Depression in Literature — PinoyExchange

Depression in Literature

We've heard of artists committing suicide after reading or writing a literary piece. What triggers this? Is it (the depression) already there, merely triggered by the written or read piece? Or is it something strong that pushes one out of his mind or sanity?

Books or literary pieces have long inspired many people, sometimes even leading to the 'downfall' of their minds and selves.

Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, Jeanette Winterson...

Is it true that there is but a thin line that divides the genius and the mad? That one encompasses the other?


  • Originally posted by Jaymee_13
    Ernest Hemingway, Vincent van Gogh, Jeanette Winterson...
    jeanette winterson is alive and kicking...............

    .....i think.
  • My bad... it's (if I'm not mistaken this time) Virginia Woolf. Thanks for pointing that one out. :)
  • Jeanette Winterson is very much alive and I don't think she'll be committing suicide anytime soon.

    Just think of it this way, an artist or a writer commits suicide due to a lot of factors. Most of them feel alienated because of their art and at the same time, some of them turn to their craft because of emotional depression, like Anne Sexton. In most cases, this is what feeds their art.

    Being highly-tuned and sensitive to their own emotions and to the world around them can make one's nerves really go way up. Take for example the great opium takers in literature like Coleridge and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Yes. She was an addict).

    When you're on that edge, it only seems right to jump. If you can't find any redeemption from a world who doesn't seem to understand you and your art, a lot of these artists who committed suicide felt that death is the only way to liberate yourself (take for example Kate Chopin's The Awakening, the main protagonist's drowning scene probably exemplifies a death of an artist, looking at it on that perspective. Or Tennyson's Lady of Shalott, a best example of alienation from the real world).

    But then again, suicide is caused by a lot of factors.
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