Conceptions of health, illness and care in Guimarães Rosa’s Primeiras estórias


  • Fabio Scorsolini-Comin Universidade de São Paulo. Escola de Enfermagem de Ribeirão Preto. Departamento de Enfermagem Psiquiátrica e Ciências Humanas
  • Isabella Alcântara Figueiredo Universidade Federal do Triângulo Mineiro. Departamento de Psicologia



Anthropology of Health, Health-Illness Process, Guimarães Rosa, Mental Health


Starting from anthropology of health and crosscultural psychiatry, this theoretical study analyzed the conceptions of health and illness present in three short stories of the book Primeiras estórias (1962) written by Guimarães Rosa: “Sorôco, sua mãe, sua filha”, “A menina de lá” and “A terceira margem do rio” (in Portuguese). A diversity of concepts and feelings related to mental health issues was noticed in these short stories, such as: lack of comprehension, marginalization, social pressure for institutionalization, stereotyping, dehumanization, mental and physical isolation, feelings of fear and guilt, and acceptance and mystification attempts. Considering the indissociable relation between author, work, public, and social conditions, such elements present in the short stories can be important to revisit, historically and culturally, practices inside mental health care institutions when searching for a more humanized care that combat the violence in this context, favoring a view that indeed surpasses the biomedical model centralized in pathologies and promotes new meanings for health and illness.


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How to Cite

Scorsolini-Comin, F., & Figueiredo, I. A. (2018). Conceptions of health, illness and care in Guimarães Rosa’s Primeiras estórias. Saúde E Sociedade, 27(3), 883-897.