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Victoria Mas in conversation with Felipe Restrepo Pombo

The Mad Women’s Ball

Arequipa 2021, 

The French writer of Spanish origin, Victoria Mas, arrived on the literary scene with a major success: her multi-award-winning novel The Mad Women’s Ball, which is now in the process of being translated into over 20 languages. The book is set in late 19th-century Paris and explores the lives of women who are interned in the psychiatric hospital La Salpêtrière, run by the famous neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, a precursor of Freud who was interested in the disorder that was the main focus for the incipient field of psychiatry: hysteria. Mas talks about how, for example, the middle classes went to the hospital to attend the great mid-lent ball, at which women who were normally repudiated and stigmatized gave a performance with their own bodies, to the rhythm of waltzes and polkas. The protagonists of this tragic story, Louise and Eugene, try to escape from a terrible confinement that has happened against their will. Victoria Mas will talk to the Colombian writer and journalist Felipe Restrepo Pombo.

Simultaneous translation from French to Spanish

Click here to watch again the French version of this event.