O alienista

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the novel by Caleb Carr, see The Alienist.
"O Alienista"
Author Machado de Assis
Country Brazil
Language Portuguese
Genre(s) Short story
Published in Papéis avulsos
Publication type Anthology
Media type Print
Publication date 1882

"O Alienista" ("The Psychiatrist") is a novella (a narrative fictional narrative longer than a short-story and shorter than a novel) written by Brazilian author Machado de Assis. It was first published in 1882 as part of the Papéis avulsos. In 1970, the story was adapted into a film.

Plot summary[edit]

Published a year after Machado's first major novel, Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas, "The Psychiatrist" follows the scientific efforts of Dr. Simão Bacamarte, a prominent Portuguese physician whose obsession for discovering a universal method to treat and consequently cure pathologic disturbs drives inhabitants of the small Brazilian town of Itaguaí to fear, conspiracy and revolutionary attempts. In a short space of time, Bacamarte's madhouse, popularly named "Green House", passes to take inside of its walls not only mentally ill patients but also healthy citizens who, according to the doctor's diagnoses, are about to develop some sort of mental illness. Porfírio, the town's barber, indicts Bacamarte for his corruptive influence over the Municipal Assemlency, which since the beginning approved the experiments taken place at the Green House, "the Bastille of human Knowledge".