‘Concerning what you write about thoughts of suicide,’ Engelmann added, ‘my thoughts are as follows’:
Behind such thoughts, just as in others, there can probably lie something of a noble motive. But that this motive shows itself in this way, that it takes the form of a contemplation of suicide, is certainly wrong. Suicide is certainly a mistake. So long as a person lives, he is never completely lost. What drives a man to suicide is, however, the fear that he is completely lost. This fear is, in view of what has already been said, ungrounded. In this fear a person does the worst thing he can do, he deprives himself of the time in which it would be possible for him to escape being lost.
‘You undoubtedly know all this better than I,’ wrote Engelmann, excusing himself for appearing to have something to teach Wittgenstein, ‘but one sometimes forgets what one knows.’
Ray Monk, Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius, London, 1990, pp. 186-187
No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.
Hunter Thompson, ‘Football Season Is Over’, February 16th, 2005
My more specific purpose in consulting Dr. Gold was to obtain help through pharmacology-though this too was, alas, a chimera for a bottomed out victim such as I had become.
He asked me if I was suicidal, and I reluctantly told him yes. I did not particularize–since there seemed no need to–did not tell him that in truth many of the artifacts of my house had become potential devices for my own destruction: the attic rafters (and an outside maple or two) a means to hang myself, the garage a place to inhale carbon monoxide, the bathtub a vessel to receive the flow from my opened arteries. The kitchen knives in their drawers had but one purpose for me. Death by heart attack seemed particularly inviting, absolving me as it would of active responsibility, and I had toyed with the idea of self-induced pneumonia –a long, frigid, shirt-sleeved hike through the rainy woods. Nor had I overlooked an ostensible accident, a la Randall Jarrell, by walking in front of a truck on the highway nearby. These thoughts may seem outlandishly macabre–a strained joke–but they are genuine. They are doubtless especially repugnant to healthy Americans, with their faith in self improvement. Yet in truth such hideous fantasies, which cause well people to shudder, are to the deeply depressed mind what lascivious daydreams are to persons of robust sexuality.
William Styron, Darkness Visible: a Memoir of Madness, New York, 1990, p. 53
La pasión por el juego, no menos que por el cine, la música o el coleccionismo de cualquier clase, libera al hombre de la angustia. Un personaje de Balzac, jugador empedernido, estaba deprimido y había decidido suicidarse cuando llegó un amigo y le propuso una partida. El suicida en ciernes abandonó de inmediato su proyecto y corrió entusiasmado a la mesa de juego. Hay pasiones que pierden al hombre, pero el que no tiene ninguna está irremisiblemente perdido.
Juan José Sebreli, Cuadernos, Buenos Aires, p. 61
En alguna ocasión sobreviví precisamente porque sabía cómo suicidarme si las cosas empeoraban.
Roberto Bolaño, Entre paréntesis: ensayos, artículos y discursos (1998-2003), Barcelona, 2004, p. 340
That suicide harms those who are thereby bereaved is part of the tragedy of coming into existence. We find ourselves in a kind of trap. We have already come into existence. To end our existence causes immense pain to those we love and for whom we care. Potential procreators would do well to consider this trap they lay when they produce offspring.
David Benatar, Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, Oxford, 2006, p. 220