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The loneliness of the human derelict of a great city in its prisons, custodial hospitals, and asylums can be wonderfully illustrated in Paris, a city more renowned for its sometimes simulated and stimulated gaiety than it is for the gloom and loneliness of modern life. One finds the soul of a great city in its hospitals, where a sad group of drifters and derelicts, the forlorn, forgotten, and unloved, quietly watch their own existence draining away into the forgetful oblivion of death. One of the most famous of the custodial institutions of Paris is the Salpêtrière, that "grand asylum of human misery" as Charcot described it. It consists of various buildings dating back to the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The achitectural remains of past greatness pervade the gray spirit of the place almost like one of the remote provincial towns. In its corridors Pinel, Charcot, Mazarin, and dePaul all
Bean WB. J. M. Charcot, 1825-1893, His Life—His Work. AMA Arch Intern Med. 1960;105(3):498–499. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.00270150152021
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