História, Ciências, Saúde-Manguinhos
Print version ISSN 0104-5970
ARANTES, Marco Antonio. Asylum of doctors. Hist. cienc. saude-Manguinhos [online]. 2008, vol.15, n.1, pp. 49-63. ISSN 0104-5970. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-59702008000100004.
An impassioned writer, suburbano, black, daring, ironic, combative, accursed, and misunderstood by his contemporaries, Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (1881-1922) traveled to hell, experiencing the scorn of critics, failure as a writer, and his family's indifference towards his literary vocation. Restless in his pain and heavy-handed with hypocrites, he grappled with the tragedies of madness, alcoholism, and prejudice at a time when assuming one's condition as a black was an act of courage. His conscious observations about doctors, the mad, and madness is the point of departure for this study, based on the writer's experience at the Hospício Nacional and on a review of significant excerpts from Lima Barreto's literary production. The latter stands as an institutional and political issue and a criticism of the discourses that played important roles in preserving the structures of domination in the Old Republic.
Keywords : Afonso Henriques de Lima Barreto (1881-1922); madness; Hospício Nacional (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).