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serenity blaze
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0 posted 11-14-2004 08:01 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

In another thread, you said,

"I once wrote the idea that all writers (and by extension thinkers) secretly want to become extinct."

This interested me.

Could you perhaps expound on that for me (or, if it's already available in another thread, at least direct me to it?)

Just bumblebee grazing, thinking again, and you sparked my curiousity.

Thanks in advance.


Balladeer
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1 posted 11-14-2004 10:44 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

shhhhhh....

(I think he became extinct)
Huan Yi
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2 posted 11-15-2004 04:41 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“Alvarez's classic book, "The Savage God," examines the religious, sociological, philosophical and literary aspects of suicide through the ages. In pagan Rome, suicide was habitual and considered an honorable way to die. In the Middle Ages, suicide was regarded with revulsion as a mortal sin. Dante, in his "Inferno," consigned suicides to the seventh circle of hell, below the burning heretics and murderers. Later on, the Romantics associated premature death with genius and they admired people who ended their lives while they were still at their artistic peak. Throughout history, mankind has viewed suicide as everything from an unforgivable crime of self-murder to the sad act of a person for whom living has become intolerable.
In a more personal vein, Alvarez discusses the fascinating poet Sylvia Plath, with whom he was acquainted, as well as his own depression and attempted suicide. The section on Plath is superb. Alvarez was fond of Plath and he admired her work greatly. He reveals in a clear-eyed manner how the forces tearing her apart were stronger than those holding her together.

"The Savage God" is an absorbing look at a subject often spoken of in whispers. Alvarez points out that people who lose parents at an early age are more likely to take their own lives. He also examines in depth the strong and mysterious link between creative genius and the impulse toward suicide. "The Savage God" is a work that sheds welcome light on the human condition in all of its complexity, yet Alvarez never presumes to provide easy answers to questions that are ultimately unanswerable.”


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0393306577/qid=1100510951/sr =2-1/ref=pd_ka_b_2_1/104-1639118-9779910


Stephanos
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3 posted 11-15-2004 09:27 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I personally suspect that any "positive" views of suicide in history have been marginal at best ... that is if we don't make the mistake of confusing suicide with martyrdom.  (but I'm open to correction on this).  


Stephen.  
Ron
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4 posted 11-15-2004 12:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I'm not Brad ... But be assurred that equating his reference to extinction with suicide is about as far off the mark as any could go.
Huan Yi
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5 posted 11-15-2004 01:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Quick definitions (extinct)


adjective:   of e.g. volcanos; permanently inactive (Example: "An extinct volcano")
adjective:   of a fire; being out or having grown cold (Example: "Threw his extinct cigarette into the stream")
adjective:   no longer in existence; lost or especially having died out leaving no living representatives (Example: "An extinct species of fish")

Huan Yi
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6 posted 11-15-2004 01:55 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Stephen,

In the case of the Japanese you would be wrong.
They have a very strong cultural admiration for suicide
having little or nothing to do with martyrdom.


John

Stephanos
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7 posted 11-15-2004 03:39 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,

give me something to go on ... Give me some references.  I'm still quite skeptical of what you're saying.


The only suicide that I remember as honorable in Japanese culture was one in battle.  Didn't they believe it more honorable to die by one's own sword, than by their enemies?  

If so, that's a far cry from someone despairing of life and just ending it all.


Stephen.
serenity blaze
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8 posted 11-15-2004 04:57 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Wow.

I always get so much more than I ask...but Ron is right, of course.

But I am also interested in the suicide metaphor as applied to the arts, but I'm still hoping Brad would expound on his extinction theory for me. I see a vast difference in that one too.

(I promise, Brad, laughing, this time I will not bite. It just has something to do with a little project I was working on, as an aside.)

But when I have more time, John, I'll be sure to follow up, so thanks.

(Sorry folks, serenity has the "new house" blues these days, so I am rather "hit and run" as I discover the idiosyncracies of a newly "renovated" cough-cough-choke home. Maybe I'll try out my new dishwasher--izzit possible to trip a breaker and flood the house too? groan, I'll save that one for the alley... )

More later!
Huan Yi
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9 posted 11-15-2004 07:47 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Stephen,

You’re comment was:

“I personally suspect that any "positive" views of suicide in history have been marginal at best ...”

Read about the 47 Ronin.

http://victorian.fortunecity.com/duchamp/410/47ronin.html


John

Ron
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10 posted 11-15-2004 09:17 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Personally, John, I wouldn't interpret that as positive, though I can see how some people might. More importantly, though, I wouldn't interpret it as suicide. When a convicted felon allows himself to be strapped into the electric chair, or calmly walks into the gas chamber, it's typically not because they want to die.

The Ronin were simply given a choice in how they might be executed, and they chose the path they felt was the least disagreeable.

We now return this thread to it's original owner ...
serenity blaze
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11 posted 11-15-2004 09:25 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

um, thank you, although I don't mind the side topic.

And I would have e mailed Brad, but he never answered me before, so...shrug and chuckle.

sigh

Honestly, I just wanted to know what he meant by that, but I'm willing to listen to what others THOUGHT he meant while I wait.

I've been known to be persistant. (or izzat stubborn?)

Huan Yi
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12 posted 11-15-2004 09:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

“When a convicted felon allows himself to be strapped into the electric chair, or calmly walks into the gas chamber, it's typically not because they want to die.”

It was a little more painful than that.  They knew what they
were doing and the price .  They surrendered themselves shortly after
their act and having paid homage to their dead avenged lord.
They were not considered criminals in the usual sense,
(their way of death was intended to recognize that).  To
the Japanese it is one of the great stories.

John

P.S.

Over the fields of
last night’s snow—
plum fragrance


Okano Kin’emon Kanehide

Stephanos
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13 posted 11-16-2004 01:02 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen,
You’re comment was:
“I personally suspect that any "positive" views of suicide in history have been marginal at best ...”
Read about the 47 Ronin.



John,

the ritual suicide I read about was a punishment.  Other than that it was a means for a Samurai warrior to avoid a more dishonorable death (at the hands of his enemy).  That's a far cry from "honoring suicide".  


If it were really honored in that culture the way you suggest, it never would have been commanded as punishment.  From my estimation, it was not seen as particularly honorable or desirable, but rather LESS dishonorable than other fates.  

Still a negative view of suicide, though perhaps less negative than that of the West.


Stephen.  
Stephanos
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14 posted 11-16-2004 02:40 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,

Ron's right.  

This thread has been hijacked.


Extinction does not suggest suicide, unless you want to say the dinosaurs all slit their wrists, or took a voluntary leap into the nearest volcanic crack.  


But suicide is actually a very interesting and needed topic of discussion.  And since you're so good at starting multiple threads .... why don't you start one, so that they can go on talking about whatever it is that this thread is really about.

What's it really about again?


Stephen.


Brad
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15 posted 11-16-2004 03:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Gee, uh, well, no. It wasn't about suicide.

I don't have time to go into the whole idea but look at it this way. A lot of people can and do quote Shakespeare without ever having  read a play or a sonnet, without even knowing that he wrote what they are saying.

It's the extinction of 'the author', not the extinction of the person.



Ron
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16 posted 11-16-2004 03:40 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Sorry, guys, but any thread suggesting suicide is anything but the symptom of disease that it is will have to be started on a different site. There are too many real people suffering from real depression to allow their trauma to be trivialized with speculations. If you want to play with a loaded gun, I'd appreciate you taking it out of this house.
serenity blaze
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17 posted 11-16-2004 04:14 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Agreed, Ron.

And yes, it was far from the reason I asked.

(check your e mail?)



I won't pursue my question again, unless you agree that my reasoning is indeed benign.
Ron
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18 posted 11-16-2004 10:55 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You talking to me, Karen? Uh, you talking to ME?

If so, I have no problem with your question (which I knew was never about suicide any way).

FWIW, I largely disagree with Brad's thesis. I agree the idea usually (hopefully?) is larger than the author, and I recognize that time has a way of privileging the former over the latter, but I don't believe that phenomenon is ever a real goal, conscious or otherwise. Brad, I think, has simply stumbled on a new way to romanticize man's very mythical unselfish nature. The I in Idea should always be capitalized.

'Course, I'm willing to listen to more than a ten-second explanation, too. He might change my mind yet.
Huan Yi
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19 posted 11-16-2004 01:40 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Stephen,

Will respect Ron’s wishes.

You start the thread and let us know where.

John

serenity blaze
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20 posted 11-16-2004 03:19 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thanks Ron.

And Brad? Looks like you have ten seconds, dude.

Um. No pressure.



Stephanos
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21 posted 11-18-2004 02:35 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,

I too will respect Ron's wishes.


And I don't know of any better place than here to start a thread ... so we'll shelf it.
Stephen.
 
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