologies that may make brain emulation possible are widely desired for other reasons, and logically their development will continue into the future. Assuming that emulation technology will arrive, a question becomes whether we should accelerate or slow its advance.[43]

Arguments for speeding up brain-emulation research:

Arguments for slowing down brain-emulation research:

Emulation research would also speed up neuroscience as a whole, which might accelerate medical advances, cognitive enhancement, lie detectors, and capability for psychological manipulation.[49]

Emulations might be easier to control than de novo AI because

As counterpoint to these considerations, Bostrom notes some downsides:

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, claims to know and foresee that people will be able to “upload” their entire brains to computers and become “digitally immortal” by 2045. Kurzweil made this claim for many years, e.g. during his speech in 2013 at the Global Futures 2045 International Congress in New York, which claims to subscribe to a similar set of beliefs.[50] Mind uploading is also advocated by a number of researchers in neuroscience and artificial intelligence, such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] while he was still alive. In 1993, Joe Strout created a small web site called the Mind Uploading Home Page, and began advocating the idea in cryonics circles and elsewhere on the net. That site has not been actively updated in recent years, but it has spawned other sites including MindUploading.org, run by Randal A. Koene, who also moderates a mailing list on the topic. These advocates see mind uploading as a medical procedure which could eventually save countless lives.

Many transhumanists look forward to the development and deployment of mind uploading technology, with transhumanists such as Nick Bostrom predicting that it will become possible within the 21st century due to technological trends such as Moore’s law.[4]

Michio Kaku, in collaboration with Science, hosted a documentary, Sci Fi Science: Physics of the Impossible, based on his book Physics of the Impossible. Episode four, titled “How to Teleport”, mentions that mind uploading via techniques such as quantum entanglement and whole brain emulation using an advanced MRI machine may enable people to be transported to vast distances at near light-speed.

The book Beyond Humanity: CyberEvolution and Future Minds by Gregory S. Paul & Earl D. Cox, is about the eventual (and, to the authors, almost inevitable) evolution of computers into sentient beings, but also deals with human mind transfer. Richard Doyle’s Wetwares: Experiments in PostVital Living deals extensively with uploading from the perspective of distributed embodiment, arguing for example that humans are currently part of the “artificial life phenotype”. Doyle’s vision reverses the polarity on uploading, with artificial life forms such as uploads actively seeking out biological embodiment as part of their reproductive strategy.

Kenneth D. Miller, a professor of neuroscience at Columbia and a co-director of the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, raised doubts about the practicality of mind uploading. His major argument is that reconstructing neurons and their connections is in itself a formidable task, but it is far from being sufficient. Operation of the brain depends on the dynamics of electrical and biochemical signal exchange between neurons; therefore, capturing them in a single “frozen” state may prove insufficient. In addition, the nature of these signals may require modeling down to the molecular level and beyond. Therefore, while not rejecting the idea in principle, Miller believes that the complexity of the “absolute” duplication of an individual mind is insurmountable for the nearest hundreds of years.[51]

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Mind uploading – Wikipedia

Mind uploading in fiction – Wikipedia

Mind uploading, whole brain emulation or substrate-independent minds is a use of a computer or another substrate as an emulated human brain, and the view of thoughts and memories as software information states. The term mind transfer also refers to a hypothetical transfer of a mind from one biological brain to another. Uploaded minds and societies of minds, often in simulated realities, are recurring themes in science fiction novels and films since 1950s.

An early story featuring something like mind uploading is the novella Izzard and the Membrane by Walter M. Miller, Jr., first published in May 1951.[1] In this story, an American cyberneticist named Scott MacDonney is captured by Russians and made to work on an advanced computer, Izzard, which they plan to use to coordinate an attack on the United States. He has conversations with Izzard as he works on it, and when he asks it if it is self-aware, it says “answer indeterminate” and then asks “can human individual’s self-awareness transor be mechanically duplicated?” MacDonney is unfamiliar with the concept of a self-awareness transor (it is later revealed that this information was loaded into Izzard by a mysterious entity who may nor may not be God[2]), and Izzard defines it by saying “A self-awareness transor is the mathematical function which describes the specific consciousness pattern of one human individual.”[3] It is later found that this mathematical function can indeed be duplicated, although not by a detailed scan of the individual’s brain as in later notions of mind uploading; instead, Donney just has to describe the individual verbally in sufficient detail, and Izzard uses this information to locate the transor in the appropriate “mathematical region”. In Izzard’s words, “to duplicate consciousness of deceased, it will be necessary for you to furnish anthropometric and psychic characteristics of the individual. These characteristics will not determine transor, but will only give its general form. Knowing its form, will enable me to sweep my circuit pattern through its mathematical region until the proper transor is reached. At that point, the consciousness will appear among the circuits.”[4] Using this method, MacDonney is able to recreate the mind of his dead wife in Izzard’s memory, as well as create a virtual duplicate of himself, which seems to have a shared awareness with the biological MacDonney.

In The Altered Ego by Jerry Sohl (1954), a person’s mind can be “recorded” and used to create a “restoration” in the event of their death. In a restoration, the person’s biological body is repaired and brought back to life, and their memories are restored to the last time that they had their minds recorded (what the story calls a ‘brain record'[5]), an early example of a story in which a person can create periodic backups of their own mind. The recording process is not described in great detail, but it is mentioned that the recording is used to create a duplicate or “dupe” which is stored in the “restoration bank”,[6] and at one point a lecturer says that “The experience of the years, the neurograms, simple memory circuitsneurons, if you wishstored among these nerve cells, are transferred to the dupe, a group of more than ten billion molecules in colloidal suspension. They are charged much as you would charge the plates of a battery, the small neuroelectrical impulses emanating from your brain during the recording session being duplicated on the molecular structure in the solution.”[7] During restoration, they take the dupe and “infuse it into an empty brain”,[7] and the plot turns on the fact that it is possible to install one person’s dupe in the body of a completely different person.[8]

An early example featuring uploaded minds in robotic bodies can be found in Frederik Pohl’s story “The Tunnel Under the World” from 1955.[9] In this story, the protagonist Guy Burckhardt continually wakes up on the same date from a dream of dying in an explosion. Burckhardt is already familiar with the idea of putting human minds in robotic bodies, since this is what is done with the robot workers at the nearby Contro Chemical factory. As someone has once explained it to him, “each machine was controlled by a sort of computer which reproduced, in its electronic snarl, the actual memory and mind of a human being … It was only a matter, he said, of transferring a man’s habit patterns from brain cells to vacuum-tube cells.” Later in the story, Pohl gives some additional description of the procedure: “Take a master petroleum chemist, infinitely skilled in the separation of crude oil into its fractions. Strap him down, probe into his brain with searching electronic needles. The machine scans the patterns of the mind, translates what it sees into charts and sine waves. Impress these same waves on a robot computer and you have your chemist. Or a thousand copies of your chemist, if you wish, with all of his knowledge and skill, and no human limitations at all.” After some investigation, Burckhardt learns that his entire town had been killed in a chemical explosion, and the brains of the dead townspeople had been scanned and placed into miniature robotic bodies in a miniature replica of the town (as a character explains to him, ‘It’s as easy to transfer a pattern from a dead brain as a living one’), so that a businessman named Mr. Dorchin could charge companies to use the townspeople as test subjects for new products and advertisements.

Something close to the notion of mind uploading is very briefly mentioned in Isaac Asimov’s 1956 short story The Last Question: “One by one Man fused with AC, each physical body losing its mental identity in a manner that was somehow not a loss but a gain.” A more detailed exploration of the idea (and one in which individual identity is preserved, unlike in Asimov’s story) can be found in ArthurC. Clarke’s novel The City and the Stars, also from 1956 (this novel was a revised and expanded version of Clarke’s earlier story Against the Fall of Night, but the earlier version did not contain the elements relating to mind uploading). The story is set in a city named Diaspar one billion years in the future, where the minds of inhabitants are stored as patterns of information in the city’s Central Computer in between a series of 1000-year lives in cloned bodies. Various commentators identify this story as one of the first (if not the first) to deal with mind uploading, human-machine synthesis, and computerized immortality.[10][11][12][13]

Another of the “firsts” is the novel Detta r verkligheten (This is reality), 1968, by the renowned philosopher and logician Bertil Mrtensson, a novel in which he describes people living in an uploaded state as a means to control overpopulation. The uploaded people believe that they are “alive”, but in reality they are playing elaborate and advanced fantasy games. In a twist at the end, the author changes everything into one of the best “multiverse” ideas of science fiction.

In Robert Silverberg’s To Live Again (1969), an entire worldwide economy is built up around the buying and selling of “souls” (personas that have been tape-recorded at six-month intervals), allowing well-heeled consumers the opportunity to spend tens of millions of dollars on a medical treatment that uploads the most recent recordings of archived personalities into the minds of the buyers. Federal law prevents people from buying a “personality recording” unless the possessor first had died; similarly, two or more buyers were not allowed to own a “share” of the persona. In this novel, the personality recording always went to the highest bidder. However, when one attempted to buy (and therefore possess) too many personalities, there was the risk that one of the personas would wrest control of the body from the possessor.

In the 1982 novel Software, part of the Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker, one of the main characters, Cobb Anderson, has his mind downloaded and his body replaced with an extremely human-like android body. The robots who persuade Anderson into doing this sell the process to him as a way to become immortal.

In William Gibson’s award-winning Neuromancer (1984), which popularized the concept of “cyberspace”, a hacking tool used by the main character is an artificial infomorph of a notorious cyber-criminal, Dixie Flatline. The infomorph only assists in exchange for the promise that he be deleted after the mission is complete.

The fiction of Greg Egan has explored many of the philosophical, ethical, legal, and identity aspects of mind transfer, as well as the financial and computing aspects (i.e. hardware, software, processing power) of maintaining “copies.” In Egan’s Permutation City (1994), Diaspora (1997) and Zendegi (2010), “copies” are made by computer simulation of scanned brain physiology. See also Egan’s “jewelhead” stories, where the mind is transferred from the organic brain to a small, immortal backup computer at the base of the skull, the organic brain then being surgically removed.

The movie The Matrix is commonly mistaken for a mind uploading movie, but with exception to suggestions in later movies, it is only about virtual reality and simulated reality, since the main character Neo’s physical brain still is required to reside his mind. The mind (the information content of the brain) is not copied into an emulated brain in a computer. Neo’s physical brain is connected into the Matrix via a brain-machine interface. Only the rest of the physical body is simulated. Neo is disconnected from and reconnected to this dreamworld.

James Cameron’s 2009 movie Avatar has so far been the commercially most successful example of a work of fiction that features a form of mind uploading. Throughout most of the movie, the hero’s mind has not actually been uploaded and transferred to another body, but is simply controlling the body from a distance, a form of telepresence. However, at the end of the movie the hero’s mind is uploaded into Eywa, the mind of the planet, and then back into his Avatar body.

Mind transfer is a theme in many other works of science fiction in a wide range of media. Specific examples include the following:

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Mind uploading in fiction – Wikipedia

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Experience a typical Maine vacation in this historic, renovated Lighthouse. You can reserve the entire private island for up to $1,750 per night. The Cuckolds is a destination for adventure and pampered luxury, popular with newlyweds. The island is also the ideal vacation spot for artists and anglers, poets and photographers, nature lovers, mariners, and lighthouse enthusiasts.

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Two men injured in shootout with police at Haynesville, St James.

Two men were injured at Haynesville, St James this evening following a shooting incident involving police.

Around 5:30 p.m., police were conducting an operation in the community where people were involved in cockfighting.

Upon their arrival, police officers met men with weapons and there was an exchange of gunfire.Two males, a 33-year-old resident of Clifton Hall, St John and a 40-year-old of Retreat Terrace, Black Rock, St Michael received gunshot injuries and were transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.Police also found a firearm and recovered a number of live rounds.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Police Emergency 211 or 419-1700.

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Man injured in shooting incident at Brandons Beach

One man is nursing a gunshot wound following a shooting incident at Brandons Beach, Brandons, St Michael around 5 p.m.

Police say the victim, whose name has not been disclosed, was involved in an altercation involving a number of men.

The man, who was shot in his right leg, ran away from the scene and was later transported to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The assailants escaped on foot.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact the Black Rock Police Station at 417-7500 or 417- 7501.

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Interdicted cop arrested after threatening to shoot wife An interdicted Cadet Officer of the Guyana Police Force has been arrested by the lawmen after hethreatened to shoot his wife , allegedly with an illegal firearm. Reports are that Cadet Officer Franz Paul , whoin May of this year had a criminal charge discharged against him after he compensated his victim for an offence

Pensioner dies in Pomeroon River accident By Indrawattie Natram SEVENTY-eight-year-old Allan Handy aka Saga of Grant Good Intent, Lower Pomeroon died onSunday afternoon followinga boat collision. According to information reaching Guyana Chronicle, the incident occurred around16:00hours onSundayin the vicinity of Grant Good Intent, Lower Pomeroon River. Information revealed that the deceased left his sons home in a wooden boat and was

Its Volda Volda Lawrence elected PNCR chair Dr George Norton and Annette Ferguson are vice-chairs AFTER more than 15 hours of voting and tallying, Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence was declared chairperson of the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), even as President David Granger was returned unopposed as leader of the party. Lawrence,

APOLOGY FOR MURDER OVERCOME with grief at a murder committed by his brother, Brenton McLean wept as he hugged the murder victims son and apologised to him yesterday.

Maria devastates Dominica GOVERNMENT was yesterday mobilising resources to send relief supplies and manpower to Dominica after Category 5 Hurricane Maria devastated that country between Monday night and early yesterday morning.

AG: Judiciary, DPP getting help ATTORNEY General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday said both the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) have been receiving assistance to help improve the criminal justice system.

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The Zeitgeist Movement – Wikipedia

The Zeitgeist Movement is a non-profit organization established in the United States in 2008 by Peter Joseph.[1][2] The organization advocates a transformation of society and its economic system to a non-monetary system based on resource allocation and environmentalism.[3][4][5]

In 2007 Peter Joseph produced and self-financed a live performance art piece which ran for six nights in lower Manhattan that he entitled “Zeitgeist”. According to Joseph in an interview in 2012, he was surprised after a version he made of this performance (Zeitgeist: The Movie), the first film in the Zeitgeist film series, went viral on social media with millions of views.[6]

The Zeitgeist Movement was formed in 2008[7] by Joseph shortly after the late 2008 release of Zeitgeist: Addendum, the second film in the ‘Zeitgeist’ film series.[8][9] The ideas were based on the Venus Project, a societal model created by social engineer Jacque Fresco.[8][10] In the Venus Project, machines control government and industry and safeguard resources using an artificial intelligence “earthwide autonomic sensor system”, a super-brain connected to all human knowledge.[11]

In its first year, the movement described itself as “the activist arm of the Venus Project.”[12] In April 2011, partnership between the two groups ended in an apparent power struggle, with Joseph commenting, “Without [the Zeitgeist Movement], [the Venus Project] doesnt exist it has nothing but ideas and has no viable method to bring it to light.”[8] In an interview, Fresco said that although the Zeitgeist Movement wanted to act as the ‘activist arm’ of Venus project, Joseph never clarified what that would entail, and Fresco’s ideas of how to change society were not followed. As a result, Fresco withdrew participation in the Zeitgeist Movement.[13]

The group is critical of market capitalism, describing it as structurally corrupt and wasteful of resources. According to The Daily Telegraph, the group dismisses historic religious concepts as misleading, and embraces sustainable ecology and scientific administration of society.[14][15][16][17][18]

The first Zeitgeist documentary which predates the organization Zeitgeist movement, borrowed from the works of Eustace Mullins, Lyndon LaRouche, and Austin radio host Alex Jones. Much of its footage was taken directly from Alex Jones documentaries,[19]such as his documentary Terrorstorm.[20]

VC Reporter’s Shane Cohn summarized the movement’s charter as: “Our greatest social problems are the direct results of our economic system”.[9]

Near the end of Zeitgeist: Addendum, a ‘call to action in the form of joining “The Zeitgeist Movement” was put forward. In 2009, months after the release of Addendum the first formal “Zeitgeist Day” (ZDAY) occurred in New York City.'[21]

In January 2014, the group self-published a book, The Zeitgeist Movement Defined: Realizing A New Train Of Thought, composed of eighteen essays on psychology, economics, and scientific theory written by the ‘TZM Lecture Team’ and edited by Ben McLeish, Matt Berkowitz, and Peter Joseph.[22]

The book describes the name of the group in this way:

The group holds two annual events: Z-Day (or Zeitgeist Day), an “educational forum”[23] held in March, and an art event called Zeitgeist Media Festival.[11] The second Z-Day took place in Manhattan in 2009 and included lectures by Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco. The organizers said that local chapters also held sister events on the same day.[23] The Zeitgeist Media Festival was first held in 2011. Its third annual event took place on August 4, 2013 at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub in Los Angeles, California.[11][24]

The New York Times reported in 2009 that the organization’s second annual event sold out Manhattan Community College in New York with 900 people who paid $10 apiece to attend. The event’s organizers said that 450 connected events in 70 countries around the globe also took place.[25]

An article in the Journal of Contemporary Religion describes the movement as an example of a “conspirituality”, a synthesis of New Age spirituality and conspiracy theory.[26]

Michelle Goldberg of Tablet Magazine called the movement “the world’s first Internet-based apocalyptic cult, with members who parrot the party line with cheerful, rote fidelity.” In her opinion, the movement is “devoted to a kind of sci-fi planetary communism”, and the 2007 documentary that “sparked” the movement was “steeped in far-right, isolationist, and covertly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”[27]

Alan Feuer of The New York Times said the movement was like “a utopian presentation of a money-free and computer-driven vision of the future, a wholesale reimagination of civilization, as if Karl Marx and Carl Sagan had hired John Lennon from his “Imagine” days to do no less than redesign the underlying structures of planetary life.”[23]

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The Zeitgeist Movement – Wikipedia

Semi-Immortality | Superpower Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

China (Axis Powers Hetalia) is 4000+ years old, but appears much younger due to being the only country that is truly immortal.

Washio (Buso Renkin) is a homunculus, which makes him an ageless life-form, with immunity from diseases, making him very hard to kill.

Papillon (Buso Renkin) is a homunculus, which stops him from aging, and even prevents him from dying from his mortal disease, making him very hard to kill.

Kinjo (Buso Renkin) is a homunculus, which stops him from aging and immune to any mortal diseases and very hard to kill.

The Four Founders of Eden (Code:Breaker) are all Dignified Power users, and thus mastered their life force to the point of ceasing their aging.

Kouji (Code:Breaker) is a Dignified Power user, and has ceased aging for a long time.

Prime Minister Fujiwara (Code:Breaker) has mastered his life force like the Dignified Power users, and stopped aging.

Road Kamelot (D.Gray-man) hasn’t aged in 35 years, keeping her preteen appearance forever.

Shinigami (Death Note) will remain eternal, so long as they continuously use their Death Notes to extend their own lifespan when necessary.

Artificial Humans (Dragon Ball) such as 17 and 18 ceased to age since they are altered at a cellular level, while 16 is synthetic from the start.

Artificial Human 19 (Dragon Ball) is a synthetic creation of Dr. Gero who will not age.

Dr. Gero (Dragon Ball) converted himself into an Artificial Human, thus escaping old age for the sake of eternal life.

Master Roshi (Dragon Ball) eats constantly Paradise Grass, which prevents him from dying of old age.

Tomiko Asahina (From the New World) restores the length of her telomeres, allowing her to extend her life indefinitely.

As one of the first generation of Angels, Michael (Highschool DxD) is over 10,000 years old , having lived since the time of the Biblical God.

As one of the first generation of Angels, Gabriel (Highschool DxD) has lived for over 10,000 years.

Kakuzu (Naruto) tears still-beating hearts out of his victims and integrates them into his own body, extending his lifespan so long as he continues this process when necessary.

Hidan (Naruto) is the successful product of the Jashin religion’s experiments of immortality, and cannot die of injuries, but can die of hunger; in essence, he’s the inverse of a typical semi-immortal.

Sasori (Naruto) converted himself into a puppet, escaping old age and sustenance intake necessity; the only way to kill him is to attack his core of living flesh.

Madara Uchiha (Naruto) linked himself to the Gedo Mazo, extending his lifespan indefinitely so long as he remains hooked up to this life support. However, this did not stop him from aging.

Zetsu (Naruto) are ageless, as Black Zetsu is an artificial human created from Kaguya’s materialized will, while White Zetsu are mutated humans.

Brook (One Piece) possesses eternal youth since his second life is supported by his Devil Fruit ability, and his living cell tissues have already rotted off before he came back to life.

The power of the Hobi Hobi no Mi has given Sugar (One Piece) eternal youth. Despite her appearance, she is actually 22 years old.

Archie (Pokemon Adventures) wearing the armor Eternity, which grants him eternal life as the inside has its own timezone.

Kurousagi (Problem Children are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?) is no longer aging and has lived for over 200 years and still has the appearance of a 18 years old.

Younger Toguro (Yu Yu Hakusho) and his older brother wished to become demons, preventing them from aging.

Elder Toguro (Yu Yu Hakusho) and his younger brother wished to become demons, preventing them from aging.

As the incarnation of the natural world, Lala-Ru (Now and Then, Here and There) hasn’t aged in over 600,000 years.

Muromi (Muromi-san) is completely ageless, having been alive since Pangaea over 300 million years ago.

The Golden Tyrant/Judas Iscariot (Seikon no Qwaser) has lived for over two thousand years since the time of Jesus Christ.

The Ancient Dragon (Seiken Tsukai no World Break) is the most ancient metaphysical of them all, as he has lived completely unchanged by the passage of time for countless ages.

Demi-goddess Rory Mercury (GATE) retains the appearance of a 12 years old girl, despite being 964 years old.

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Ode: Intimations of Immortality – Wikipedia

“Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” (also known as “Ode”, “Immortality Ode” or “Great Ode”) is a poem by William Wordsworth, completed in 1804 and published in Poems, in Two Volumes (1807). The poem was completed in two parts, with the first four stanzas written among a series of poems composed in 1802 about childhood. The first part of the poem was completed on 27 March 1802 and a copy was provided to Wordsworth’s friend and fellow poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who responded with his own poem, “Dejection: An Ode”, in April. The fourth stanza of the ode ends with a question, and Wordsworth was finally able to answer it with seven additional stanzas completed in early 1804. It was first printed as “Ode” in 1807, and it was not until 1815 that it was edited and reworked to the version that is currently known, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality”.

The poem is an irregular Pindaric ode in 11 stanzas that combines aspects of Coleridge’s Conversation poems, the religious sentiments of the Bible and the works of Saint Augustine, and aspects of the elegiac and apocalyptic traditions. It is split into three movements: the first four stanzas discuss death, and the loss of youth and innocence; the second four stanzas describes how age causes man to lose sight of the divine, and the final three stanzas express hope that the memory of the divine allow us to sympathise with our fellow man. The poem relies on the concept of pre-existence, the idea that the soul existed before the body, to connect children with the ability to witness the divine within nature. As children mature, they become more worldly and lose this divine vision, and the ode reveals Wordsworth’s understanding of psychological development that is also found in his poems The Prelude and Tintern Abbey. Wordsworth’s praise of the child as the “best philosopher” was criticised by Coleridge and became the source of later critical discussion.

Modern critics sometimes have referred to Wordsworth’s poem as the “Great Ode”[1][2] and ranked it among his best poems,[3] but this wasn’t always the case. Contemporary reviews of the poem were mixed, with many reviewers attacking the work or, like Lord Byron, dismissing the work without analysis. The critics felt that Wordsworth’s subject matter was too “low” and some felt that the emphasis on childhood was misplaced. Among the Romantic poets, most praised various aspects of the poem however. By the Victorian period, most reviews of the ode were positive with only John Ruskin taking a strong negative stance against the poem. The poem continued to be well received into the 20th century, with few exceptions. The majority ranked it as one of Wordsworth’s greatest poems.

A divine morning at Breakfast Wm wrote part of an ode Mr Olliff sent the Dung & Wm went to work in the garden we sate all day in the Orchard.

In 1802, Wordsworth wrote many poems that dealt with his youth. These poems were partly inspired by his conversations with his sister, Dorothy, whom he was living with in the Lake District at the time. The poems, beginning with “The Butterfly” and ending with “To the Cuckoo”, were all based on Wordsworth’s recalling both the sensory and emotional experience of his childhood. From “To the Cuckoo”, he moved on to “The Rainbow”, both written on 26 March 1802, and then on to “Ode: Intimation of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”. As he moved from poem to poem, he began to question why, as a child, he once was able to see an immortal presence within nature but as an adult that was fading away except in the few moments he was able to meditate on experiences found in poems like “To the Cuckoo”. While sitting at breakfast on 27 March, he began to compose the ode. He was able to write four stanzas that put forth the question about the faded image and ended, “Where is it now, the glory and the dream?” The poem would remain in its smaller, four-stanza version until 1804.[5]

The short version of the ode was possibly finished in one day because Wordsworth left the next day to spend time with Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Keswick.[6] Close to the time Wordsworth and Coleridge climbed the Skiddaw mountain, 3 April 1802, Wordsworth recited the four stanzas of the ode that were completed. The poem impressed Coleridge,[7] and, while with Wordsworth, he was able to provide his response to the ode’s question within an early draft of his poem, “Dejection: An Ode”.[8] In early 1804, Wordsworth was able to return his attention to working on the ode. It was a busy beginning of the year with Wordsworth having to help Dorothy recover from an illness in addition to writing his poems. The exact time of composition is unknown, but it probably followed his work on The Prelude, which consumed much of February and was finished on 17 March. Many of the lines of the ode are similar to the lines of The Prelude Book V, and he used the rest of the ode to try to answer the question at the end of the fourth stanza.[9]

The poem was first printed in full for Wordsworth’s 1807 collection of poems, Poems, in Two Volumes, under the title “Ode”.[10] It was the last poem of the second volume of the work,[11] and it had its own title page separating it from the rest of the poems, including the previous poem “Peele Castle”. Wordsworth added an epigraph just before publication, “paul majora canamus”. The Latin phrase is from Virgil’s Eclogue 4, meaning “let us sing a somewhat loftier song”.[12] The poem was reprinted under its full title “Ode: Intimation of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” for Wordsworth’s collection Poems (1815). The reprinted version also contained an epigraph that, according to Henry Crabb Robinson, was added at Crabb’s suggestion.[10] The epigraph was from “My Heart Leaps Up”.[13] In 1820, Wordsworth issued The Miscellaneous Poems of William Wordsworth that collected the poems he wished to be preserved with an emphasis on ordering the poems, revising the text, and including prose that would provide the theory behind the text. The ode was the final poem of the fourth and final book, and it had its own title-page, suggesting that it was intended as the poem that would serve to represent the completion of his poetic abilities. The 1820 version also had some revisions,[14] including the removal of lines 140 and 141.[15]

The poem uses an irregular form of the Pindaric ode in 11 stanzas. The lengths of the lines and of the stanzas vary throughout the text, and the poem begins with an iambic meter. The irregularities increase throughout the poem and Stanza IX lacks a regular form before being replaced with a march-like meter in the final two stanzas. The poem also contains multiple enjambments and there is a use of an ABAB rhyme scheme that gives the poem a singsong quality. By the end of the poem, the rhymes start to become as irregular in a similar way to the meter, and the irregular Stanza IX closes with an iambic couplet. The purpose of the change in rhythm, rhyme, and style is to match the emotions expressed in the poem as it develops from idea to idea. The narration of the poem is in the style of an interior monologue,[16] and there are many aspects of the poem that connects it to Coleridge’s style of poetry called “Conversation poems”, especially the poem’s reliance on a one sided discussion that expects a response that never comes.[17] There is also a more traditional original of the discussion style of the poem, as many of the prophetic aspects of the poem are related to the Old Testament of the Bible.[18] Additionally, the reflective and questioning aspects are similar to the Psalms and the works of Saint Augustine, and the ode contains what is reminiscent of Hebrew prayer.[19]

In terms of genre, the poem is an ode, which makes it a poem that is both prayer and contains a celebration of its subject. However, this celebration is mixed with questioning and this hinders the continuity of the poem.[20] The poem is also related to the elegy in that it mourns the loss of childhood vision,[21] and the title page of the 1807 edition emphasises the influence of Virgil’s Eclogue 4.[22] Wordsworth’s use of the elegy, in his poems including the “Lucy” poems, parts of The Excursion, and others, focus on individuals that protect themselves from a sense of loss by turning to nature or time. He also rejects any kind of fantasy that would take him away from reality while accepting both death and the loss of his own abilities to time while mourning over the loss.[23] However, the elegy is traditionally a private poem while Wordsworth’s ode is more public in nature.[24] The poem is also related to the genre of apocalyptic writing in that it focuses on what is seen or the lack of sight. Such poems emphasise the optical sense and were common to many poems written by the Romantic poets, including his own poem The Ruined Cottage, Coleridge’s “Dejection: An Ode” and Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty” and “The Zucca”.[25]

The ode contains 11 stanzas split into three movements. The first movement is four stanzas long and discusses the narrator’s inability to see the divine glory of nature, the problem of the poem. The second movement is four stanzas long and has a negative response to the problem. The third movement is three stanzas long and contains a positive response to the problem.[26] The ode begins by contrasting the narrator’s view of the world as a child and as a man, with what was once a life interconnected to the divine fading away:[27]

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,The earth, and every common sight,To me did seemApparelled in celestial light,The glory and the freshness of a dream.It is not now as it hath been of yore;Turn wheresoe’er I may,By night or day,The things which I have seen I now can see no more. (lines 19)

In the second and third stanzas, the narrator continues by describing his surroundings and various aspects of nature that he is no longer able to feel. He feels as if he is separated from the rest of nature until he experiences a moment that brings about feelings of joy that are able to overcome his despair:[28]

To me alone there came a thought of grief:A timely utterance gave that thought relief,And I again am strong:The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;No more shall grief of mine the season wrong; (lines 2226)

The joy in stanza III slowly fades again in stanza IV as the narrator feels like there is “something that is gone”.[28] As the stanza ends, the narrator asks two different questions to end the first movement of the poem. Though they appear to be similar, one asks where the visions are now (“Where is it now”) while the other doesn’t (“Whither is fled”), and they leave open the possibility that the visions could return:[29]

A single Field which I have looked upon,Both of them speak of something that is gone:The Pansy at my feetDoth the same tale repeat:Whither is fled the visionary gleam?Where is it now, the glory and the dream? (lines 5257)

The second movement begins in stanza V by answering the question of stanza IV by describing a Platonic system of pre-existence. The narrator explains how humans start in an ideal world that slowly fades into a shadowy life:[28]

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,Hath had elsewhere its setting,And cometh from afar:Not in entire forgetfulness,And not in utter nakedness,But trailing clouds of glory do we comeFrom God, who is our home:Heaven lies about us in our infancy!Shades of the prison-house begin to closeUpon the growing Boy,But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,He sees it in his joy; (lines 5870)

Before the light fades away as the child matures, the narrator emphasises the greatness of the child experiencing the feelings. By the beginning of stanza VIII, the child is described as a great individual,[30] and the stanza is written in the form of a prayer that praises the attributes of children:[31]

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belieThy Soul’s immensity;Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keepThy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,Haunted for ever by the eternal mind, Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!On whom those truths do rest,Which we are toiling all our lives to find,In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; (lines 108117)

The end of stanza VIII brings about the end of a second movement within the poem. The glories of nature are only described as existing in the past, and the child’s understanding of morality is already causing them to lose what they once had:[29]

Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,And custom lie upon thee with a weight,Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life! (lines 129131)

The questions in Stanza IV are answered with words of despair in the second movement, but the third movement is filled with joy.[26] Stanza IX contains a mixture of affirmation of life and faith as it seemingly avoids discussing what is lost.[30] The stanza describes how a child is able to see what others do not see because children do not comprehend mortality, and the imagination allows an adult to intimate immortality and bond with his fellow man:[32]

Hence in a season of calm weatherThough inland far we be,Our Souls have sight of that immortal seaWhich brought us hither,Can in a moment travel thither,And see the Children sport upon the shore,And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. (lines 164170)

The children on the shore represents the adult narrator’s recollection of childhood, and the recollection allows for an intimation of returning to that mental state. In stanza XI, the imagination allows one to know that there are limits to the world, but it also allows for a return to a state of sympathy with the world lacking any questions or concerns:[33]

The Clouds that gather round the setting sunDo take a sober colouring from an eyeThat hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;Another race hath been, and other palms are won. (lines 199202)

The poem concludes with an affirmation that, though changed by time, the narrator is able to be the same person he once was:[34]

Thanks to the human heart by which we live,Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,To me the meanest flower that blows can giveThoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. (lines 203206)

The first version of the ode is similar to many of Wordsworth’s spring 1802 poems. The ode is like To the Cuckoo in that both poems discuss aspects of nature common to the end of spring. Both poems were not crafted at times that the natural imagery could take place, so Wordsworth had to rely on his imagination to determine the scene. Wordsworth refers to “A timely utterance” in the third stanza, possibly the same event found in his The Rainbow, and the ode contains feelings of regret that the experience must end. This regret is joined with feelings of uneasiness that he no longer feels the same way he did as a boy. The ode reflects Wordsworth’s darker feelings that he could no longer return to a peaceful state with nature. This gloomy feeling is also present in The Ruined Cottage and in Tintern Abbey.[35] Of the other 1802 poems, the ode is different from his Resolution and Independence, a poem that describes the qualities needed to become a great poet. The poem argued that a poet should not be excessive or irresponsible in behaviour and contains a sense of assurance that is not found within the original four stanzas. Instead, there is a search for such a feeling but the poem ends without certainty, which relates the ode to Coleridge’s poem Dejection: An Ode.[36] When read together, Coleridge’s and Wordsworth’s poem form a dialogue with an emphasis on the poet’s relationship with nature and humanity. However, Wordsworth’s original four stanzas describing a loss is made darker in Coleridge and, to Coleridge, only humanity and love are able to help the poet.[37]

While with Wordsworth, Coleridge was able to read the poem and provide his response to the ode’s question within an early draft of his poem, Dejection: an Ode. Coleridge’s answer was to claim that the glory was the soul and it is a subjective answer to the question. Wordsworth took a different path as he sought to answer the poem, which was to declare that childhood contained the remnants of a beatific state and that being able to experience the beauty that remained later was something to be thankful for. The difference between the two could be attributed to the differences in the poets’ childhood experiences; Coleridge suffered from various pain in his youth whereas Wordsworth’s was far more pleasant. It is possible that Coleridge’s earlier poem, The Mad Monk (1800) influenced the opening of the ode and that discussions between Dorothy and Wordsworth about Coleridge’s childhood and painful life were influences on the crafting of the opening stanza of the poem.[38] However, the message in the ode, as with Tintern Abbey, describes the pain and suffering of life as able to dull the memory of early joy from nature but it is unable to completely destroy it.[39] The suffering leads Wordsworth to recognise what is soothing in nature, and he credits the pain as leading to a philosophical understanding of the world.[40]

The poem is similar to the conversation poems created by Coleridge, including Dejection: An Ode. The poems were not real conversations as there is no response to the narrator of the poem, but they are written as if there would be a response. The poems seek to have a response, though it never comes, and the possibility of such a voice though absence is a type of prosopopoeia. In general, Coleridge’s poems discuss the cosmic as they long for a response, and it is this aspect, not a possible object of the conversation, that forms the power of the poem. Wordsworth took up the form in both Tintern Abbey and Ode: Intimations of Immortality, but he lacks the generous treatment of the narrator as found in Coleridge’s poems. As a whole, Wordsworth’s technique is impersonal and more logical, and the narrator is placed in the same position as the object of the conversation. The narrator of Wordsworth is more self-interested and any object beyond the narrator is kept without a possible voice and is turned into a second self of the poet. As such, the conversation has one of the participants lose his identity for the sake of the other and that individual represents loss and mortality.[41]

The expanded portion of the ode is related to the ideas expressed in Wordsworth’s The Prelude Book V in their emphasis on childhood memories and a connection between the divine and humanity. To Wordsworth, the soul was created by the divine and was able to recognise the light in the world. As a person ages, they are no longer able to see the light, but they can still recognise the beauty in the world.[42] He elaborated on this belief in a note to the text: “Archimedes said that he could move the world if he had a point whereon to rest his machine. Who has not felt the same aspirations as regards the world of his own mind? Having to wield some of its elements when I was impelled to write this poem on the “Immortality of the Soul”, I took hold of the notion of pre-existence as having sufficient foundation in humanity for authorising me to make for my purpose the best use I could of it as a Poet.”[43] This “notion of pre-existence” is somewhat Platonic in nature, and it is the basis for Wordsworth believing that children are able to be the “best philosopher”.[44] The idea was not intended as a type of metempsychosis, the reincarnation of the soul from person to person, and Wordsworth later explained that the poem was not meant to be regarded as a complete philosophical view: “In my Ode… I do not profess to give a literal representation of the state of the affections and of the moral being in childhood. I record my feelings at that time,–my absolute spirituality, my ‘all-soulness,’ if I may so speak. At that time I could not believe that I should lie down quietly in the grave, and that my body would moulder into dust.”[45]

Wordsworth’s explanation of the origin of the poem suggests that it was inspiration and passion that led to the ode’s composition, and he later said that the poem was to deal with the loss of sensations and a desire to overcome the natural process of death. As for the specific passages in the poem that answer the question of the early version, two of the stanzas describe what it is like to be a child in a similar manner to his earlier poem, “To Hartley Coleridge, Six Years Old” dedicated to Coleridge’s son. In the previous poem, the subject was Hartley’s inability to understand death as an end to life or a separation. In the ode, the child is Wordsworth and, like Hartley or the girl described in “We are Seven”, he too was unable to understand death and that inability is transformed into a metaphor for childish feelings. The later stanzas also deal with personal feelings but emphasise Wordsworth’s appreciation for being able to experience the spiritual parts of the world and a desire to know what remains after the passion of childhood sensations are gone.[46] This emphasis of the self places mankind in the position of the object of prayer, possibly replacing a celebration of Christ’s birth with a celebration of his own as the poem describes mankind coming from the eternal down to earth. Although this emphasis seems non-Christian, many of the poem’s images are Judeo-Christian in origin.[47] Additionally, the Platonic theory of pre-existence is related to the Christian understanding of the Incarnation, which is a connection that Shelley drops when he reuses many of Wordsworth’s ideas in The Triumph of Life.[48]

The idea of pre-existence within the poem contains only a limited theological component, and Wordsworth later believed that the concept was “far too shadowy a notion to be recommended to faith.”[49] In 1989, Gene Ruoff argued that the idea was connected to Christian theology in that the Christian theorist Origen adopted the belief and relied on it in the development of Christian doctrine. What is missing in Origen’s platonic system is Wordsworth’s emphasis on childhood, which could be found in the beliefs of the Cambridge Platonists and their works, including Henry Vaughan’s “The Retreate”.[50] Even if the idea is not Christian, it still cannot be said that the poem lacks a theological component because the poem incorporates spiritual images of natural scenes found in childhood.[51] Among those natural scenes, the narrator includes a Hebrew prayer-like praise of God for the restoration of the soul to the body in the morning and the attributing of God’s blessing to the various animals he sees. What concerns the narrator is that he is not being renewed like the animals and he is fearful over what he is missing. This is similar to a fear that is provided at the beginning of The Prelude and in Tintern Abbey. As for the understanding of the soul contained within the poem, Wordsworth is more than Platonic in that he holds an Augustinian concept of mercy that leads to the progress of the soul. Wordsworth differs from Augustine in that Wordsworth seeks in the poem to separate himself from the theory of solipsism, the belief that nothing exists outside of the mind. The soul, over time, exists in a world filled with the sublime before moving to the natural world, and the man moves from an egocentric world to a world with nature and then to a world with mankind. This system links nature with a renewal of the self.[52]

Ode: Intimations of Immortality is about childhood, but the poem doesn’t completely focus on childhood or what was lost from childhood. Instead, the ode, like The Prelude and Tintern Abbey, places an emphasis on how an adult develops from a child and how being absorbed in nature inspires a deeper connection to humanity.[53] The ode focuses not on Dorothy or on Wordsworth’s love, Mary Hutchinson, but on himself and is part of what is called his “egotistical sublime”.[54] Of his childhood, Wordsworth told Catherine Clarkson in an 1815 letter that the poem “rests entirely upon two recollections of childhood, one that of a splendour in the objects of sense which is passed away, and the other an indisposition to bend to the law of death as applying to our particular case…. A Reader who has not a vivid recollection of these feelings having existed in his mind in childhood cannot understand the poem.”[55] Childhood, therefore, becomes a means to exploring memory, and the imagination, as Wordsworth claims in the letter, is connected to man’s understanding of immortality. In a letter to Isabella Fenwick, he explained his particular feelings about immortality that he held when young:[56] “I was often unable to think of external things as having external existence, and I communed with all that I saw as something not apart from, but inherent in, my own immaterial nature.”[57] These feelings were influenced by Wordsworth’s own experience of loss, including the death of his parents, and may have isolated him from society if the feelings did not ease as he matured.[58]

Like the two other poems, The Prelude and Tintern Abbey, the ode discusses Wordsworth’s understanding of his own psychological development, but it is not a scientific study of the subject. He believed that it is difficult to understand the soul and emphasises the psychological basis of his visionary abilities, an idea found in the ode but in the form of a lamentation for the loss of vision. To Wordsworth, vision is found in childhood but is lost later, and there are three types of people that lose their vision. The first are men corrupted through either an apathetic view of the visions or through meanness of mind. The second are the “common” people who lose their vision as a natural part of ageing. The last, the gifted, lose parts of their vision, and all three retain at least a limited ability to experience visions. Wordsworth sets up multiple stages, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and maturity as times of development but there is no real boundary between each stage. To Wordsworth, infancy is when the “poetic spirit”, the ability to experience visions, is first developed and is based on the infant learning about the world and bonding to nature. As the child goes through adolescence, he continues to bond with nature and this is slowly replaced by a love for humanity, a concept known as “One Life”. This leads to the individual despairing and only being able to resist despair through imagination.[59] When describing the stages of human life, one of the images Wordsworth relies on to describe the negative aspects of development is a theatre stage, the Latin idea of theatrum mundi. The idea allows the narrator to claim that people are weighed down by the roles they play over time. The narrator is also able to claim through the metaphor that people are disconnected from reality and see life as if in a dream.[60]

Wordsworth returns to the ideas found within the complete ode many times in his later works. There is also a strong connection between the ode and Wordsworth’s Ode to Duty, completed at the same time in 1804. The poems describe Wordsworth’s assessment of his poetry and contains reflections on conversations held between Wordsworth and Coleridge on poetry and philosophy. The basis of the Ode to Duty states that love and happiness are important to life, but there is something else necessary to connect an individual to nature, affirming the narrator’s loyalty to a benevolent divine presence in the world. However, Wordsworth was never satisfied with the result of Ode to Duty as he was with Ode: Intimations of Immortality.[61] In terms of use of light as a central image, the ode is related to Peele Castle, but the light in the latter poem is seen as an illusion and stands in opposition to the ode’s ideas.[62] In an 1809 essay as part of his Essays upon Epitaphs for Coleridge’s journal, The Friend, Wordsworth argued that people have intimations that there is an immortal aspect of their life and that without such feelings that joy could not be felt in the world. The argument and the ideas are similar to many of the statements in the ode along with those in The Prelude, Tintern Abbey, and “We Are Seven”. He would also return directly to the ode in his 1817 poem Composed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendor and Beauty where he evaluates his own evolving life and poetic works while discussing the loss of an early vision of the world’s joys. In the Ode: Intimations of Immortality, Wordsworth concluded that he gives thanks that was able to gain even though he lost his vision of the joy in the world, but in the later work he tones down his emphasis on the gain and provides only a muted thanks for what remains of his ability to see the glory in the world.[63]

Wordsworth’s ode is a poem that describes how suffering allows for growth and an understanding of nature,[40] and this belief influenced the poetry of other Romantic poets. Wordsworth followed a Virgilian idea called lachrimae rerum, which means that “life is growth” but it implies that there is also loss within life. To Wordsworth, the loss brought about enough to make up for what was taken. Shelley, in his Prometheus Unbound, describes a reality that would be the best that could be developed but always has the suffering, death, and change. John Keats developed an idea called “the Burden of the Mystery” that emphasizes the importance of suffering in the development of man and necessary for maturation.[64] However, Coleridge’s Dejection: An Ode describes the loss of his own poetic ability as he aged and mourned what time took. In Coleridge’s theory, his poetic abilities were the basis for happiness and without them there would only be misery.[65] In addition to views on suffering, Shelley relies on Wordsworth’s idea of pre-existence in The Triumph of Life,[48] and Keats relies on Wordsworth’s interrogative technique in many of his poems, but he discards the egocentric aspects of the questions.[66]

The ode praises children for being the “best Philosopher” (“lover of truth”) because they live in truth and have prophetic abilities.[31] This claim bothers Coleridge and he writes, in Biographia Literaria, that Wordsworth was trying to be a prophet in an area that he could have no claim to prophecy.[67] In his analysis of the poem, Coleridge breaks down many aspects of Wordsworth’s claims and asks, “In what sense can the magnificent attributes, above quoted, be appropriated to a child, which would not make them equally suitable to a be, or a dog, or a field of corn: or even to a ship, or to the wind and waves that propel it? The omnipresent Spirit works equally in them, as in the child; and the child is equally unconscious of it as they.”[68] The knowledge of nature that Wordsworth thinks is wonderful in children, Coleridge feels is absurd in Wordsworth since a poet couldn’t know how to make sense of a child’s ability to sense the divine any more than the child with a limited understanding could know of the world.[69] I. A. Richards, in his work Coleridge on Imagination (1934), responds to Coleridge’s claims by asking, “Why should Wordsworth deny that, in a much less degree, these attributes are equally suitable to a bee, or a dog, or a field of corn?”[70]

Later, Cleanth Brooks reanalyzes the argument to point out that Wordsworth would include the animals among the children. He also explains that the child is the “best philosopher” because of his understanding of the “eternal deep”, which comes from enjoying the world through play: “They are playing with their little spades and sand-buckets along the beach on which the waves break.”[71] In 1992, Susan Eilenberg returned to the dispute and defended Coleridge’s analysis by explaining that “It exhibits the workings of the ambivalence Coleridge feels toward the character of Wordsworth’s poetry; only now, confronting greater poetry, his uneasiness is greater… If Wordsworth’s weakness is incongruity, his strength is propriety. That Coleridge should tell us this at such length tells as much about Coleridge as about Wordsworth: reading the second volume of the Biographia, we learn not only Wordsworth’s strong and weak points but also the qualities that most interest Coleridge.”[72]

The Ode: Intimations of Immortality is the most celebrated poem published in Wordsworth’s Poems in Two Volumes collection. While modern critics believe that the poems published in Wordsworth’s 1807 collection represented a productive and good period of his career, contemporary reviewers were split on the matter and many negative reviews cast doubts on his circle of poets known as the Lake Poets. Negative reviews were found in the Critical Review, Le Beau Monde and Literary Annual Register.[73] George Gordon Byron, a fellow Romantic poet but not an associate of Wordsworth’s, responded to Poems in Two Volumes, in a 3 July 1807 Monthly Literary Recreations review, with a claim that the collection lacked the quality found in Lyrical Ballads.[74] When referring to Ode: Intimations of Immortality, he dismissed the poem as Wordsworth’s “innocent odes” without providing any in-depth response, stating only: “On the whole, however, with the exception of the above, and other innocent odes of the same cast, we think these volumes display a genius worthy of higher pursuits, and regret that Mr. W. confines his muse to such trifling subjects… Many, with inferior abilities, have acquired a loftier seat on Parnassus, merely by attempting strains in which Mr. W. is more qualified to excel.”[75] The poem was received negatively but for a different reason from Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s friend Robert Southey, also a Romantic poet. Southey, in an 8 December 1807 letter to Walter Scott, wrote, “There are certainly some pieces there which are good for nothing… and very many which it was highly injudicious to publish…. The Ode upon Pre-existence is a dark subject darkly handled. Coleridge is the only man who could make such a subject luminous.”[76]

Francis Jeffrey, a Whig lawyer and editor of the Edinburgh Review, originally favoured Wordsworth’s poetry following the publication of Lyrical Ballads in 1798 but turned against the poet from 1802 onward. In response to Wordsworth’s 1807 collection of poetry, Jeffrey contributed an anonymous review to the October 1807 Edinburgh Review that condemned Wordsworth’s poetry again.[77] In particular, he declared the ode “beyond all doubt, the most illegible and unintelligible part of the publication. We can pretend to give no analysis or explanation of it;– our readers must make what they can of the following extracts.”[78] After quoting the passage, he argues that he has provided enough information for people to judge if Wordsworth’s new school of poetry should be replace the previous system of poetry: “If we were to stop here, we do not think that Mr Wordsworth, or his admirers, would have any reason to complain; for what we have now quoted is undeniably the most peculiar and characteristic part of his publication, and must be defended and applauded if the merit or originality of his system is to be seriously maintained.[78] In putting forth his own opinion, Jeffrey explains, “In our own opinion, however, the demerit of that system cannot be fairly appretiated, until it be shown, that the author of the bad verses which we have already extracted, can write good verses when he pleases”.[78] Jeffrey later wrote a semi-positive review of the ode, for the 12 April 1808 Edinburgh Review, that praised Wordsworth when he was least Romantic in his poetry. He believed that Wordsworth’s greatest weakness was portraying the low aspects of life in a lofty tone.[74]

Another semi-negative response to the poem followed on 4 January 1808 in the Eclectic Review. The writer, James Montgomery, attacked the 1807 collection of poems for depicting low subjects. When it came to the ode, Montgomery attacked the poem for depicting pre-existence.[74] After quoting the poem with extracts from the whole collection, he claimed, “We need insist no more on the necessity of using, in poetry, a language different from and superior to ‘the real language of men,’ since Mr. Wordsworth himself is so frequently compelled to employ it, for the expression of thoughts which without it would be incommunicable. These volumes are distinguished by the same blemishes and beauties as were found in their predecessors, but in an inverse proportion: the defects of the poet, in this performance, being as much greater than his merits, as they were less in his former publication.”[79] In his conclusion, Montgomery returned to the ode and claimed, that “the reader is turned loose into a wilderness of sublimity, tenderness, bombast, and absurdity, to find out the subject as well as he can… After our preliminary remarks on Mr. Wordsworth’s theory of poetical language, and the quotations which we have given from these and his earlier compositions, it will be unnecessary to offer any further estimate or character of his genius. We shall only add one remark…. Of the pieces now published he has said nothing: most of them seem to have been written for no purpose at all, and certainly to no good one.”[80] In January 1815, Montgomery returned to Wordsworth’s poetry in another review and argues, “Mr. Wordsworth often speaks in ecstatic strains of the pleasure of infancy. If we rightly understand him, he conjectures that the soul comes immediately from a world of pure felicity, when it is born into this troublous scene of care and vicissitude… This brilliant allegory, (for such we must regard it,) is employed to illustrate the mournful truth, that looking back from middle age to the earliest period of remembrance we find, ‘That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth,’… Such is Life”.[81]

John Taylor Coleridge, nephew to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, submitted an anonymous review for the April 1814 Quarterly Review. Though it was a review of his uncle’s Remorse, he connects the intention and imagery found within Coleridge’s poem to that in Ode: Intimation of Immortality and John Wilson’s “To a Sleeping Child” when saying, “To an extension or rather a modification of this last mentioned principle [obedience to some internal feeling] may perhaps be attributed the beautiful tenet so strongly inculcated by them of the celestial purity of infancy. ‘Heaven lies about us in our infancy,’ says Mr. Wordsworth, in a passage which strikingly exemplifies the power of imaginative poetry”.[82] John Taylor Coleridge returned to Wordsworth’s poetry and the ode in a May 1815 review for the British Critic. In the review, he partially condemns Wordsworth’s emphasis in the ode on children being connected to the divine: “His occasional lapses into childish and trivial allusion may be accounted for, from the same tendency. He is obscure, when he leaves out links in the chain of association, which the reader cannot easily supply… In his descriptions of children this is particularly the case, because of his firm belief in a doctrine, more poetical perhaps, than either philosophical or christian, that ‘Heaven lies about us in our infancy.'”[83]

John Taylor Coleridge continues by explaining the negative aspects of such a concept: “Though the tenderness and beauty resulting from this opinion be to us a rich overpayment for the occasional strainings and refinements of sentiment to which it has given birth, it has yet often served to make the author ridiculous in common eyes, in that it has led him to state his own fairy dreams as the true interpretation and import of the looks and movements of children, as being even really in their minds.”[83] In a February 1821 review for the British Critic, John Taylor Coleridge attacked the poem again for a heretical view found in the notion of pre-existence and how it reappeared in Wordsworth’s poem “On an Extraordinary Evening of Splendour and Beauty”.[84] However, he does claim that the passage of the ode containing the idea is “a passage of exquisite poetry” and that “A more poetical theory of human nature cannot well be devised, and if the subject were one, upon which error was safe, we should forbear to examine it closely, and yield to the delight we have often received from it in the ode from which the last extract [Ode: Intimations of Immortality] is made.”[85] He was to continue: “If, therefore, we had met the doctrine in any poet but Mr. Wordsworth, we should have said nothing; but we believe him to be one not willing to promulgate error, even in poetry, indeed it is manifest that he makes his poetry subservient to his philosophy; and this particular notion is so mixed up by him with others, in which it is impossible to suppose him otherwise than serious; that we are constrained to take it for his real and sober belief.”[85]

In the same year came responses to the ode by two Romantic writers. Leigh Hunt, a second-generation Romantic poet, added notes to his poem Feast of the Poets that respond to the ideas suggested in Wordsworth’s poetry. These ideas include Wordsworth’s promotion of a simple mental state without cravings for knowledge, and it is such an ideas that Hunt wanted to mock in his poem. However, Hunt did not disagree completely with Wordsworth’s sentiments. After quoting the final lines of the Ode: Intimations of Immortality, those that “Wordsworth has beautifully told us, that to him ‘–the meanest flow’r that blows can give/ Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears”, Hunt claims, “I have no doubt of it; and far be it from me to cast stones into the well in which they lie,– to disturb those reposing waters,– that freshness at the bottom of warm hearts,– those thoughts, which if they are too deep for tears, are also, in their best mood, too tranquil even for smiles. Far be it also from me to hinder the communication of such thoughts to mankind, when they are not sunk beyond their proper depth, so as to make one dizzy in looking down to them.”[86] Following Hunt, William Hazlitt, a critic and Romantic writer, wrote a series of essays called “Character of Mr. Wordsworth’s New Poems” in three parts, starting in the 21 August 1814 Examiner. Although Hazlitt treated Wordsworth’s poetry fairly, he was critical of Wordsworth himself and he removed any positive statements about Wordsworth’s person from a reprint of the essays.[87] The 2 October 1814 essay examined poetry as either of imagination or of sentiment, and quotes the final lines of the poem as an example of “The extreme simplicity which some persons have objected to in Mr. Wordsworth’s poetry is to be found only in the subject and style: the sentiments are subtle and profound. In the latter respect, his poetry is as much above the common standard or capacity, as in the other it is below it… We go along with him, while he is the subject of his own narrative, but we take leave of him when he makes pedlars and ploughmen his heroes and the interpreters of his sentiments.”[88]

In 1817 came two more responses by Romantic poets to the ode. Coleridge was impressed by the ode’s themes, rhythm, and structure since he first heard the beginning stanzas in 1802.[89] In an analysis of Wordsworth’s poetry for his work Biographia Literaria (1817), Coleridge described what he considered as both the positives and the defects of the ode. In his argument, he both defended his technique and explained: “Though the instances of this defect in Mr. Wordsworth’s poems are so few, that for themselves it would have been scarce just to attract the reader’s attention toward them; yet I have dwelt on it, and perhaps the more for this very reason. For being so very few, they cannot sensibly detract from the reputation of an author, who is even characterized by the number of profound truths in his writings, which will stand the severest analysis; and yet few as they are, they are exactly those passages which his blind admirers would be most likely, and best able, to imitate.”[90] Of the positives that Coleridge identified within the poem, he placed emphasis on Wordsworth’s choice of grammar and language that established a verbal purity in which the words chosen could not be substituted without destroying the beauty of the poem. Another aspect Coleridge favoured was the poem’s originality of thought and how it contained Wordsworth’s understanding of nature and his own experience. Coleridge also praised the lack of a rigorous structure within the poem and claimed that Wordsworth was able to truly capture the imagination. However, part of Coleridge’s analysis of the poem and of the poet tend to describe his idealised version of positives and negative than an actual concrete object.[91] In the same year, it was claimed by Benjamin Bailey, in a 7 May 1849 letter to R. M. Milnes, that John Keats, one of the second-generation Romantic poets, discussed the poem with him. In his recollection, Bailey said, “The following passage from Wordsworth’s ode on Immortality [lines 140148] was deeply felt by Keats, who however at this time seemed to me to value this great Poet rather in particular passages than in the full length portrait, as it were, of the great imaginative & philosophic Christian Poet, which he really is, & which Keats obviously, not long afterwards, felt him to be.”[92]

Following Coleridge’s response was an anonymous review in the May 1820 Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, possible by either John Lockhart and John Wilson together or just Lockhart on his own. Of Wordsworth’s abilities as a poet in general, the review claimed: “Mr Wordsworth … is entitled to be classed with the very highest names among his predecessors, as a pure and reverent worshipper of the true majest of the English Muse” and that “Of the genius of Mr Wordsworth, in short, it is now in the hands of every man to judge freely and fully, and for himself. Our own opinion, ever since this Journal commenced, has been clearly and entirely before them; and if there be any one person, on whose mind what we have quoted now, is not enough to make an impression similar to that which our own judgment had long before received we have nothing more to say to that person in regard to the subject of poetry.”[93] In discussing the ode in particular, the review characterised the poem as “one of the grandest of his early pieces”.[94] In December 1820 came an article in the New Monthly Magazine titled “On the Genius and Writings of Wordsworth” written by Thomas Noon Talfourd. When discussing the poem, Talfourd declared that the ode “is, to our feelings, the noblest piece of lyric poetry in the world. It was the first poem of its author which we read, and never shall we forget the sensations which it excited within us. We had heard the cold sneers attached to his name… and here in the works of this derided poet we found a new vein of imaginative sentiment open to us sacred recollections brought back to our hearts with all the freshness of novelty, and all the venerableness of far-off time”.[95] When analysing the relationship between infants and the divine within the poem, the article continued: “What a gift did we then inherit! To have the best and most imperishable of intellectual treasures the mighty world of reminiscences of the days of infancy set before us in a new and holier light”.[96]

William Blake, a Romantic poet and artist, thought that Wordsworth was at the same level as the poets Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton. In a diary entry for 27 December 1825, H. C. Robinson recounted a conversation between himself and William Blake shortly before Blake’s death: “I read to him Wordsworth’s incomparable ode, which he heartily enjoyed. But he repeated, ‘I fear Wordsworth loves nature, and nature is the work of the Devil. The Devil is in us as ‘far as we are nature.’… The parts of Wordsworth’s ode which Blake most enjoyed were the most obscureat all events, those which I least like and comprehend.”[97] Following Blake, Chauncy Hare Townshend produced “An Essay on the Theory and the Writings of Wordsworth”for Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine in 1829. In the third part, he critiqued Wordsworth’s use of pre-existence within the poem and asked “unless our author means to say that, having existed from all eternity, we are of an eternal and indestructible essence; or, in other words, that being incarnate portion of the Deity… we are as Immortal as himself. But if the poet intends to affirm this, do you not perceive that he frustrates his own aim?”[98] He continued by explaining why he felt that Wordsworth’s concept fell short of any useful purpose: “For if we are of God’s indivisible essence, and receive our separate consciousness from the wall of flesh which, at our birth, was raised between us and the Found of Being, we must, on the dissolution of the body… be again merged in the simple and uncompounded Godhead, lose our individual consciousness… in another sense, become as though we had never been.”[98] He concluded his analysis with a critique of the poem as a whole: “I should say that Wordsworth does not display in it any great clearness of thought, or felicity of language… the ode in question is not so much abstruse in idea as crabbed in expression. There appears to be a laborious toiling after originality, ending in a dismal want of harmony.”[98]

The ode, like others of Wordsworth’s poetry, was favoured by Victorians for its biographical aspects and the way Wordsworth approached feelings of despondency. The American Romantic poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his 1856 work English Traits, claimed that the poem “There are torpid places in his mind, there is something hard and sterile in his poetry, want of grace and variety, want of due catholicity and cosmopolitan scope: he had conformities to English politics and tradition; he had egotistic puerilities in the choice and treatment of his subjects; but let us say of him, that, alone in his time he treated the human mind well, and with an absolute trust. His adherence to his poetic creed rested on real inspirations.”[99] The editor of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, George William Curtis, praised the ode in his December 1859 column “Editor’s Easy Chair” and claimed that “it was Wordsworth who has written one of the greatest English poets… For sustained splendor of imagination, deep, solemn, and progressive thought, and exquisite variety of music, that poem is unsurpassed. Since Milton’s ‘Ode upon the Nativity’ there is nothing so fine, not forgetting Dryden, Pope, Collins, and the rest, who have written odes.”[100]

The philosopher John Stuart Mill liked Wordsworth’s ode and found it influential to the formation of his own thoughts. In his Autobiography (1873), he credited Wordsworth’s poetry as being able to relieve his mind and overcome a sense of apathy towards life. Of the poems, he particularly emphasised both Wordsworth’s 1815 collection of poetry and the Ode: Intimations of Immortality as providing the most help to him, and he specifically said of the ode: “I found that he too had had similar experience to mine; that he also had felt that the first freshness of youthful enjoyment of life was not lasting; but that he had sought for compensation, and found it, in the way in which he was now teaching me to find it. The result was that I gradually, but completely, emerged from my habitual depression, and was never again subject to it.”[101] David Mason followed Mill in an 1875 essay on literature, including Wordsworth’s poetry. After quoting from the ode, Mason claimed of the poem: “These, and hundreds of other passages that might be quoted, show that Wordsworth possessed, in a very high degree indeed, the true primary quality of the poetimagination; a surcharge of personality or vital spirit, perpetually overflowing among the objects of the otherwise conditioned universe, and refashioning them according to its pleasure.”[102]

After Mill, critics focused on the ode’s status among Wordsworth’s other poems. In July 1877, Edward Dowden, in an article for the Contemporary Review, discussed the Transcendental Movement and the nature of the Romantic poets. when referring to Wordsworth and the ode, he claimed: “Wordsworth in his later years lost, as he expresses it, courage, the spring-like hope and confidence which enables a man to advance joyously towards new discovery of truth. But the poet of ‘Tintern Abbey’ and the ‘Ode on Intimations of Immortality’ and the ‘Prelude’ is Wordsworth in his period of highest energy and imaginative light”.[103] Matthew Arnold, in his preface to an 1879 edition of Wordsworth’s poetry, explains that he was a great lover of the poems. However, he explains why he believed that the ode was not one of the best: “I have a warm admiration for Laodameia and for the great Ode; but if I am to tell the very truth, I find Laodameia not wholly free from something artificial, and the great Ode not wholly free from something declamatory.”[104] His concern was over what he saw as the ideas expressed on childhood and maturity: “Even the ‘intimations’ of the famous Ode, those corner-stones of the supposed philosophic system of Wordsworth… has itself not the character of poetic truth of the best kind; it has no real solidity” “to say that universally this instinct is mighty in childhood, and tends to die away afterwards, is to say what is extremely doubtful… In general, we may say of these high instincts of early childhood… what Thucydides says of the early achievements of the Greek race:–‘It is impossible to speak with certainty of what is so remove; but from all that we can really investigate, I should say that they were no very great things.'”[105]

The Victorian critic John Ruskin, towards the end of the 19th century, provided short analyses of various writers in his “Nature and Literature” essays collected in “Art and Life: a Ruskin Anthology”. In speaking of Wordsworth, Ruskin claimed, “Wordsworth is simply a Westmoreland peasant, with considerably less shrewdness than most border Englishmen or Scotsmen inherit; and no sense of humor; but gifted… with vivid sense of natural beauty, and a pretty turn for reflection, not always acute, but, as far as they reach, medicinal to the fever of the restless and corrupted life around him.”[106] After mocking the self-reflective nature of Wordsworth’s poetry, he then declared that the poetry was “Tuneful nevertheless at heart, and of the heavenly choir, I gladly and frankly acknowledge him; and our English literature enriched with a new and singular virtue in the aerial purity and healthful rightness of his quiet song;but aerial onlynot ethereal; and lowly in its privacy of light”. The ode, to Ruskin, becomes a means to deride Wordsworth’s intellect and faith when he claims that Wordsworth was “content with intimations of immortality such as may be in skipping of lambs, and laughter of children-incurious to see in the hands the print of the nails.”[106] Ruskin’s claims were responded to by an article by Richard Hutton in the 7 August 1880 Spectator.[107] The article, “Mr. Ruskin on Wordsworth”, stated, “We should hardly have expected Mr. Ruskina great master of irony though he beto lay his finger so unerringly as he does on the weak point of Wordsworth’s sublime ode on the ‘Intimations of Immortality,’ when he speaks of himquite falsely, by the wayas ‘content with intimations of immortality'”.[108] The article continued with praise of Wordsworth and condemns Ruskin further: “But then, though he shows how little he understands the ode, in speaking of Wordsworth as content with such intimations, he undoubtedly does touch the weak chord in what, but for that weak chord, would be one of the greatest of all monuments of human genius… But any one to whom Wordsworth’s great ode is the very core of that body of poetry which makes up the best part of his imaginative life, will be as much astonished to find Mr. Ruskin speaking of it so blindly and unmeaningly as he does”.[108]

The ode was viewed positively by the end of the century. George Saintsbury, in his A Short History of English Literature (1898), declared the importance and greatness of the ode: “Perhaps twice only, in Tintern Abbey and in the Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, is the full, the perfect Wordsworth, with his half-pantheistic worship of nature, informed and chastened by an intense sense of human conduct, of reverence and almost of humbleness, displayed in the utmost poetic felicity. And these two are accordingly among the great poems of the world. No unfavorable criticism on either and there has been some, new and old, from persons in whom it is surprising, as well as from persons in whom it is natural has hurt them, though it may have hurt the critics. They are, if not in every smallest detail, yet as wholes, invulnerable and imperishable. They could not be better done.”[109]

At the beginning of the 20th century, response to the ode by critics was mostly positive. Andrew Bradley declared in 1909 that “The Immortality Ode, like King Lear, is its author’s greatest product, but not his best piece of work.”[110] When speaking of Grasmere and Wordsworth, Elias Sneath wrote in 1912: “It witnessed the composition of a large number of poems, many of which may be regarded among the finest products of his imagination. Most of them have already been considered. However, one remains which, in the judgment of some critics, more than any other poem of the numerous creations of his genius, entitles him to a seat among the Immortals. This is the celebrated [ode]… It is, in some respects, one of his most important works, whether viewed from the stand point of mere art, or from that of poetic insight.”[111] George Harper, following Sneath in 1916, described the poem in positive terms and said, “Its radiance comes and goes through a shimmering veil. Yet, when we look close, we find nothing unreal or unfinished. This beauty, though supernal, is not evanescent. It bides our return, and whoever comes to seek it as a little child will find it. The imagery, though changing at every turn, is fresh and simple. The language, though connected with thoughts so serious that they impart to it a classic dignity, is natural and for the most part plain…. Nevertheless, a peculiar glamour surrounds the poem. It is the supreme example of what I may venture to term the romance of philosophic thought.”[112]

The 1930s contained criticism that praised the poem, but most critics found fault with particular aspects of the poem. F. R. Leavis, in his Revaluation (1936), argued that “Criticism of Stanza VIII … has been permissible, even correct, since Coleridge’s time. But the empty grandiosity apparent there is merely the local manifestation of a general strain, a general factitiousness. The Ode… belongs to the transition at its critical phase, and contains decided elements of the living.”[113] He continued, “But these do not lessen the dissatisfaction that one feels with the movementthe movement that makes the piece an ode in the Grand Style; for, as one reads, it is in terms of the movement that the strain, the falsity, first asserts itself. The manipulations by which the change of mood are indicated have, by the end of the third stanza, produced an effect that, in protest, one described as rhythmic vulgarity…, and the strain revealed in technique has an obvious significance”.[113] In 1939, Basil Willey argued that the poem was “greatly superior, as poetry, to its psychological counterpart in The Prelude” but also said that “the semi-Platonic machinery of pre-existence… seems intrusive, and foreign to Wordsworth” before concluding that the poem was the “final and definitive expression to the most poignant experience of his poetic life”.[114]

Cleanth Brooks used the Ode: Intimation of Immortality as one of his key works to analyse in his 1947 work The Well Wrought Urn. His analysis broke down the ode as a poem disconnected from its biographical implications and focused on the paradoxes and ironies contained within the language. In introducing his analysis, he claimed that it “may be surmised from what has already been remarked, the ‘Ode’ for all its fine passages, is not entirely successful as a poem. Yet, we shall be able to make our best defense of it in proportion as we recognize and value its use of ambiguous symbol and paradoxical statement. Indeed, it might be maintained that, failing to do this, we shall miss much of its power as poetry and even some of its accuracy of statement.”[115] After breaking down the use of paradox and irony in language, he analyses the statements about the childhood perception of glory in Stanza VI and argued, “This stanza, though not one of the celebrated stanzas of the poem, is one of the most finely ironical. Its structural significance too is of first importance, and has perhaps in the past been given too little weight.”[116] After analysing more of the poem, Brooks points out that the lines in Stanza IX contains lines that “are great poetry. They are great poetry because … the children are not terrified… The children exemplify the attitude toward eternity which the other philosopher, the mature philosopher, wins to with difficulty, if he wins to it at all.”[117] In his conclusion about the poem, he argues, “The greatness of the ‘Ode’ lies in the fact that Wordsworth is about the poet’s business here, and is not trying to inculcate anything. Instead, he is trying to dramatize the changing interrelations which determine the major imagery.”[118] Following Brooks in 1949, C. M. Bowra stated, “There is no need to dispute the honour in which by common consent it [the ode] is held” but he adds “There are passages in the ‘Immortal Ode’ which have less than his usual command of rhythm and ability to make a line stand by itself… But these are unimportant. The whole has a capacious sweep, and the form suits the majestic subject… There are moments when we suspect Wordsworth of trying to say more than he means.[119] Similarly, George Mallarby also revealed some flaws in the poem in his 1950 analysis: “In spite of the doubtful philosophical truth of the doctrine of pre-existence borrowed from Platon, in spite of the curiously placed emphasis and an exuberance of feeling somewhat artificially introduced, in spite of the frustrating and unsatisfying conclusion, this poem will remain, so long as the English language remains, one of its chief and unquestionable glories. It lends itself, more than most English odes, to recitation in the grand manner.”[120]

By the 1960s and 1970s, the reception of the poem was mixed but remained overall positive. Mary Moorman analysed the poem in 1965 with an emphasis on its biographical origins and Wordsworth’s philosophy on the relationship between mankind and nature. When describing the beauty of the poem, she stated, “Wordsworth once spoke of the Ode as ‘this famous, ambitious and occasionally magnificent poem’. Yet it is not so much its magnificence that impresses, as the sense of resplendent yet peaceful light in which it is bathedwhether it is the ‘celestial light’ and ‘glory’ of the first stanza, or the ‘innocent Brightness of a new-born Day’ of the last.”[121] In 1967, Yvor Winters criticised the poem and claimed that “Wordsworth gives us bad oratory about his own clumsy emotions and a landscape that he has never fully realized.”[122] Geoffrey Durrant, in his 1970 analysis of the critical reception of the ode, claimed, “it may be remarked that both the admirers of the Ode, and those who think less well of it, tend to agree that it is unrepresentative, and that its enthusiastic, Dionysian, and mystical vein sets it apart, either on a lonely summit or in a special limbo, from the rest of Wordsworth’s work. And the praise that it has received is at times curiously equivocal.”[123] In 1975, Richard Brantley, labelling the poem as the “great Ode”, claimed that “Wordsworth’s task of tracing spiritual maturity, his account of a grace quite as amazing and perhaps even as Christian as the experience recorded in the spiritual autobiography of his day, is therefore essentially completed”.[1] He continued by using the ode as evidence that the “poetic record of his remaining life gives little evidence of temptations or errors as unsettling as the ones he faced and made in France.”[1] Summarizing the way critics have approached the poem, John Beer claimed in 1978 that the poem “is commonly regarded as the greatest of his shorter works”.[3] Additionally, Beer argued that the ode was the basis for the concepts found in Wordsworth’s later poetry.[124]

Criticism of the ode during the 1980s ranged in emphasis on which aspects of the poem were most important, but critics were mostly positive regardless of their approach. In 1980, Hunter Davies analysed the period of time when Wordsworth worked on the ode and included it as one of the “scores of poems of unarguable genius”,[125] and later declared the poem Wordsworth’s “greatest ode”.[2] Stephen Gill, in a study of the style of the 1802 poems, argued in 1989 that the poems were new and broad in range with the ode containing “impassioned sublimity”.[126] He later compared the ode with Wordsworth’s “Ode to Duty” to declare that “The Ode: Intimations, by contrast, rich in phrases that have entered the language and provided titles for other people’s books, is Wordsworth’s greatest achievement in rhythm and cadence. Together with Tintern Abbey it has always commanded attention as Wordsworth’s strongest meditative poem and Wordsworth indicated his assessment of it by ensuring through the layout and printing of his volumes that the Ode stood apart.”[127] In 1986, Marjorie Levinson searched for a political basis in many of Wordsworth’s poems and argued that the ode, along with “Michael”, Peele Castle, and Tintern Abbey, are “incontestably among the poet’s greatest works”.[128] Susan Wolfson, in the same year, claimed that “the force of the last lines arises from the way the language in which the poet expresses a resolution of grief at the same time renders a metaphor that implies that grief has not been resolved so much as repressed and buried. And this ambiguity involves another, for Wordsworth makes it impossible to decide whether the tension between resolution and repression… is his indirect confession of a failure to achieve transcendence or a knowing evasion of an imperative to do so.”[129] After performing a Freudian-based analysis of the ode, William Galperin, in 1989, argues that “Criticism, in short, cannot accept responsibility for The Excursion’s failings any more than it is likely to attribute the success of the ‘Intimations Ode’ to the satisfaction it offers in seeing a sense of entitlement, or self-worth, defended rather than challenged.”[130]

1990s critics emphasised individual images within the poem along with Wordsworth’s message being the source of the poem’s power. In 1991, John Hayden updated Russell Noyes’s 1971 biography of Wordsworth and began his analysis of the ode by claiming: “Wordsworth’s great ‘Ode on Immortality’ is not easy to follow nor wholly clear. A basic difficulty of interpretation centers upon what the poet means by ‘immortality.'”[131] However, he goes on to declare, “the majority of competent judges acclaim the ‘Ode on Immortality’ as Wordsworth’s most splendid poem. In no other poem are poetic conditions so perfectly fulfilled. There is the right subject, the right imagery to express it, and the right meter and language for both.”[132] Thomas McFarland, when emphasising the use of a river as a standard theme in Wordsworth’s poems, stated in 1992: “Not only do Wordsworth’s greatest statements–‘Tintern Abbey’, ‘The Immortality Ode’, ‘The Ruined Cottage’, ‘Michael’, the first two books of The Prelude–all overlie a streaming infrashape, but Wordsworth, like the other Romantics, seemed virtually hypnotized by the idea of running water.”[133] After analysing the Wordsworth’s incorporation of childhood memories into the ode, G. Kim Blank, in 1995, argued, “It is the recognition and finally the acceptance of his difficult feelings that stand behind and in the greatness and power of the Ode, both as a personal utterance and a universal statement. It is no accident that Wordsworth is here most eloquent. Becoming a whole person is the most powerful statement any of us can ever made. Wordsworth in the Ode here makes it for us.”[134] In 1997, John Mahoney praised the various aspects of the poem while breaking down its rhythm and style. In particular, he emphasised the poem’s full title as “of great importance for all who study the poem carefully” and claimed, “The final stanza is a powerful and peculiarly Wordsworthian valediction.”[135]

In the 21st century, the poem was viewed as Wordsworth’s best work. Adam Sisman, in 2007, claimed the poem as “one of [Wordsworth’s] greatest works”.[136] Following in 2008, Paul Fry argued, “Most readers agree that the Platonism of the Intimations Ode is foreign to Wordsworth, and express uneasiness that his most famous poem, the one he always accorded its special place in arranging his successive editions, is also so idiosyncratic.”[137] He continued, “As Simplon and Snowdon also suggest, it was a matter of achieving heights (not the depth of ‘Tintern Abbey’), and for that reason the metaphor comes easily when one speaks of the Intimations Ode as a high point in Wordsworth’s career, to be highlighted in any new addition as a pinnacle of accomplishment, a poem of the transcendental imagination par excellence.”[138]

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Ode: Intimations of Immortality – Wikipedia

Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Overview

Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma doesn’t include a form of noncancerous (benign) tumor that occurs in the chest and is sometimes called benign mesothelioma or solitary fibrous tumor.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these forms of the disease are very rare.

Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma aren’t specific to this disease and, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to evaluate them. Tell your doctor if you’ve been exposed to asbestos.

In general, cancer begins when a series of genetic mutations occur within a cell, causing the cell to grow and multiply out of control. It isn’t clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It’s likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices.

Asbestos is a mineral that’s found naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful in a wide variety of applications, such as in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and many other products.

When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma. Exactly how this happens isn’t understood. It can take 20 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.

Most people with years of asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. And yet, others with very brief exposure develop the disease. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma or doesn’t. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:

Reducing your exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of mesothelioma.

Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:

Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.

Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, such as wearing protective equipment. You may also be required to shower and change out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home. Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.

Older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. In many cases, it’s more dangerous to remove the asbestos than it is to leave it intact. Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult experts trained to detect asbestos in your home. These experts may test the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. Don’t attempt to remove asbestos from your home hire a qualified expert. The Environmental Protection Agency offers advice on its website for dealing with asbestos in the home.

Dec. 22, 2017

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Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Mesothelioma | 2018 Statistics, Symptoms, Treatment Options

Most often, mesothelioma is treated with a multimodal plan, or combination, of conventional cancer treatment methods including surgery and chemotherapy. Treatment will either focus on extending life expectancy or, at a late stage, focus on palliative care to relieve side effects. Research and clinical trials have found new hope for a potential cure with emerging treatments, like immunotherapy, to combat the disease and improve life expectancy.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, the most important step is finding a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in asbestos-related diseases. They will be the best person to determine the most effective treatment options for your individual case, and will also be aware of the latest treatment advancements or clinical trials available. Creating a custom treatment plan with a mesothelioma doctor is the most effective way to improve prognosis.

Learn More About Mesothelioma Treatments

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Mesothelioma | 2018 Statistics, Symptoms, Treatment Options

Mesothelioma – Wikipedia

Cancer associated with asbestos

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs (known as the mesothelium).[9] The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall.[1][3] Less commonly the lining of the abdomen and rarely the sac surrounding the heart,[10] or the sac surrounding the testis may be affected.[1][11] Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath due to fluid around the lung, a swollen abdomen, chest wall pain, cough, feeling tired, and weight loss.[1] These symptoms typically come on slowly.[2]

More than 80% of mesothelioma cases are caused by exposure to asbestos.[3] The greater the exposure the greater the risk.[3] As of 2013 about 125 million people have been exposed to asbestos at work.[12] High rates of disease occur in people who mine asbestos, produce products from asbestos, work with asbestos products, live with asbestos workers, or work in buildings containing asbestos.[3] Asbestos exposure and the onset of cancer are generally separated by about 40 years.[3] Washing the clothing of someone who worked with asbestos also increases the risk.[12] Other risk factors include genetics and infection with the simian virus 40.[3] The diagnosis may be suspected based on chest X-ray and CT scan findings, and is confirmed by either examining fluid produced by the cancer or by a tissue biopsy of the cancer.[2]

Prevention centers around reducing exposure to asbestos.[4] Treatment often includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.[5] A procedure known as pleurodesis, which involves using substances such as talc to scar together the pleura, may be used to prevent more fluid from building up around the lungs.[5] Chemotherapy often includes the medications cisplatin and pemetrexed.[2] The percentage of people that survive five years following diagnosis is on average 8% in the United States.[6]

In 2015 about 60,800 people had mesothelioma and 32,000 died from the disease.[7][8] Rates of mesothelioma vary in different areas of the world.[3] Rates are higher in Australia, the United Kingdom, and lower in Japan.[3] It occurs in about 3,000 people per year in the United States.[13] It occurs more often in males than females.[3] Rates of disease have increased since the 1950s.[3] Diagnosis typically occurs after the age of 65 and most deaths occur around 70 years old.[3] The disease was rare before the commercial use of asbestos.[3]

Symptoms or signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.[14]

Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:[14]

In severe cases, the person may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other features may include weight loss, fever, night sweats, poor appetite, vomiting, constipation, and umbilical hernia.[15] If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.[citation needed]These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.

Tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:[citation needed]

Pericardial mesothelioma is not well characterized, but observed cases have included cardiac symptoms, specifically constrictive pericarditis, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, and cardiac tamponade. They have also included nonspecific symptoms, including substernal chest pain, orthopnea (shortness of breath when lying flat), and cough. These symptoms are caused by the tumor encasing or infiltrating the heart.[10]

In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:[citation needed]

If a mesothelioma forms metastases, these most commonly involve the liver, adrenal gland, kidney, or other lung.[16]

Working with asbestos is the most common risk factor for mesothelioma.[17] However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. Tentative evidence also raises concern about carbon-fibre nanotubes.[18][19]

The incidence of mesothelioma has been found to be higher in populations living near naturally occurring asbestos. People can be exposed to naturally occurring asbestos in areas where mining or road construction is occurring, or when the asbestos-containing rock is naturally weathered. Another common route of exposure is through asbestos-containing soil, which is used to whitewash, plaster, and roof houses in Greece.[12] In central Cappadocia, Turkey, mesothelioma was causing 50% of all deaths in three small villagesTuzky, Karain, and Sarhdr. Initially, this was attributed to erionite. Environmental exposure to asbestos has caused mesothelioma in places other than Turkey, including Corsica, Greece, Cyprus, China, and California.[12][20][21] In the northern Greek mountain town of Metsovo, this exposure had resulted in mesothelioma incidence around 300 times more than expected in asbestos-free populations, and was associated with very frequent pleural calcification known as “Metsovo Lung”.[22][23]

The documented presence of asbestos fibers in water supplies and food products has fostered concerns about the possible impact of long-term and, as yet, unknown exposure of the general population to these fibers.[citation needed]

Exposure to talc is also a risk factor for mesothelioma; exposure can affect those who live near talc mines, work in talc mines, or work in talc mills.[24]

In the United States, asbestos is considered the major cause of malignant mesothelioma[25] and has been considered “indisputably”[26] associated with the development of mesothelioma. Indeed, the relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is so strong that many consider mesothelioma a signal or sentinel tumor.[27][28][29][30] A history of asbestos exposure exists in most cases.

Pericardial mesothelioma may not be associated with asbestos exposure.[10]

Asbestos was known in antiquity, but it was not mined and widely used commercially until the late 19th century. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not publicly known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among naval personnel (e.g., Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard), shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the official position of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. EPA is that protections and “permissible exposure limits” required by U.S. regulations, while adequate to prevent most asbestos-related non-malignant disease, are not adequate to prevent or protect against asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma.[31] Likewise, the British Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for exposure to asbestos must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exist at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE assumes that no such “safe” threshold exists. Others have noted as well that there is no evidence of a threshold level below which there is no risk of mesothelioma.[32] There appears to be a linear, dose-response relationship, with increasing dose producing increasing risk of disease.[33] Nevertheless, mesothelioma may be related to brief, low level or indirect exposures to asbestos.[26] The dose necessary for effect appears to be lower for asbestos-induced mesothelioma than for pulmonary asbestosis or lung cancer.[26] Again, there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos as it relates to increased risk of mesothelioma.

The time from first exposure to onset of the disease, is between 25 and 70 years.[34] It is virtually never less than fifteen years and peaks at 3040 years.[26][35] The duration of exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. For example, cases of mesothelioma have been documented with only 13 months of exposure.[36][37]

Exposure to asbestos fibers has been recognized as an occupational health hazard since the early 20th century. Numerous epidemiological studies have associated occupational exposure to asbestos with the development of pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, asbestosis, carcinoma of the lung and larynx, gastrointestinal tumors, and diffuse malignant mesothelioma of the pleura and peritoneum. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, gaskets, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation.[38]

Commercial asbestos mining at Wittenoom, Western Australia, took place from 1937 to 1966. The first case of mesothelioma in the town occurred in 1960. The second case was in 1969, and new cases began to appear more frequently thereafter. The lag time between initial exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma varied from 12 years 9 months up to 58 years.[39] A cohort study of miners employed at the mine reported that 85 deaths attributable to mesothelioma had occurred by 1985. By 1994, 539 reported deaths due to mesothelioma had been reported in Western Australia.[citation needed]

Occupational exposure to asbestos in the United States mainly occurs when people are maintaining buildings that already have asbestos. Approximately 1.3 million US workers are exposed to asbestos annually; in 2002, an estimated 44,000 miners were potentially exposed to asbestos.[24]

Family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases.[11][40][41] This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers via washing a worker’s clothes or coming into contact with asbestos-contaminated work clothing.[12][24] To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibres, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.[citation needed]

Many building materials used in both public and domestic premises prior to the banning of asbestos may contain asbestos. Those performing renovation works or DIY activities may expose themselves to asbestos dust. In the UK, use of chrysotile asbestos was banned at the end of 1999. Brown and blue asbestos were banned in the UK around 1985. Buildings built or renovated prior to these dates may contain asbestos materials.[citation needed]

In a recent research carried on white American population in 2012, it was found that people with a germline mutation in their BAP1 gene are at higher risk of developing mesothelioma and uveal melanoma.[42]

Erionite is a zeolite mineral with similar properties to asbestos and is known to cause mesothelioma.[11] Detailed epidemiological investigation has shown that erionite causes mesothelioma mostly in families with a genetic predisposition.[12][20][21] Erionite is found in deposits in the Western United States, where it is used in gravel for road surfacing, and in Turkey, where it is used to construct homes. In Turkey, the United States, and Mexico, erionite has been associated with mesothelioma and has thus been designated a “known human carcinogen” by the US National Toxicology Program.[21]

In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation of the chest or abdomen, intrapleural thorium dioxide (thorotrast) as a contrast medium, and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite or talc.[11][24] Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 (SV40) may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma.[24] This has been confirmed in animal studies,[43][44] but studies in humans are inconclusive.[43][45][46]

The mesothelium consists of a single layer of flattened to cuboidal cells forming the epithelial lining of the serous cavities of the body including the peritoneal, pericardial and pleural cavities. Deposition of asbestos fibers in the parenchyma of the lung may result in the penetration of the visceral pleura from where the fiber can then be carried to the pleural surface, thus leading to the development of malignant mesothelial plaques. The processes leading to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma remain unresolved, although it has been proposed that asbestos fibers from the lung are transported to the abdomen and associated organs via the lymphatic system. Additionally, asbestos fibers may be deposited in the gut after ingestion of sputum contaminated with asbestos fibers.[citation needed]

Pleural contamination with asbestos or other mineral fibers has been shown to cause cancer. Long thin asbestos fibers (blue asbestos, amphibole fibers) are more potent carcinogens than “feathery fibers” (chrysotile or white asbestos fibers).[26] However, there is now evidence that smaller particles may be more dangerous than the larger fibers. They remain suspended in the air where they can be inhaled, and may penetrate more easily and deeper into the lungs. “We probably will find out a lot more about the health aspects of asbestos from [the World Trade Center attack], unfortunately,” said Dr. Alan Fein, chief of pulmonary and critical-care medicine at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.[47]

Mesothelioma development in rats has been demonstrated following intra-pleural inoculation of phosphorylated chrysotile fibers. It has been suggested that in humans, transport of fibers to the pleura is critical to the pathogenesis of mesothelioma. This is supported by the observed recruitment of significant numbers of macrophages and other cells of the immune system to localized lesions of accumulated asbestos fibers in the pleural and peritoneal cavities of rats. These lesions continued to attract and accumulate macrophages as the disease progressed, and cellular changes within the lesion culminated in a morphologically malignant tumor.[citation needed]

Experimental evidence suggests that asbestos acts as a complete carcinogen with the development of mesothelioma occurring in sequential stages of initiation and promotion. The molecular mechanisms underlying the malignant transformation of normal mesothelial cells by asbestos fibers remain unclear despite the demonstration of its oncogenic capabilities (see next-but-one paragraph). However, complete in vitro transformation of normal human mesothelial cells to a malignant phenotype following exposure to asbestos fibers has not yet been achieved. In general, asbestos fibers are thought to act through direct physical interactions with the cells of the mesothelium in conjunction with indirect effects following interaction with inflammatory cells such as macrophages.[citation needed]

Analysis of the interactions between asbestos fibers and DNA has shown that phagocytosed fibers are able to make contact with chromosomes, often adhering to the chromatin fibers or becoming entangled within the chromosome. This contact between the asbestos fiber and the chromosomes or structural proteins of the spindle apparatus can induce complex abnormalities. The most common abnormality is monosomy of chromosome 22. Other frequent abnormalities include structural rearrangement of 1p, 3p, 9p and 6q chromosome arms.[citation needed]

Common gene abnormalities in mesothelioma cell lines include deletion of the tumor suppressor genes:[citation needed]

Asbestos has also been shown to mediate the entry of foreign DNA into target cells. Incorporation of this foreign DNA may lead to mutations and oncogenesis by several possible mechanisms:

Several genes are commonly mutated in mesothelioma, and may be prognostic factors. These include epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and C-Met, receptor tyrosine kinases which are overexpressed in many mesotheliomas. Some association has been found with EGFR and epithelioid histology but no clear association has been found between EGFR overexpression and overall survival. Expression of AXL receptor tyrosine kinase is a negative prognostic factor. Expression of PDGFRB is a positive prognostic factor.[49] In general, mesothelioma is characterized by loss of function in tumor suppressor genes, rather than by an overexpression or gain of function in oncogenes.[50]

As an environmentally triggered malignancy, mesothelioma tumors have been found to be polyclonal in origin, by performing a X-inactivation based assay on epitheloid and biphasic tumors obtained from female patients.[51] These results suggest that an environmental factor, most likely asbestos exposure, may damage and transform a group of cells in the tissue, resulting in a population of tumor cells that are, albeit only slightly, genetically different.[citation needed]

Asbestos fibers have been shown to alter the function and secretory properties of macrophages, ultimately creating conditions which favour the development of mesothelioma. Following asbestos phagocytosis, macrophages generate increased amounts of hydroxyl radicals, which are normal by-products of cellular anaerobic metabolism. However, these free radicals are also known clastogenic (chromosome-breaking) and membrane-active agents thought to promote asbestos carcinogenicity. These oxidants can participate in the oncogenic process by directly and indirectly interacting with DNA, modifying membrane-associated cellular events, including oncogene activation and perturbation of cellular antioxidant defences.[citation needed]

Asbestos also may possess immunosuppressive properties. For example, chrysotile fibres have been shown to depress the in vitro proliferation of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated peripheral blood lymphocytes, suppress natural killer cell lysis and significantly reduce lymphokine-activated killer cell viability and recovery. Furthermore, genetic alterations in asbestos-activated macrophages may result in the release of potent mesothelial cell mitogens such as platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor- (TGF-) which in turn, may induce the chronic stimulation and proliferation of mesothelial cells after injury by asbestos fibres.[citation needed]

Diagnosis of mesothelioma can be suspected with imaging but is confirmed with biopsy. It must be clinically and histologically differentiated from other pleural and pulmonary malignancies, including reactive pleural disease, primary lung carcinoma, pleural metastases of other cancers, and other primary pleural cancers.[11]Primary pericardial mesothelioma is often diagnosed after it has metastasized to lymph nodes or the lungs.[10]

Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient’s medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for mesothelioma. A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. The X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of mesothelioma.[14] A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI is usually performed. If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells may be detected by cytopathology if this fluid is aspirated with a syringe.[10] For pleural fluid, this is done by thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy (chest tube); for ascites, with paracentesis or ascitic drain; and for pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. While absence of malignant cells on cytology does not completely exclude mesothelioma, it makes it much more unlikely, especially if an alternative diagnosis can be made (e.g. tuberculosis, heart failure).[citation needed] However, with primary pericardial mesothelioma, pericardial fluid may not contain malignant cells and a tissue biopsy is more useful in diagnosis.[10] Using conventional cytology diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is difficult, but immunohistochemistry has greatly enhanced the accuracy of cytology.[citation needed]

Generally, a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. A doctor removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. Alternatively, the chest surgeon might directly open the chest (thoracotomy). If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a laparoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small incision in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, an open surgical procedure may be necessary.[citation needed]

Immunohistochemical studies play an important role for the pathologist in differentiating malignant mesothelioma from neoplastic mimics, such as breast or lung cancer that has metastasized to the pleura. There are numerous tests and panels available, but no single test is perfect for distinguishing mesothelioma from carcinoma or even benign versus malignant. The positive markers indicate that mesothelioma is present; if other markers are positive it may indicate another type of cancer, such as breast or lung adenocarcinoma. Calretinin is a particularly important marker in distinguishing mesothelioma from metastatic breast or lung cancer.[11]

There are three main histological subtypes of malignant mesothelioma: epithelioid, sarcomatous, and biphasic. Epithelioid and biphasic mesothelioma make up approximately 75-95% of mesotheliomas and have been well characterized histologically, whereas sarcomatous mesothelioma has not been studied extensively. Most mesotheliomas express high levels of cytokeratin 5 regardless of subtype.[11]

Epithelioid mesothelioma is characterized by high levels of calretinin.[11]

Sarcomatous mesothelioma does not express high levels of calretinin.[11]

Other morphological subtypes have been described:

Staging of mesothelioma is based on the recommendation by the International Mesothelioma Interest Group.[52] TNM classification of the primary tumor, lymph node involvement, and distant metastasis is performed. Mesothelioma is staged IaIV (one-A to four) based on the TNM status.[52][53]

Mesothelioma can be prevented in most cases by preventing exposure to asbestos. The US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health maintains a recommended exposure limit of 0.1 asbestos fiber per cubic centimeter.[24]

There is no universally agreed protocol for screening people who have been exposed to asbestos. Screening tests might diagnose mesothelioma earlier than conventional methods thus improving the survival prospects for patients. The serum osteopontin level might be useful in screening asbestos-exposed people for mesothelioma. The level of soluble mesothelin-related protein is elevated in the serum of about 75% of patients at diagnosis and it has been suggested that it may be useful for screening.[54] Doctors have begun testing the Mesomark assay which measures levels of soluble mesothelin-related proteins (SMRPs) released by mesothelioma cells.[55]

Mesothelioma is generally resistant to radiation and chemotherapy treatment. Long-term survival and cures are exceedingly rare.[11] Treatment of malignant mesothelioma at earlier stages has a better prognosis. Clinical behavior of the malignancy is affected by several factors including the continuous mesothelial surface of the pleural cavity which favors local metastasis via exfoliated cells, invasion to underlying tissue and other organs within the pleural cavity, and the extremely long latency period between asbestos exposure and development of the disease. The histological subtype and the patient’s age and health status also help predict prognosis. The epithelioid histology responds better to treatment and has a survival advantage over sarcomatoid histology.[56]

Surgery, by itself, has proved disappointing. In one large series, the median survival with surgery (including extrapleural pneumonectomy) was only 11.7 months.[57] However, research indicates varied success when used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy (Duke, 2008), or with one of the latter. A pleurectomy/decortication is the most common surgery, in which the lining of the chest is removed. Less common is an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), in which the lung, lining of the inside of the chest, the hemi-diaphragm and the pericardium are removed.[citation needed] In localized pericardial mesothelioma, pericardectomy can be curative; when the tumor has metastasized, pericardectomy is a palliative care option. The entire tumor is not often able to be removed.[10]

For patients with localized disease, and who can tolerate a radical surgery, radiation can be given post-operatively as a consolidative treatment. The entire hemithorax is treated with radiation therapy, often given simultaneously with chemotherapy. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in selected patient populations. It can also induce severe side-effects, including fatal pneumonitis.[58] As part of a curative approach to mesothelioma, radiotherapy is commonly applied to the sites of chest drain insertion, in order to prevent growth of the tumor along the track in the chest wall.[citation needed]

Although mesothelioma is generally resistant to curative treatment with radiotherapy alone, palliative treatment regimens are sometimes used to relieve symptoms arising from tumor growth, such as obstruction of a major blood vessel. Radiation therapy, when given alone with curative intent, has never been shown to improve survival from mesothelioma. The necessary radiation dose to treat mesothelioma that has not been surgically removed would be beyond human tolerance.[citation needed] Radiotherapy is of some use in pericardial mesothelioma.[10]

Chemotherapy is the only treatment for mesothelioma that has been proven to improve survival in randomised and controlled trials. The landmark study published in 2003 by Vogelzang and colleagues compared cisplatin chemotherapy alone with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) chemotherapy in patients who had not received chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma previously and were not candidates for more aggressive “curative” surgery.[59] This trial was the first to report a survival advantage from chemotherapy in malignant pleural mesothelioma, showing a statistically significant improvement in median survival from 10 months in the patients treated with cisplatin alone to 13.3 months in the group of patients treated with cisplatin in the combination with pemetrexed and who also received supplementation with folate and vitamin B12. Vitamin supplementation was given to most patients in the trial and pemetrexed related side effects were significantly less in patients receiving pemetrexed when they also received daily oral folate 500mcg and intramuscular vitamin B12 1000mcg every 9 weeks compared with patients receiving pemetrexed without vitamin supplementation. The objective response rate increased from 20% in the cisplatin group to 46% in the combination pemetrexed group. Some side effects such as nausea and vomiting, stomatitis, and diarrhoea were more common in the combination pemetrexed group but only affected a minority of patients and overall the combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin was well tolerated when patients received vitamin supplementation; both quality of life and lung function tests improved in the combination pemetrexed group. In February 2004, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved pemetrexed for treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, there are still unanswered questions about the optimal use of chemotherapy, including when to start treatment, and the optimal number of cycles to give.[citation needed] Cisplatin and pemetrexed together give patients a median survival of 12.1 months.[11]

Cisplatin in combination with raltitrexed has shown an improvement in survival similar to that reported for pemetrexed in combination with cisplatin, but raltitrexed is no longer commercially available for this indication. For patients unable to tolerate pemetrexed, cisplatin in combination with gemcitabine or vinorelbine is an alternative, or vinorelbine on its own, although a survival benefit has not been shown for these drugs. For patients in whom cisplatin cannot be used, carboplatin can be substituted but non-randomised data have shown lower response rates and high rates of haematological toxicity for carboplatin-based combinations, albeit with similar survival figures to patients receiving cisplatin.[60]

In January 2009, the United States FDA approved using conventional therapies such as surgery in combination with radiation and or chemotherapy on stage I or II Mesothelioma after research conducted by a nationwide study by Duke University concluded an almost 50 point increase in remission rates.[citation needed]

In pericardial mesothelioma, chemotherapy – typically adriamycin and/or cisplatin – is primarily used to shrink the tumor and is not curative.[10]

Treatment regimens involving immunotherapy have yielded variable results. For example, intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Gurin (BCG) in an attempt to boost the immune response, was found to be of no benefit to the patient (while it may benefit patients with bladder cancer). Mesothelioma cells proved susceptible to in vitro lysis by LAK cells following activation by interleukin-2 (IL-2), but patients undergoing this particular therapy experienced major side effects. Indeed, this trial was suspended in view of the unacceptably high levels of IL-2 toxicity and the severity of side effects such as fever and cachexia. Nonetheless, other trials involving interferon alpha have proved more encouraging with 20% of patients experiencing a greater than 50% reduction in tumor mass combined with minimal side effects.[citation needed]

This technique is used in conjunction with surgery,[61] including in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma.[62] The surgeon removes as much of the tumor as possible followed by the direct administration of a chemotherapy agent, heated to between 40 and 48C, in the abdomen. The fluid is perfused for 60 to 120 minutes and then drained. High concentrations of selected drugs are then administered into the abdominal and pelvic surfaces. Heating the chemotherapy treatment increases the penetration of the drugs into tissues. Also, heating itself damages the malignant cells more than the normal cells.[citation needed]

All of the standard approaches to treating solid tumorsradiation, chemotherapy, and surgeryhave been investigated in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. Although surgery, by itself, is not very effective, surgery combined with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation (trimodality therapy) has produced significant survival extension (314 years) among patients with favorable prognostic factors.[63] However, other large series of examining multimodality treatment have only demonstrated modest improvement in survival (median survival 14.5 months and only 29.6% surviving 2 years).[57] Reducing the bulk of the tumor with cytoreductive surgery is key to extending survival. Two surgeries have been developed: extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication. The indications for performing these operations are unique. The choice of operation namely depends on the size of the patient’s tumor. This is an important consideration because tumor volume has been identified as a prognostic factor in mesothelioma.[64] Pleurectomy/decortication spares the underlying lung and is performed in patients with early stage disease when the intention is to remove all gross visible tumor (macroscopic complete resection), not simply palliation.[65] Extrapleural pneumonectomy is a more extensive operation that involves resection of the parietal and visceral pleurae, underlying lung, ipsilateral (same side) diaphragm, and ipsilateral pericardium. This operation is indicated for a subset of patients with more advanced tumors, who can tolerate a pneumonectomy.[66]

Mesothelioma often has a poor prognosis. Typical survival despite surgery is between 12 and 21 months depending on the stage of disease at diagnosis with about 7.5% of people surviving for 5 years.[67]

Women, young people, people with low-stage cancers, and people with epithelioid cancers have better prognoses.[11] Negative prognostic factors include sarcomatoid or biphasic histology, high platelet counts (above 400,000), age over 50 years, white blood cell counts above 15.5, low glucose levels in the pleural fluid, low albumin levels, and high fibrinogen levels. Several markers are under investigation as prognostic factors, including nuclear grade, and serum c-reactive protein. Long-term survival is rare.[49]

Pericardial mesothelioma has a 10-month median survival time.[10]

In peritoneal mesothelioma, high expression of WT-1 protein indicates a worse prognosis.[11]

Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. The incidence rate varies from one country to another, from a low rate of less than 1 per 1,000,000 in Tunisia and Morocco, to the highest rate in Britain, Australia and Belgium: 30 per 1,000,000 per year.[68] For comparison, populations with high levels of smoking can have a lung cancer incidence of over 1,000 per 1,000,000. Incidence of malignant mesothelioma currently ranges from about 7 to 40 per 1,000,000 in industrialized Western nations, depending on the amount of asbestos exposure of the populations during the past several decades.[69] Worldwide incidence is estimated at 1-6 per 1,000,000.[11] Incidence of mesothelioma lags behind that of asbestosis due to the longer time it takes to develop; due to the cessation of asbestos use in developed countries, mesothelioma incidence is expected to decrease.[24] Incidence is expected to continue increasing in developing countries due to continuing use of asbestos.[11] Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age. Approximately one fifth to one third of all mesotheliomas are peritoneal.[citation needed] Less than 5% of mesotheliomas are pericardial. The prevalence of pericardial mesothelioma is less than 0.002%; it is more common in men than women. It typically occurs in a person’s 50s-70s.[10][70]

Between 1940 and 1979, approximately 27.5 million people were occupationally exposed to asbestos in the United States.[71] Between 1973 and 1984, the incidence of pleural mesothelioma among Caucasian males increased 300%. From 1980 to the late 1990s, the death rate from mesothelioma in the USA increased from 2,000 per year to 3,000, with men four times more likely to acquire it than women.[citation needed] More than 80% of mesotheliomas are caused by asbestos exposure.[11]

The incidence of peritoneal mesothelioma is 0.53.0 per million per year in men, and 0.22.0 per million per year in women.[72]

Mesothelioma accounts for less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed in the UK, (around 2,600 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2011), and it is the seventeenth most common cause of cancer death (around 2,400 people died in 2012).[73]

The connection between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma was discovered in the 1970s. In the United States, asbestos manufacture stopped in 2002. Asbestos exposure thus shifted from workers in asbestos textile mills, friction product manufacturing, cement pipe fabrication, and insulation manufacture and installation to maintenance workers in asbestos-containing buildings.[24]

Mesothelioma, though rare, has had a number of notable patients:

Although life expectancy with this disease is typically limited, there are notable survivors. In July 1982, Stephen Jay Gould, a well-regarded paleontologist, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. After his diagnosis, Gould wrote “The Median Isn’t the Message”,[80] in which he argued that statistics such as median survival are useful abstractions, not destiny. Gould lived for another 20 years, eventually succumbing to cancer not linked to his mesothelioma.

Some people who were exposed to asbestos have collected damages for an asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma. Compensation via asbestos funds or class action lawsuits is an important issue in law practices regarding mesothelioma.[citation needed]

The first lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers were in 1929. Since then, many lawsuits have been filed against asbestos manufacturers and employers, for neglecting to implement safety measures after the links between asbestos, asbestosis, and mesothelioma became known (some reports seem to place this as early as 1898). The liability resulting from the sheer number of lawsuits and people affected has reached billions of dollars.[81] The amounts and method of allocating compensation have been the source of many court cases, reaching up to the United States Supreme Court, and government attempts at resolution of existing and future cases. However, to date, the US Congress has not stepped in and there are no federal laws governing asbestos compensation.[82]In 2013, the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2013” passed the US House of representatives and was sent to the US Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.[83] As the Senate did not vote on it before the end of the 113th Congress, it died in committee. It was revived in the 114th Congress, where it has not yet been brought before the House for a vote.[84]

The first lawsuit against asbestos manufacturers was brought in 1929. The parties settled that lawsuit, and as part of the agreement, the attorneys agreed not to pursue further cases. In 1960, an article published by Wagner et al. was seminal in establishing mesothelioma as a disease arising from exposure to asbestos.[85] The article referred to over 30 case studies of people who had suffered from mesothelioma in South Africa. Some exposures were transient and some were mine workers. Prior to the use of advanced microscopy techniques, malignant mesothelioma was often diagnosed as a variant form of lung cancer.[86] In 1962 McNulty reported the first diagnosed case of malignant mesothelioma in an Australian asbestos worker.[87] The worker had worked in the mill at the asbestos mine in Wittenoom from 1948 to 1950.[citation needed]

In the town of Wittenoom, asbestos-containing mine waste was used to cover schoolyards and playgrounds. In 1965 an article in the British Journal of Industrial Medicine established that people who lived in the neighbourhoods of asbestos factories and mines, but did not work in them, had contracted mesothelioma.[citation needed]

Despite proof that the dust associated with asbestos mining and milling causes asbestos-related disease, mining began at Wittenoom in 1943 and continued until 1966. In 1974 the first public warnings of the dangers of blue asbestos were published in a cover story called “Is this Killer in Your Home?” in Australia’s Bulletin magazine. In 1978 the Western Australian Government decided to phase out the town of Wittenoom, following the publication of a Health Dept. booklet, “The Health Hazard at Wittenoom”, containing the results of air sampling and an appraisal of worldwide medical information.[citation needed]

By 1979 the first writs for negligence related to Wittenoom were issued against CSR and its subsidiary ABA, and the Asbestos Diseases Society was formed to represent the Wittenoom victims.[citation needed]

In Leeds, England the Armley asbestos disaster involved several court cases against Turner & Newall where local residents who contracted mesothelioma claimed compensation because of the asbestos pollution from the company’s factory. One notable case was that of June Hancock, who contracted the disease in 1993 and died in 1997.[88]

The WT-1 protein is overexpressed in mesothelioma and is being researched as a potential target for drugs.[11]

There are two high-confidence miRNAs that can potentially serve as biomarkers of asbestos exposure and malignant mesothelioma. Validation studies are needed to assess their relevance.[89]

Mesothelioma at Curlie (based on DMOZ)

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Mesothelioma – Wikipedia

Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in the United States every year. In most cases, these victims exposure took place on the job and the cause of the illness can be traced to an unsafe workplace.

For example, in the past, an overwhelming amount of job sites across the nation used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings, equipment, products, machinery, insulation, electrical wiring, and more.

Workers were exposed to ACMs each time they went to work, inhaling tiny, odorless asbestos fibers. Once the fibers become lodged in the body, its literally impossible to expel all of. Over time, the workers began developing asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

With changing regulations and mitigation, exposure to asbestos is on the decline, but people continue to be diagnosed. This is because the disease has what is known as a long latency period. This means that the amount of time that can pass between the time of exposure to asbestos and the time that symptoms begin to appear can be as long as fifty years.

It is an unfortunate reality, but medical science has made great strides in understanding how this deadly disease progresses and various ways to prolong and improve the lives of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Currently, however, there is still no cure for asbestos illnesses.

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Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

What is Mesothelioma? Learn About Causes, Survival Rates …

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive disease that is known to develop over a period of 20 to 40 years. In many cases, the disease is not diagnosed until the end stage, when it is more difficult to treat. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but advanced medical treatments have allowed patients to live longer with the disease. Up to 3,000 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma is cancer that forms in the mesothelium, or the thin layer of cells that surround major organs. Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. There are three common locations for mesothelioma to form:

In general, the average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is between 12 to 21 months. Some 40 percent of patients survive about a year after a diagnosis and about 20 percent live more than two years following a diagnosis. While rare, there are some patients who live longer than five years with the disease.

The patients age at diagnosis, general health and access to treatment specialists are among the many factors that go into determining a mesothelioma patients life expectancy. Other factors that play a key role are the location of the disease (pleural mesothelioma patients have better survival rates than other disease locations), cell types involved (epithelial cells respond better to treatment than other types) and stage (earlier stage disease is more responsive to treatment). Experts warn that life expectation estimations vary greatly by patient and individual circumstances.

The primary cause of any form of mesothelioma is exposure to the thin, fibrous mineral called asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they travel through the lungs to reach the pleura, where they cause inflammation and scarring to form pleural mesothelioma. In cases of peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, researchers suspect asbestos fibers are ingested, travel through the lymph system or are absorbed through the skin to irritate surrounding cells. In all cases, the irritations damage cell DNA, causing cells to grow rapidly and abnormally and forming tumors.

Small studies have indicated some people are genetically predisposed to developing mesothelioma because they are more susceptible to the dangers of asbestos. Researchers are also reviewing a link between mesothelioma and Simian virus 40 (SV40), a DNA virus that contaminated early polio vaccines. There has been no definitive link between the virus and mesothelioma.

Physicians determine the stage of disease by performing numerous tests including X-rays, CT (CAT) scans, MRIs, PET scans and biopsies. It is important to determine where the cancer started and if it has spread from the point of origin for a correct disease staging. An accurate assessment of disease stage is crucial to successful treatment options.

Most physicians use a universally accepted tumor grading system to stage the disease. This allows physicians to communicate about a single patient to devise the best treatment plan. The TNM system looks at the size and growth of tumors (T), the involvement of lymph nodes (N) and the metastasis, or spread, of the disease (M). From there, the cancer is staged, with stages I and II as the early disease process and stages III and IV as the more advanced disease. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the later stages, making treatment difficult.

About 55 percent of mid- to late-stage mesothelioma patients live six months after a diagnosis, some 40 percent survive the first year after a diagnosis and about 9 percent survive five years or longer. An overall survival rate is dependent on a number of factors including state and location of the disease, the patients age and general health and the access to treatment specialists. Long-term survivors credit lifestyle changes, alternative medicine and treatment from mesothelioma specialists as contributing factors to their success.

A recent study that looked at 20 years of survivor information, from 1992 to 2012, found pleural and peritoneal survivorship was on the rise. The study found recent advances in treatment, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and cytoreductive surgery, appear to have increased survival rates in peritoneal mesothelioma patients. The studys author suggested genetics, various treatment modalities and gene environment interactions might also play a part in patient longevity.

The optimal treatment approach for most mesothelioma patients is multimodal therapy which is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. This approach, if successful, eliminates diseased tissue and allows for palliative care. Your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis, disease stage and overall health.

For decades, all branches of the military required asbestos be used to protect service members from heat, fire and chemical threats. It was widely used in barracks, offices, vehicles and vessels. Over a period of 50 years, some 5 million veterans were exposed to asbestos in shipbuilding operations alone. About 30 percent of mesothelioma patients are U.S. military veterans. Occupations that include carpentry, construction, roofing, auto mechanics and milling are at risk for exposure to dangerous levels of asbestos.

It is estimated that more than 300 asbestos products were used on military installations and in military applications between the early 1930s and the late 1970s. More recently, soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East may be been exposed from airborne asbestos. Companies that produced these products concealed the dangers of mesothelioma to put profits ahead of the safety and well being of our troops.

Gender, age, severity of symptoms, level of asbestos exposure, stage of disease and disease cell type play a significant role in the overall prognosis for mesothelioma patients. In addition, external factors including diet, age, stress level and general health play a role. The average pleural mesothelioma patient with late-stage disease survives about 12 months after a diagnosis, but those treated with surgery and radiation may extend their prognoses by some 28 months. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients who are treated with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) outlive their prognoses by 24 months to 7 years.

Many patients are able to improve their prognosis by seeking treatment options from a qualified mesothelioma specialist. Doctors who are practiced and trained in mesothelioma disease treatment approaches have specialized skills, education and access to crucial information that can make positive changes on long-term health.

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What is Mesothelioma? Learn About Causes, Survival Rates …

Mesothelioma: How Has Paul Kraus Survived For Over 20 Years?

Looking for mesothelioma information? The following section provides extensive information about mesothelioma, including symptoms, treatment, and more. Click on an item in the menu below to jump to that topic:

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the lining that covers many internal organs. There are approximately 2,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring carcinogen that was put into thousands of industrial and consumer products even after many companies knew that it was dangerous.

Although rare, mesothelioma cancer is not a death sentence. The worlds longest-living mesothelioma survivor wrote a free book to provide helpful insight, resources, and share his survival experiences.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, known as the asbestos caused cancer, that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body.

The main purpose of the mesothelium is to produce a lubricating fluid between tissues and organs. This fluid provides a slippery and protective surface to allow movement.

For example, it allows the lungs to expand and contract smoothly inside the body each time you take a breath. When the cells of the mesothelium turn cancerous they become mesothelioma thats where the name comes from.

Mesothelioma is a rare disease and there are only approximately 2,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year. There are many more cases diagnosed throughout the world, especially in Australia and the U.K. where large amounts of asbestos was used.

Number of cases per year in other countries:

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There are four types of malignant mesothelioma: Pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. Pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest wall and represents about 75% of all cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdomen and represents about 23%. Incidences of cases in the lining of the testis and the heart represent about 1% each.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs

When then pleural lining around the lungs and chest wall are involved in this cancer it is called pleural mesothelioma. There are actually two layers of tissue that comprise the pleural lining. The outer layer, the parietal pleura, lines the entire inside of the chest cavity. The inner layer is called the visceral pleura and it covers the lungs.

Mesothelioma usually affects both layers of the pleura. Often it forms in one layer of the pleura and invades the other layer. The cancer may form many small tumors throughout this tissue.

Learn More About Pleural Mesothelioma

The Peritoneal Cavity surrounds the liver, stomach, intestines and reproductive organs.

When the peritoneum, the protective membrane that surrounds the abdomen is involved in this cancer it is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Just like pleural mesothelioma, there are two layers of tissues involved with the peritoneum, the parietal layer covers the abdominal cavity, while the visceral layer surrounds the stomach, liver and other organs.

The cancer often forms many small tumors throughout the tissue. One doctor has described it as if someone took a pepper shaker and scattered the pepper over the tissue.

Learn More About Peritoneal Mesothelioma

In addition to the different types of locations within the body, there are also different cell types. These types are all considered mesothelioma, but they can affect the patients prognosis.

The three mesothelioma cell types are: epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic.

Epithelioid mesothelioma cells are the most common type of mesothelioma cell and has the best prognosis of the three cell types. Notice the dark purple, elongated egg shaped cells amongst the healthy pink colored tissue.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells are the rarest of the three cell types and tends to be more aggressive than epitheloid cells. Notice the dark purple nodules amongst the healthy light purple colored tissue.

Biphasic mesothelioma cells are mixtures of both cell types (epithelioid and sacromatoid) and usually has a prognosis that reflects the dominant cell type.

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Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and it is therefore considered the asbestos caused cancer.

Asbestos has been in use since ancient times, but after the Industrial Revolution its use became widespread and was used all over the world in thousands of industrial and consumer products even after many companies knew that it was dangerous. Construction materials, automotive parts and household products such as hair dryers and oven mitts contained asbestos in the past.

Today, asbestos has been outlawed in most places around the world, however, asbestos has not been outlawed in the United States and is still found in millions of homes and public buildings, such as schools, offices and parking garages.

Learn More About Causes

Asbestos under the microscope looks like hundreds of tiny swords

Asbestos is actually a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the world. It was called the magic mineral because it is resistant to heat and corrosion. Also, it is a fiber so it can be woven into other materials.

Asbestos is composed of millions of sharp microscopic fibers. These fibers are so small that the body has difficulty filtering them out. This means that if you around airborne asbestos you may inhale it or ingest it. This is known as asbestos exposure.

The actual process as to how asbestos causes mesothelioma is still being investigated. Most scientists believe that when the small sharp fibers are ingested or inhaled they cause cell damage which can cause chronic inflammation.

This inflammation can then set the stage for disease after many years or even decades. Some scientists believe that a persons immune system may actually help prevent the cancer, even if that person is exposed to asbestos.

Find Out More On Asbestos

Since asbestos causes this rare disease, how to people get exposed to asbestos? While asbestos was in thousands of products, workers in some professions had more exposure to this carcinogen than others.

Examples of occupations that exposed workers to asbestos includes: Navy veterans, construction trades such as electricians, mechanics, and plumbers, people working in power houses and power plants, firefighters, and refinery workers. Individuals in these professions often had a multitude of asbestos containing products on their various job sites.

Most asbestos containing products were removed voluntarily by the late 1970s. However, because there is no comprehensive ban on asbestos in the U.S. and because of the long latency period, people are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma today.

Learn More About Occupational Asbestos Exposure

Old Advertisement for Asbestos Sheets

The history of asbestos in the United States and other industrialized countries is a sad story of corporate greed. Companies that produced asbestos containing products saw their workers becoming sick with lung scarring, asbestosis, and cancer nearly 100 years ago.

Some companies even brought in researchers and scientists to better understand the health impact of asbestos. Once it was shown that their magic mineral was toxic to human beings, the industry faced a dilemma.

Should they protect workers, warn consumers, notify public health officials, and most importantly, phase out this dangerous mineral? Their answer was no.

Instead industry did just the opposite. They warned no one, kept their knowledge about asbestos secret and continued to use it for decades! Only by the 1960s did independent researchers like Dr. Irving Selikoff of Mt. Sinai School of Medicinebegin to connect asbestos exposure to disease.

By then hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were already exposed to this deadly mineral. The EPA would ban asbestos in 1989. However, the asbestos industry would sue the EPA and win.

In 1991 the ban was lifted. Even today, there is no comprehensive asbestos ban in the United States. Sad but true.

(Asbestos Medical and Legal Aspects by Barry Castleman)

Asbestos fibers cling to the clothing of workers and can be transferred to others, such as children or spouses.

People exposed directly to asbestos are called primary exposed. Sometimes the person who is primary exposed will transfer asbestos fibers from their clothes to the clothes of another person. The person who gets this transfer of asbestos exposure is said to have secondary exposure.

One example of secondary exposure is called the deadly hug. Sadly, the deadly hug happens when an adult comes home from work with asbestos on their clothes and hugs their son or daughter, unknowingly transferring the dangerous fibers to their child. There have been many cases of adults being diagnosed with mesothelioma whose only exposure to asbestos came from their time as a child.

Read About Secondary Exposure

There is a long latency period for mesothelioma which is the time from asbestos exposure to diagnosis of the cancer. This period can range anywhere from 20 to 50 years. There are different theories as to why there is such a long latency period and why most people exposed to asbestos do not get mesothelioma.

One theory suggests that there may be other variables that play a role. For example, some doctors believe that the condition or competency of a persons immune system could determine whether asbestos in their body leads to cancer.

Other possibilities include a persons genes and diet.

When doctors suspect a patient has mesothelioma they will initiate a work-upin order to make a diagnosis. This work-up may include imaging scans, biopsies, pathology exams, blood tests and staging.

Diagnosing Mesothelioma

Various types of scans may be used to determine if there are signs of tumors or other abnormalities. These scans may include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans.

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If scans reveal what doctors believe may be a cancer then a biopsy may be suggested. A biopsy is a procedure where doctors remove a small piece of the suspected tumor tissue from the patients body.

More on Biopsies

Blood tests and biomarkers may sometimes be used to determine if mesothelioma is present in the body. While these tests are helpful they are not considered as important as the biopsy which is considered the gold standard.

More on Biomarkers

The biopsy material will then be given to a pathologist. A pathologist will use special stains and other tests to determine if there is cancer and identify exactly what type of cancer was removed from the patient.

More on Pathology Exams

If mesothelioma is diagnosed, doctors may stage the disease. Over the years a variety of staging systems have been used. The one used most frequently today groups the disease into localized (only in the mesothelium) or advanced (spread outside the mesothelium).

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The prognosis of mesothelioma or any other cancer depends on a number of variables. Those variables include:

More on Prognosis

A doctor specializing in mesothelioma can properly diagnose you and determine the best course of treatment. Find a mesothelioma specialist or doctor near you.

The treatments for mesothelioma can be divided into three paths: Conventional Therapies, Clinical Trials, and Alternative Modalities.

Conventional therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The standard chemo drugs used are Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin (or carboplatin). They are often prescribed for the various types of mesothelioma, regardless of location. Both chemo and radiation therapy are known as cytotoxic or cell killing therapies. They work indiscriminately, killing both healthy and cancer cells. This is the reason that they can have severe side effects.

Learn About Treatment

The standard of care in many hospitals is to treat peritoneal mesothelioma with surgery and HIPEC. HIPEC stands for hyperthermic intraperitoneal perioperative chemotherapy which basically means flushing the surgical area with heated chemotherapy during the surgical procedure. The obvious advantage of this approach is that it enables doctors to put the chemo in exactly the place it needs to be.

Of all the conventional treatments available, surgery is generally considered the most effective. For pleural mesothelioma, there are various types of surgical procedures, including lung sparring surgery (also called pleurectomy/decorticiaton or PD) and extrapleural pneumonectomy (also called EPP).

Pleurectomy/decortication surgery is a two-part surgery that removes the lining surrounding one lung (pleurectomy), then removes any visible cancer seen growing inside the chest cavity (decortication). The advantage of P/D or lung sparring surgery is exactly what the name implies a lung is not removed.

An extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is a much more invasive surgery than PD. An EPP involves removing a lung, the diaphragm, portions of the chest lining and heart lining, and nearby lymph nodes.

Numerous studies have been performed comparing the prognosis with a pleurectomy/decortications surgery versus an extrapleural pneumonectomy. While there is no consensus on the subject, the latest reports suggest that PD may be a better choice for many patients because survival is generally equivalent to EPP and PD is less invasive and therefore easier to tolerate.

There are also other surgical procedures used to treat pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is the buildup of excess fluid in the pleural space between the visceral and parietal linings of the lungs. Examples of these procedures include pleurodesis and thoracentesis.

More on Surgery

Clinical trials are treatments that are still being tested. These treatments may include chemotherapy or other more innovative approaches based on immune therapy, gene therapy or other biological approaches. One example of new treatments being tried in mesothelioma involve the use of monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are essentially an immune system therapy that tries to use antibodies to target cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute indexes clinical trials offered throughout the country.

Discover Clinical Trials

Alternative modalities include a large number of approaches such as intravenous vitamin therapy, herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cannabis oil, dietary approaches, and mind-body medicine. It is important to note that while none of these modalities are FDA approved, there are a number of long-term mesothelioma survivors who have used them, including Paul Kraus.

Read About Alternative Treatments

Mesothelioma is not the only disease caused by asbestos. Asbestosis which is essentially scarred lung tissue, pleural plaques and some lung cancers can also be caused by asbestos. There may also be compensation available to victims of these diseases as well. Treatments vary by condition.

Learn About Other Asbestos Diseases

Factors such as multi-drug resistance, therapy related side effects, and disease recurrence after therapy have all been implicated as problems that prevent successful treatment of malignant mesothelioma. However, recent scientific evidence suggests that some common dietary phytochemicals, such as curcumin and quercetin, may have the ability to regulate microRNAs associated with malignant mesothelioma and possibly inhibit the cancer by regulating the expression of various genes which are known to be aberrant in malignant mesothelioma.

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Mesothelioma: How Has Paul Kraus Survived For Over 20 Years?

Mesothelioma Life Expectancy | How Long Do Patients Live?

How Can I Improve My Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?

Being proactive about your health is a great first step toward improving your mesothelioma life expectancy after a diagnosis.

In addition to seeking traditional mesothelioma treatments immediately, there are a few steps you can take to improve your mesothelioma life expectancy.

The first step you should take is to seek legal advice so you can begin pursuing the compensation you deserve to afford the treatment you need.

Contact us today to learn about your options for mesothelioma compensation.

Other options to explore as you work to improve your mesothelioma life expectancy include:

Malignant mesothelioma, caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers, is an incurable cancer involving the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart.

The latency period, the time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis, can be decades long. For many patients diagnosed 15 to 60 years after their initial exposure to asbestos, the disease is already in an advanced phase when they begin to suffer symptoms of shortness of breath and chest pain.

At this late stage of diagnosis, the average survival time is less than a year.

Although there are many factors doctors look at to determine a patients prognosis and mesothelioma life expectancy, doctors, patients, and cancer advocates are now emphasizing the importance of early detection.They all agree that in order to increase the effectiveness of treatment options leading to an increased survival time, early detection is critical. In fact, the American Cancer Society states that if you cant prevent cancer, the next best thing you can do to protect your health is to detect it early.

According to the American Thoracic Society, malignant mesothelioma is a fatal disease with median survival time of less than 12 months from first signs of illness of death.

However, some studies have shown that among patients where it is diagnosed early and treated aggressively, about half can expect a mesothelioma life expectancy of two years, and one-fifth will have a mesothelioma life expectancy of five years.

As a comparison, for patients whose mesothelioma is advanced, only five percent can expect to live another five years.

Early diagnosis of the cancer often means that the cancer will be localized, with the cancer cells found only at the body site where the cancer originated.

The localized cancer would be identified as Stage 1 and can involve a surgically removable tumor. Once the cancer cells have spread beyond that original location, the mesothelioma is considered advanced and surgery is often no longer an option.

The importance of early diagnosis of this cancer cannot be overemphasized. Treating a limited area of cancer is easier, and includes more treatment options, than trying to treat cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to several sites or throughout the body.

Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed within three to six months of the first visit to a doctor with complaints about breathing problems or chest and abdominal pain.

Anyone who has worked around asbestos is urged to see a physician for screening for malignant cancer. Screening methods are advancing, and various blood tests now exist that may identify mesothelioma.

The blood tests focus on a protein in the blood that is released into the blood stream by cells. One test checks for a protein known as SMRP, or soluble mesothelin-related peptide.

The biomarker measures the amount of SMRP in a persons blood. Abnormally high levels may indicate the presence of mesothelioma.

Early diagnosis can improve life expectancy.

However, the following factors for a mesothelioma diagnosis are all important when assessing life expectancy:

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic add quality of life prior to a diagnosis to the list of increased survival. The researchers found that patients who deemed their quality of life highest among other lung cancer patients lived significantly longer.

The American Cancer Society encourages cancer survivors to focus on healthy behaviors including exercise, diet, and not smoking to limit the risk of mesothelioma recurrence and for improved quality of life.

The younger the better. Many studies report that younger, fit patients have a higher mesothelioma life expectancy than their older counterparts when diagnosed with cancer.

Younger patients are generally healthier overall, which points to encouraging Americans to live a healthy lifestyle in order to combat mesothelioma.

The primary types of mesothelioma are pleural, involving the lung, and peritoneal, involving the abdomen.

Pleural mesothelioma patients typically have a shorter mesothelioma life expectancy than peritoneal patients. According to statistics, 80 percent of the mesothelioma cases are pleural, with close to 20 percent peritoneal cases.

Pericardial, which occurs in the lining around the heart, is extremely rare, representing less than one percent of all mesothelioma cases.

There are three types of cells that appear in mesothelioma: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic.

Epithelial cells

These cells protect and surround organs. When they are invaded by mesothelioma, they form tumors that can be removed with surgery or treated with radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three.

Mesothelioma cases often include a malignant epithelial tumor. There are 20 kinds of epithelial mesothelioma cells. Some are associated with a specific type of mesothelioma. Others are found in all forms of the disease.

Sarcomatoid cells

Are made up of cancerous cells that can include epithelial cells. Sarcomatoid cells are hard to tell apart from healthy tissues. They spread quickly and are the most difficult to treat.

There are three kinds of sarcomatoid cells associated with mesothelioma: transitional, lymphohistiocytosis, and desmoplastic. They are found in all three types of mesothelioma.

Biphasic cells

Are the second most-common found in mesothelioma patients. These cells are most often present in pleural patients.

They may include elements of epithelial cells and sarcomatoid cells; for this reason, treatment and patient survival time frames will vary. Treatment is also based on the stage, size and location of the tumor.

Unlike many other predominantly pulmonary-related cancers, cigarette smoking has no known causative effect on pleural mesothelioma incidence.

However, statistics show that smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases and 85 percent of head and neck cancers. Smoking cessation is one of the primary ways to prevent lung disease.

The effectiveness of treatment for mesothelioma patients can be complicated if patients continue to smoke.

Patients with few to no additional health complications may have a longer survival than those with other health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Patients with other chronic conditions must carefully monitor their health and medications to prevent complications from arising. When they are then diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that the medical team and patients work closely together to monitor drug interactions and proper nutrition.

The American Cancer Society reports the following median survival time of patients with pleural mesothelioma who were treated with surgery to cure the cancer.

The numbers include the relative five-year survival rate and median survival. The ACS adds that survival times tend to be longer for patients treated with surgery.

Patients who are not eligible for surgery often have cancer that has metastasized.

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Mesothelioma Life Expectancy | How Long Do Patients Live?