The Alienist – Machado de Assis

A classic of Brazilian literature, this fiction written by Machado de Assis is, one hundred and thirty years after its original publication, one of the most devastating reflections about how insane science can be.
The protagonist Simão Bacamarte is a doctor who get interested in psychiatry, starting a study about insanity in the city of Itaguaí, in the State of Rio de Janeiro, where he launches  a hospice – considered the most modern method in the treatment of psychiatric diseases at that time -, gathering the local population for his experiments.  It’s a surprising and modern story, with brings an intense debate about the limits between madness and reason, insanity and lucidity.