Razors pain you; rivers are damp; acids stain you; and drugs cause cramp. Guns aren’t lawful; nooses give; gas smells awful; you might as well live.
—Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) American Humorist, Journalist
Not a single star will be left in the night. The night will not be left. I will die and, with me, the weight of the intolerable universe. I shall erase the pyramids, the medallions, the continents and faces. I shall erase the accumulated past. I shall make dust of history, dust of dust. Now I am looking on the final sunset. I am hearing the last bird. I bequeath nothingness to no one.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
However great a man’s fear of life, suicide remains the courageous act, the clear-headed act of a mathematician. The suicide has judged by the laws of chance — so many odds against one that to live will be more miserable than to die. His sense of mathematics is greater than his sense of survival. But think how a sense of survival must clamor to be heard at the last moment, what excuses it must present of a totally unscientific nature.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
If you must commit suicide… always contrive to do it as decorously as possible; the decencies, whether of life or of death, should never be lost sight of.
—George Borrow (1803–81) English Writer, Traveler
If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will.
—Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) French Actor, Drama Theorist
One said of suicide, “As long as one has brains one should not blow them out.” And another answered, “But when one has ceased to have them, too often one cannot.”
—F. H. Bradley (1846–1924 ) British Idealist Philosopher
He who does not accept and respect those who want to reject life does not truly accept and respect life itself.
—Thomas Szasz (1920–2012) Hungarian-American Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst
What a folly to dread the thought of throwing away life at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal.
—John Howe (b.1957) Canadian Artist
Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren’t in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life.
—Vaclav Havel (1936–2011) Czech Dramatist, Statesman
O deaf to nature and to Heaven’s command, against thyself to lift the murdering hand! — Oh, damned despair, to shun the living light, and plunge thy guilty soul in endless night!
—Lucretius (c.99–55 BCE) Roman Epicurean Poet, Philosopher