Thursday, September 4, 2014

Famous Writers Who Commited Suicide

Early 2011, I posted an article at Triond about writers who committed suicide. That article was actually inspired by my addiction to Bob Ong's "Stainless Longganisa" where he listed some authors who killed themselves. Now, I am reposting it here. This list only contains 7 writers. I only limited myself to this number since I don't want my to flood this post with depressing news about these amazing writers. Up to now, I still can't believe that Wikipedia's list of it shows 200 writers. I just filtered the ones that I'm familiar with and with reference to my stored knowledge from my College Literature.

Brace yourself friends for some random death trivia!

VIRGINIA WOOLF. Virginia Wolf left a note for his husband before he wore her coat and filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself in the river near their house on March 28, 1941. It was after she published her last novel.
I remember my Literature prof. before telling a story about Virginia Woolf. How talented she is but still unhappy and depressed to the point of ending his own life.

ELISE COWEN. A poet and writer. Cowen  ended her life by jumping from the window of her parent’s living room. She fell seven stories to the ground.
I don't understand how a talented poet and writer just decided to end her life.

MICHAEL DORRIS. Dorris killed himself through suffocation, alcohol, and drugs in Brick Tower Motor Inn. He took sleeping pills, drunk vodka and placed his head inside a plastic bag.
This man sure knows how to hard-core kill himself. Overdosing, burning his liver and suffocating himself? He indeed is desperate to die.

KENNETH HALLIWELL. Halliwell murdered his colleague Joe Orton before he overdosed and ended his life with Nembutal sleeping pills.
All I can say about him is that, maybe he felt sorry and guilty for his crime so he decided to take his life as well.

ALFONSINA STORNI. Storni, one of the great poets killed herself in La Perla beach. Many reports say that she jumped from a breakwater and some say that she walked into the sea and drowned herself.
I don't know which one is true but one thing is for sure. Like Woolf, Storni knows she cannot survive the water.
ARTHUR KOESTLER. Koestler, an author of many essays, novels and biographies, tooks his own life after knowing that he had metastasis. Together with her wife, they killed themselves through taking an overdose of Tuinal with alcohol.
I can't imagine why a couple would do such thing. Sure, they're in love with each other and they want to be together even after death but that doesn't mean they can just decide to kill themselves. I'm like what? Don't you guys want to have kids? Grow old together... Watch the sunset or whatever...

ERNEST HEMINGWAY. Hemingway killed himself through gunshot.
Many say that it was accident. I remembered reading an article that his wife checked on him and saw him cleaning his gun. The next thing she heard was a gunshot and Hemingway was no longer alive. Accident or not, Hemingway is the only one who knows and he brought that knowledge to his grave.

SYLVIA PLATH.  Plath was a great american poet and novelist. She killed herself through gassing herself in the kitchen. She thrust her head into the gas oven.
Lastly, who doesn't know Plath? When I found out about her method of suicide. I was like..

 I can't imagine myself putting my head in an oven. Not that I'm thinking of killing myself too but I just can't picture it.

I was really curious why. Why oh why? How come these amazing writers ended their lives? I did some research and I found out that all of these over 200 writers have something in common. They all suffer from severe depression and other mental problems like hearing voices and other. In the year 2001, psychologist James Kaufman named this condition Sylvia Plath effect. This condition describes a mental illness among creative writers. He describe this condition as common among women writers. The term was named after Sylvia Plath who died at the age of 30.



  1. It really is sad! I recognize three of the authors and read works by them but had NO idea they committed suicide... I guess that's not something you divulge to a high school class though. Virginia Wolf and Hemingway are probably the most shocking to me.

    1. I was shocked too when I learned about it. For me, Plath was the most shocking suicide.

  2. That is so sad :( I knew about Woolf but that's pretty much it. Actually, I don't know the other authors. What book would you recommend I read from Woolf? Coz I'd like to read one one day. This is such an original post! I literally raised my eyebrows when seeing the title. Good job!

    1. I would recommend Orlando . I find it interesting. It's about a young man named Orlando, his life as a playboy until he metamorphosed into a woman and how he switched between genders.

  3. i only recognize about three of the writers...but i am aware that most talented writers are suffering some kind of depression..a friend of mine who is a budding writer told me that she likes to write when she is in her own head space almost to the point of being manic and she can relate why most writers are depressed because she felt it too from time to time. It's like she needs to be depressed to be able to write :/ ugh! the price of having such a brilliant mind.

    1. Maybe there's a lot of emotions a writer can write when he/she is depressed or maybe there's too much stuff in the head and writers can't get them all out. well.. just maybe.. :/



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