“I explained what had happened, and the next day, he handed me a letter that he wrote to my school.”
Suicide is everywhere. It haunts history and current events. It haunts our own networks of friends and family. It most likely haunts your private thoughts, too. Why delay the inevitable silence, particularly when this world can be so painful? The specter of suicide looms large, but the topic is taboo because any meaningful discussion must at the very least consider that the answer to the question — “is life worth living?” — might not be an emphatic yes; it might even be a stern no.
Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School in New York City, takes on the precarious question of suicide in this darkly fascinating book. Through a sweeping historical overview of suicide, a moving literary survey of famous suicide notes, and a psychological analysis of himself, Critchley offers us an authentic portrait of what it means to possess the all too human gift and curse of being able to choose life or death.
With poignance, empathy, and scholarly thoroughness, Suicide takes us to the humming cliff of death. Here on the edge, Critchley calmly and pacifically whispers the ecstatic secret of life to us.
A fitting finish to an incredibly talented and moving career.
“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.”
1. Good Morning Vietnam
If Robin Williams deserves to be lauded for his merits, why shouldn’t he be blamed for his faults?
When someone commits suicide, the person is deemed crazy and selfish. Yet there is often a lack of perspective on what could lead a person to feel so utterly hopeless and alone that they would take their own lives.
“We can do whatever you want. Just as long as you know that when we leave this room, and re-enter the world, we’re gonna do it together. And I’m not going anywhere.”
Beyond that, there is a call here to every single person out there and that is a call for more expansive love and compassion.
Like an addict, I suffer from an illness and consider myself always in recovery.
Here are three steps that I’ve taken over the years to manage recurring clinical depression.