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Presentación de "Del hachís y de la alienación mental"

Portada libro

Date: 13 november 2019 at 18:00 to 19:30. Wednesday.


Place: Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y la Ciencia "López Piñero". Palau de Cerveró. Sala de conferencias.


Organised by:  Enric Novella (IILP-UV).

Seminar coordination:  Enric Novella (IILP-UV).

The presentation can be streamed on

Next Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 6 a.m. the book by Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours under the title Del hachís y de la alineación mental (Hashish and Mental Illness) will be launched at the Valencian headquarters of the Inter-university Institute López Piñero. This is the last volume of the Colecció d'Història de l'Associació Espanyola de Neuropsiquiatria (AEN, History Collection of the Spanish Association of Neuropsychiatry). The book has been edited and translated by the Universitat de València Professor and ILLP researcher Enric Novella in collaboration with Silvia Fervenza and Marisa Cuñat.

The event will feature interventions by Enric Novella (ILLP-UV), Olga Villasante (President of the History Section at the AEN) and Mikel Munárriz (President of AEN-Mental Health Professionals).

Jacques-Joseph Moreau (more known as Moreau de Tours) is, without a trace of doubt, one of the most fascinating figures of psychiatry history.  Between 1836 and 1837 he travelled along with a rich patient of his mentor Jean-Étienne Esquirol through Malta, Turkey and Egypt, where he started to become familiar with the physiological and psychological effects of cannabis. Founder of an ephemeral Club des Haschischins that brought together the elite of the Parisian intelligentsia (Gautier, Delacroix, Baudelaire, Nerval, Dumas father, etc.), Moreau was very convinced of its value as “a powerful and unique means of exploration in the matter of mental pathogenesis”, and, at the end of a time, to compile the fortunes of experiences in hashish and mental alienation.

In this volume of French the nineteenth-century alienism, Moreau does not limit himself to consigning his very fine observations, but formulates a very complete doctrine on the foundations and nature of mental alienation. Postulating a strict identity between the phenomena of sleep and madness, Moreau believes he sees in excitation - and in the processes resulting from the “dissociation, disintegration and dissolution of ideas” - the “primordial fact” from which all the symptoms of madness are derived, thus anticipating a point of view that would inspire later contributions as relevant as those by Pierre Janet, Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault or Henri Ey.

Nevertheless, beyond his descriptive richness and the originality of his approaches, Del hachís y de la alineación mental is also a revolutionary work because of Moreau's obstinacy to resort an introspection as the authentic way to recreate, apprehend and examine the ineffable experience of madness: “most alienists have described in detail the infinitely varied symptoms presented by the sick [....], but I don't know of anyone who, referring to madness, has transmitted to us the result of his personal experience and has described it from his own perceptions and sensations”.

Organized by:

 Enric Novella(IILP-UV)..




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