Year: 1998 Source: Libraries and Culture, v.33, no.1, (Winter 1998), p.84-90 SIEC No: 20010365

This article discusses the negative effects literature can have on readers, especially the encouragement of suicide. “The Sorrows of Young Werther” is mentioned as an example but the article focuses on the student suicides apparently connected to the 1926 suicide of the Russian poet Sergei Esenin. The Esenin-related suicides are said to be only part of a larger number of suicides that took place in Russia in the second half of the 1920s. Reasons for the negative effects of Esenin’s death are discussed. The reappearance of the concept of “dangerous reading” in the 1950s is also discussed. (13 refs.)