Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Calling Sister Midnight

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide . . . Everything considered, a determined soul will always manage." – Albert Camus, "An Absurd Reasoning," Le Mythe de Sisyphe / The Myth of Sisyphus, 1942.

Camus thought -- existentially -- it was better to soldier on than to commit suicide, since we will all die eventually anyway. What's the hurry? And he was right. Camus survived the Nazi Occupation only to be killed in a car crash, age 46. Eighteen bonus years and a lot of books and life crammed in between.

Writer/UK Vogue editor Lesley Blanch (1904-2007) also chose to soldier on. She divorced Robert Bicknell, her first husband, in 1941, and French novelist/writer Romain Gary (1914-1980) in 1961, and lived to be 102! She died just this past May -- and she'd been a teenager during the First Word War!

Jean Seberg (1938-1979) spent twenty timultuous years in the spotlight. She married Lesley Branch's second ex-husband in 1962 (Seberg age 23, Romain age 48), divorced him in 1970. She also "dated" Carlos Fuentes, who wrote Diana, the Goddess Who Hunts Alone / Diana o la cazadora solitaria (1972), a fictionalized account of their time together, and Clint Eastwood (as pointed out by Johnny Yen in yesterday's comment section). At the end of three marriages, Seberg overdosed on booze and pills. Her 1979 suicide note: "Forgive me. I can no longer live with my nerves." She was forty at the time.

Romain Gary, Seberg's first ex-husband and Lesley Branch's second ex-husband, killed himself in 1980 with a gunshot to the head.

To each their own.


the walking man said...

Death is death, there need be no history behind it because it finds us all sooner or later. Some simply choose the time of it, while others soldier on until the body wears out.
My Granny, not a famous person lived to 105, my father 61, my mother 80 all went on until the body said; "look at me I'm worn out"

While in 2006 I went to 9 funerals and 3 of them were intentional suicides and 1 an accidental overdose of pills and booze and this year so far 1 another accidental overdose of alcohol. None of these people had a body that was worn out but all are dead and resting in the same place.

Funny (not haha but odd) post because my son called today thinking that I may be on the verge of a Hunter S. Thompson. I'm not but i thought it a curious call just the same.



Danny Tagalog said...

Life is about 'soldiering on' for those with problems? I can see that, but why is life such a 'battle' for most? Yes, I've read Sisyphus, but I think it's because of how society has been wired up. The spectre of death and misery hovers over us all while we permit psychpaths to retain the wheel.

Maybe your son was referring to your great work in the works?!