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 brief yet erudite and compellingly original survey that will provoke both personal thought and lively group discussion.
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