What do you write about when you don’t know what to write? Or, when you’re filled with thoughts, each competing for attention, seeking expression?

I find myself falling back into reading about my favorite historical period, 1880 – 1930. The architecture of Buenos Aires is a vivid reminder of that age, but I’m more and more intrigued by another topic: criminality and mental illness in Buenos Aires, circa 1900.

My reading list includes learning much more about José Ingenieros, one of the leading Argentine criminal psychiatrists, and his mentor José María Ramos Mejia. Along the way I need to re-read a lot of Horacio Quiroga, who did a very good job in his fiction of identifying with the mad. So, over the next few months will be the occasional post about the psychopathology of Buenos Aires a century ago.

Meanwhile, here’s a photo of a somewhat smoky Parque Lezama.