Tag Archives: asylum

“On Being Sane in Insane Places”1: psychiatric hospitalization as seen by Gabriel García Márquez and Dr. David Rosenhan

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Crowded bedroom at Brooklyn State Hospital. World Telegram & Sun photo by Dick De Marsico. 1961. Library of Congress. No known copyright restriction. Literature and science may complement each other. Sometimes they actually describe the same phenomenon. Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014) was a Colombian novelist, journalist, and short story writer. He […]

Dr. William Minor and the Oxford English Dictionary

JMS Pearce  Hull, England, UK   Fig 1. Johnson’s Dictionary [photo: author’s copy] After the first dictionary of English words (Robert Cawdrey’s A Table Alphabetical… 1604) many dictionaries aimed to provide typical spelling, meaning, and often pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, and quotations. A New English Dictionary was an important advance reflecting everyday language compiled by the […]

“Do I look gay to you?”

Elena Hill New York, United States   Joaquim, Refugee, Tijuana 2020. Richard Hill. When I first went to Tijuana to the US-Mexican border to volunteer as a physician, I was expecting to see women fleeing abuse, men escaping gang violence, and families pursuing a better life. I was not expecting to see a large LGBTQ […]

Erich Heckel: in a lunatic asylum

  Erich Heckel (1883–1970) was one of the founding members of Die Brücke (“The Bridge”), formed in Dresden in 1905 as a bohemian group of artists in rebellion against the older, established norms. In this painting, he depicts four inmates confined to a mental institution for reasons not explained. The squalid and disheveled man in […]

Letters from the asylum

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Asylum of Saint-Paul-de-Mausol, Provence, France. After cutting off his ear, Vincent van Gogh spent a year in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence confined to a mental asylum. Despite several major relapses during his stay, he continued to work prolifically, completing more than 140 paintings including masterpieces such as Starry Night, Irises, and Almond […]