Introduction: Issues and Summaries of Chapters (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter provides an introduction to the entire text, including a discussion of how the arts can provide insights into the motives for suicide. This discussion is followed by a summary of each of the subsequent chapters. (11 refs.)

Suicide and the Arts: From the Death of Ajax to Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter focuses on the iconography of suicide in Western art. A discussion is first presented on how the subject of suicide in Western history, literature, mythology, & religion has been reflected in the mirror of the arts. Major themes in the Western iconography of suicide over the last three millennia are then reviewed. The […]

Suicide in Movies: Gender and Choice of Suicide Method (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter draws attention to an important agent of socialization to gender roles – the mass media. In particular, it is contended women & men learn about gendered suicide methods in the narratives of films. Its central hypothesis is that method of suicide is a cultural & gendered idiom, which is learned & reflected in […]

Suicide Films About Adolescents (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter opens with an extensive discussion of the developmental history of adolescents & factors that may increase their risk of suicide. Adolescent suicides are present in many movies as the central theme or as part of a general theme. Some movies concerning adolescent suicide are reviewed in this chapter, including: Dead Poet’s Society; The […]

Pain and Altruism: the Suicides in John Wayne’s Films (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

The variation in the portrayal of motives for suicide in the cinema have not been systematically addressed in the literature. This chapter tests aspects of a biographical approach to explaining some of the variation in suicide motives in film. In particular, it focuses on biographical experiences & values of a major film star, John Wayne, […]

Suicide Motives in 61 Works of Popular World Literature and Comparison to Film (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

Research is needed to ascertain cultural patterns in literature as a whole. The present study fills this gap & focuses on motives for suicide in a large number of popular literary works. 3 contributions are made: 1) the provision of the first systematic taxonomy of motives for suicide in a representative sample of popular literary […]

Artist Suicide in the Cinema (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

This chapter explores the frequency of representations of artist suicide in the cinema, whether some subtypes of artists are portrayed more often, & whether internal motives for artist suicides are more likely to be portrayed than for suicides of other occupations. The second section of the chapter qualitatively assesses 5 apparent patterns in the presentation […]

Future Work: Points of Departure and Data Sources (IN: Suicide and the Creative Arts, edited by S Stack & D Lester)

In this concluding chapter, Stack & Lester discuss selected points of departure for research that would fill important gaps in the knowledge base. Included in their survey are: the neglect of non-Western art, the neglect of major art forms like film, photography, & music, & the weighting of positive versus negative definitions in images. The […]


The author describes the painting “Ophelia” by John Everett Millais first displayed in 1852. Reaction at the time was mixed. Harris discusses Hamlet’s reflection on suicide as contrasted with Ophelia’s death. Although it seemed accidental, her apparent failure to try to save herself raises the question of suicide. Harris further discusses Shakespeare’s use of these […]

Suicide (IN: Lives and Deaths: Selections from the Works of Edwin S. Shneidman, edited by A A Leenaars)

This chapter discusses various aspects of suicide beginning with a definition of suicide. The complexities & difficulties with definitions are described. A lengthy review of the main threads in suicide research is followed by a description of the psychological characteristics of suicide. Other topics included are: the two fundamental aspects of death & suicide; attempted […]

Those They Left Behind: Interviews, Stories, Essays and Poems by Survivors of Suicide

In this collection of interviews with survivors of suicide, individuals talk candidly about how their lives were impacted by the suicide of a family member or close friend. Over 50 individuals shared their stories. The final chapter of the book includes stories, essays, & poems written by survivors.

Living in Reality: Teen Reflections on Depression


Why? The Eternal Unanswered Question

On June 23, 2004, my husband of thirty-five years took his own life as a result of depression. Over the course of our married life I had written him several love poems, but hadn’t written as much the last couple of years of our marriage. Two weeks prior to his death, my husband told me […]

Frenhofer’s Suicide and the Downfall of le Baron Gros

In June 1835 the death by suicide of the famed French painter, Antoine-Jean Gros, was announced. At the time, Gros’s suicide was thought to be related to an incurable depression brought on by a disastrous showing at the annual Salon a few months earlier. The author of this article argues Gros’s inner torments & eventual […]

I Sing the Body Electric: Description of an Innovative Health Promotion and Fine Arts Program for Adolescents

I Sing the Body Electric (BODY ELECTRIC) is a fine arts and health promotion program that supports communication of healthy lifestyle choices among youth. BODY ELECTRIC connects youth in 27 high schools with health and education communities in the largest rural geographic education region in a Midwestern state. The three-phase prevention plan designed to increase […]

Body Electric: the art of Healthy Choices. East-Central Illinois Survey Report 2006

“Art as a way to Life”: Bereavement and the Healing Power of Arts and Writing


Daughter of Suicide

Published in “Back to the Future: Refocusing the Image of Suicide,” ed. by J L McIntosh

On Losing a Teenager to Suicide


ICE: Beyond Cool


The Passion and the Pleasure: Foucault’s art of not Being Oneself

This article interprets Foucault’s life-long involvement with transgressive experiences as an art of not being oneself, an effort to escape identity & become other. By bringing together Foucault’s own theoretical practices with those drawn from Deleuze & Blanchot, & linking these with biographical material, the author shows how Foucault’s `encounters’ with passion & pleasure in […]

Peer Education and Resource Production for Young People

Cellblock Youth Health & Art Service developed a program which sought to recruit & skill a number of young people in peer education & the arts practice of their choice to produce suicide prevention resources. Problems & positive outcomes of the project were discussed in this presentation. Two young people involved in the project spoke […]

Proceedings of The Pavese Society Volume 7

This issue of “The Pavese Society” includes the biographies of: 1) Gerard de Nerval, a 19th-century French writer; 2) Lewis Puller, an American war veteran & lawyer; & 3) Clare Booth Luce, an American writer. Luce died of natural causes at age 84 but had made at least three suicide attempts during her life.