When success ends in suicide

Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting that I look into David Foster Wallace, a literary wunderkind who just hanged himself.

There might be the obvious angle of a very successful person … killing himself.

Then there is the genre of suicide in general–Hannibal poisoned himself, besides lots and lots of other interesting people.

Stephanie, were you thinking of a specific angle that might fit my book that I haven’t noticed yet? I will look into his life story a bit more….

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3 thoughts on “When success ends in suicide

  1. Probably a bit of the obvious I’m afraid. Where triumph/success is the “imposter”.

    Wallace often wrote about suicide. See the transcript of his Kenyon Commencement Address.

    http://www.marginalia.org/dfw_kenyon_commencement.html

    Upon reading his other writings, I could see that he had looked at suicide intensely and found it to be a subject he wanted to hold near.

    People will not usually choose failure so I am left wondering if his intimacy with the subject made him see it as more if a triumph over his depression and the pain of life.

    Don’t know if this helps the book but quite interesting just the same.

  2. How very perceptive of you. I was recently looking into this: Suicide as triumph (Socrates, Seneca, Samurai, etc) versus suicide as defeat or escape (Marilyn Monroe, van Gogh…). In between there are these subtle ones, such as this one, perhaps, or Kurt Cobain…
    I shall do some reading.

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