… more of a possibility with the death of Anthony Bourdain in France.


Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


A 2016 New Yorker article about the suicides of two high-profile French chefs.


Reading and thinking about Bourdain, I find myself recalling August Kleinzahler’s comment on his wild and brilliant brother, who killed himself at 27:

He wasn’t designed for the long haul. Not everyone is.


I am fucking furious with him.

This reaction, from one of Bourdain’s friends, rings very true to UD, since the same sort of anger was certainly her first reaction to her father’s suicide.


In line with my two recent posts on horror:

“Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in the human condition,” wrote Graham Greene in his second autobiography, Ways of Escape, a book which the chef, author and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, who died on June 8 at 61, kept on his nightstand.

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6 Responses to “Celebrity Suicide Cluster …”

  1. dmf Says:

    brutal, and I hope a bit of warning about celebrating serious drinking as somehow macho/cool.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    dmf: Yes. Something of Hemingway to his story – and also of course something of the Graham Greene story…

  3. dmf Says:

    in a cable/reality-show sort of way, sorry for his daughter hope the tabloids leave her alone.

  4. Stephen Karlson Says:

    I recall a poem from high school, introduced a man who supposedly had everything (at least from the perspective of the narrator, one of the plainer folks in the community), I think the man was named Richard Corry, and at the end, the plainer folks were dealing with the adversities of the day and Richard Corry put a bullet through his head.

    I don’t recall where the ensuing discussion went, but there had to be something of the “I’d trade my problems for his” in it. Likewise, there have to be people leading their quietly desperate lives being willing to swap their problems with Anthony Bourdain, or Kate Spade.

  5. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Yup. That was Edward Arlington Robinson’s “Richard Cory.”


    Paul Simon put a version of it to music:


  6. Stephen Karlson Says:

    Margaret, thanks for that link, I also tracked down some commentary on the poem, a lot of it suggests it’s the common folk’s shyness about interacting with Richard Cory that led to his suicide. That probably didn’t come up in discussion in high school, although that might be relevant whenever a high profile person exits that way.

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