'Moravagine' by Blaise Cendrars (1926).


As a special branch of general philosophy, pathogenesis had never been explored. In my opinion it had never been approached in a strictly scientific fashion- that is to say, objectively, amorally, intellectually.
All those who have written on the subject are filled with prejudice. Before searching out and examining the mechanism of causes of disease, they treat of 'disease as such', condemn it as an exceptional and harmful condition, and start out by detailing the thousand and one ways of combating it, disturbing it, destroying it; they define health, for this purpose, as a 'normal' condition that is absolute and immutable.
Diseases are. We do not make or unmake them at will. We are not their masters. They make us, they form us. They may even have created us. They belong to this state of activity which we call life. They may be its main activity. They are one of the many manifestations of universal matter. They may be the principle manifestation of that matter which we will never be able to study except through the phenomena of relationships and analogies. Diseases are a transitory, intermediary, future state of health. It may be that they are health itself.
Coming to a diagnosis is, in a way, casting a physiological horoscope.
What convention calls health is, after all, no more than this or that passing aspect of a morbid condition, frozen into an abstraction, a special case already exerienced, recognized, defined, finite, extracted and generalized for everybody's use. Just as a word only finds its way into the Dictionary of the French Academy when it is well worn, stripped of the freshness of its popular origin or of the elegance of its poetic value, often more than fifty years after its creation, just as the definition given preserves a word, embalms it in its decrepitude, but in a pose which is noble, hypocritical and arbitrary- a pose it never assumed in the days of its vogue, while it was still topical, living and meaningful- so it is that health, recognized as a public Good, is only the sad mimic of some illness which has grown unfashionable, ridiculous and static, a solemnly doddering phenomenon which manages somehow to stand on its feet between the helping hands of its admirers, smiling at them with its false teeth. A commonplace, a physiological cliche, it is a dead thing. And it may be that health is death itself.
Epidemics, and even more diseases of the will or collective neuroses, mark off the different epochs of human evolution, just as tellurian cataclysms mark the history of our planet. In all this lies an elementary, complicated chemistry which has not yet been studied.  

They ['the doctors of today'] intern, sequester, isolate the most striking individuals. They mutilate our physiological geniuses, the bearers and forerunners of the health of tomorrow.