Thursday, January 9, 2014

Famous Authors Who Committed Suicide

Ned Vizzini is by no means the first great author to commit suicide. In fact, suicide rates are relatively high (compared to the population at large) in creative communities.

Ernest Hemingway is an author who needs no introduction: Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea... he's one of those authors that tortures students from middle school to college. He shot himself in his home in Idaho.

Sylvia Plath, author of The Bell Jar, is the go-to reference in books, movies, and TV to indicate that a character is suicidal (or simply depressed). I've often heard Dorothy Parker's "Resume" (you may recognize it: "Razors pain you, Rivers are damp, Acids stain you, And drugs cause cramp. Guns aren't lawful, Nooses give, Gas smells awful, You might as well live.") incorrectly attributed to Sylvia Plath, who used a gas oven to end her life.

Hunter S. Thompson, who you've probably seen portrayed by Johnny Depp in the film based on his most famous work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, shot himself in the head like Mr. Hemingway.

Virginia Woolf had what I think is the most poetic suicide from this list: she filled her pockets with stones and walked into the River Ouse near her home in England.

There are hundreds of others, now - unfortunately - including Ned Vizzini.

This was a sad post. I'd give you a picture of a kitten to soften the blow, but I feel like that would be disrespectful, so instead I'll just encourage you to think about kittens.

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