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2016-01-21    来源:译言网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Depression and mental illness are issues that must be taken seriously. Also, it needs to be considered that sometimes mental illness has no rhyme or reason – anyone can fall ill with anxiety, panic, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness, rejection and worthlessness. Life events can also trigger stronger periods of depression, such as aging, death of loved ones, emotional trauma, physical illness, unemployment and more. What’s most important is to know the risk factors and the signs.

Artists and writers are not immune from mental illness, and according to some research, creative individuals may be more likely to suffer from some mental disorders. Genetics firm deCODE claims their research shows that creative types (painters, musicians, dancers, and writers) are 25% more likely to carry a gene associated with mental illness than professions the researchers deemed as less creative. However, Harvard Psychiatry Professor Albert Rothenberg claims that there is no connection between mental illness and creativity, that we may still be romanticizing the notion of the 19th century struggling artist fighting their demons.

Regardless of whether or not there is a connection, below we have listed 10 legendary writers who tragically took their own life. If you know someone struggling with any of these emotions, or if you know anyone who has attempted suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255.
不管这期间到底有没有联系,下面我们列出了10 大传奇作家的自杀悲剧。如果你知道有谁正在同情感作斗争,或是想自杀的,请拨打全国自杀预防的生命热线800.273.8255.

10. Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
10. 弗吉尼亚·伍尔夫(1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf is most well-known for Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), and her essay A Room of One’s Own (1929) that argued a woman must have the economic means and a room of her own in order to write. She suffered mental breakdowns after her mother’s death in 1895 and her father’s death in 1904. The death of her brother in 1906 also brought on similar episodes. Her illness was said to be periodic and recurrent. Woolf would say that she was  “a sane woman who had an illness.” If diagnosed today, Woolf would likely be categorized as suffering from manic-depression or bipolar disorder according to some.

Woolf also saw a variety of doctors during her lifetime. On March 28, 1941, after her home was destroyed by the Blitz of World War II, Woolf filled the pockets of her overcoat with stones and walked into the River Ouse. Her body was recovered three weeks later. Her last note to her husband ended with “Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.” She died at 59.

9. David Foster Wallace (1962-2008)
9. 戴维·福斯特·华莱士(1962-2008)

David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest was listed by Time magazine as one of the best English-language novels from 1923-2005. Wallace’s unfinished novel, The Pale King, published posthumously, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He was a professor, a maximalist, as well as a non-fiction writer.

Wallace’s father shared that his son had struggled with depression for 20 years and that shortly before his death he began to suffer from side effects from prescription medication. He had been weaned off the medication under his doctor’s supervision and given electro-convulsive therapy. However, when he returned to the medication it had lost its effectiveness. On September 12, 2008, Wallace wrote a letter to his wife, arranged part of his most recent manuscript, and hung himself from the patio rafter. He was 46.
华莱士的爸爸透露,华莱士和抑郁症斗争了20 年,在他去世前不长时间,一直饱受非处方药副作用的折磨。他在医生的监督下停止了药物治疗改用电疗法。然而,当他再次服药却已经没有任何效果了。2008年9月12 日,他在给妻子的遗书中,安排了最新的手稿作品。最终在屋外的庭院上吊结束了生命。年仅46岁。

8. John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)
8. 约翰·肯尼迪·图尔(1937-1969)

John Kennedy Toole was raised in New Orleans and attended Tulane University, followed by Columbia University where he studied English. He was drafted into the army, disturbing his studies, and would write in his private office. After his discharge, he completed the manuscript for A Confederacy of Dunces. The novel was pitched to Simon & Schuster and it was selected by editor Robert Gottlieb. The novel went through several revisions, but ultimately Gottlieb was unsatisfied and passed on the project.

Toole went on to present the novel to Hodding Carter Jr., who also dismissed the work. Upset and depressed because of the failure to publish his novel, Toole ran a garden hose from the exhaust of his car to the inside of a rented cabin. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Toole was 32. Years later Toole’s mother brought the novel to Walker Percy who moved it into publication. Eleven years after Toole’s suicide A Confederacy of Dunces was published. The novel went on to win the Pulitzer Price for Fiction in 1981.

7. Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005)
7. 亨特·斯托克顿·汤普森(1937-2005)

Hunter S. Thompson was a journalist who became so engrossed in his stories he became his stories. He’s known for works like Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, and The Rum Diary.

Thompson was raised in poverty, and was unable to finish high school. After being arrested as a youth for stealing a man’s wallet, he avoided jail by entering the military. He began his journalism career in the military and focused on writing after his honorable discharge. He was fascinated by cultural shifts. His usage of drugs and alcohol was larger than life and he himself became a counterculture icon. Thompson shot himself at his home at the age of 67. He struggled with periods of depression as well as with pain from advancing age.

6. Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
6. 安妮·塞克斯顿(1928-1974)

Anne Sexton’s poetry was of the most personal kind. Her collection of poetry Live or Die, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1967, covered her strained relationships with her mother and children, as well as her treatment for mental illness. Sexton suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of her first child in 1955, and after the birth of her second child she was admitted to a neuropsychiatric hospital. It was one of her doctors who encouraged her to take on poetry.

Sexton’s poetry would go on to appear in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and Saturday Review. While taking workshops and attending writer’s conferences she would go on to work with acclaimed poets such as Sylvia Plath. After meeting with a colleague to revise her manuscript, The Awful Rowing Toward God, she put on her mother’s fur coat and drank a glass of vodka before locking herself in her garage. Sexton died of carbon monoxide poisoning. She was 46.

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