Tag Archives: suicide

Melville’s Bartleby: an absurd casualty

Simon Wein Petach Tikvah, Israel   Titian, Sisyphus, 1548–49, oil on canvas, 237 cm x 216 cm (P000426). Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado. Albert Camus (1913-1960) was a French writer and philosopher. He did not want to be pinned down as an existentialist or an absurdist, or indeed a nihilist. Nevertheless, he is well known […]

The romantic suicide: Karoline von Günderrode

Nicolás Roberto Robles Badajoz, Spain   Figure 1. Karoline von Günderrode portrait. Unknown artist. Via Wikimedia. No known restrictions on publication. Suicide, often occurring as an impulsive gesture or from underlying depression, has long been an important cause of death among young people, as exemplified within recent memory by the wave of suicides that followed […]

Traumatic experience and creativity: René Magritte

Mirjana Stojkovic-Ivkovic Belgrade, Serbia   The Lovers. René Magritte, 1928. Fair use. A painter’s creativity often results from artistic inspiration, but it can also be a manifestation of fear, pain, and suffering. René Magritte (1898–1967), a Belgian painter and great figure in modern art, expressed his thoughts and his feelings on the canvas. His unique […]

Qualis artifex pereo

Henri Colt  Laguna Beach, California, United States   Man sitting. Photo by Gadiel Lazcano on Unsplash. This short story is a work of fiction. Translation: “What an artist the world is losing with me!” — cited by Suctonius, The Twelve Caesars, Nero 49; Loeb ed., 2:177   Michael had jet black hair and sorrowful brown […]

Mark Rothko and the dialogue in his mind

Mildred Wilson Detroit, MI   [Untitled] (Mark Rothko). Consuelo Kanaga. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, Photo: Brooklyn Museum. “The mind is what the brain does—and more. The mind has a mind of its own. The main business of the mind is to mind its own business.” Edwin […]

Did Ernest Hemingway have the Celtic curse?

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize for Literature, 1954. GPA Photo Archive. Via Flickr. CC BY-NC 2.0 Considering Ernest Hemingway’s mishaps before he died in 1961 by a self-inflicted shotgun wound, it is surprising that he lived so long. He survived two plane crashes several days apart that left […]

The Portrait of Doctor Gachet

Nicholas Kang Auckland, New Zealand   Portrait of Doctor Gachet, by Vincent van Gogh. June 1890. Private collection. Via Wikimedia. On a spring evening in New York, a portrait is unveiled before a crowded auction room. It pictures an older man wearing a dark blue coat with luminous green buttons. His elbow rests on a red table beside two […]

The finality in their voices II: physiology-defying violent opera death

Lea C. Dacy Eelco F. M. Wijdicks Rochester, Minnesota, United States   The title character in Werther bleeding profusely from a self-inflicted gunshot wound but still able to sing an extended aria, used with permission from Alamy. In a previous article, we reviewed the plausibility of opera deaths in wasting diseases such as that of […]

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the legacy of Long John Silver

George Venters Scotland   The “Old Surgical Hospital” as it is today. Courtesy of Dr. Iain MacIntyre. Faced with the danger of having his right foot amputated in 1873, the real “Long John Silver,” the English poet William E. Henley, turned for help to Joseph Lister and became a patient in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. […]

Engage the emotions

Florence Gelo Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States   Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). The Taking of Christ, 1602 Oil on canvas. 135.5 x 169.5 cm L.14702. On indefinite loan to the National Gallery of Ireland from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin, who acknowledge the kind generosity of the late Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, 1992 Photo © […]