Exploding the Cancer Myths: Brian Lobel’s Narrative Performance Ball


  • Yeliz Biber Vangolu Ataturk University, Turkey




Brian Lobel, Illness, Ball, Cancer, Susan Sontag, Humour


In his personal account of cancer, Ball (2003), the performance artist, Brian Lobel, intently refuses to succumb to the myths about the illness, challenging the cancer narratives that have traditionally been based on a discourse of heroism or martyrdom. While his performance is, at times, sensational with a keen focus on sexuality and a determination to produce humour out of a grave matter, they invite criticism for the way cancer has been perceived and presented as a medical condition and for the social stigma attached to the disease. This paper addresses the numerous ways in which Lobel challenges the assumptions, expectations and taboos regarding cancer, cancer patients and survivors by examining his strategies in the light of cultural studies on cancer and humour theories.




How to Cite

Vangolu, Y. B. (2022). Exploding the Cancer Myths: Brian Lobel’s Narrative Performance Ball. European Journal of Language and Literature, 8(2), 62–71. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejls.v8i1.p147-152