Philosophers of Decay: On the Prosaic Art of Dentistry
In the dentist’s chair, mortality is both obviated and underlined by the banality and the intensely personal quality of an experience that has almost no role to play in a narrative, other than to allow the banal and the personal to blunder tastelessly into the foreground. We are held back from platitudes about physical decay. There is simply no point, other than irony, in approaching the dentist with the mythical sense of crossing that grips Woolf as she breaths in the gas. The dentist is the everyday manifestation of our otherness to ourselves or, better put, the rearticulation of that otherness as a facet of the everyday.