Friday, March 23, 2018

the last book I ever read (Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison, excerpt five)

from Off to the Side: A Memoir by Jim Harrison:

There is the Rilkean quandary of the exposed heart being richest in feeling and the point at which the exposed heart cannot recover. The idea that it is self-inflicted is neither here nor there. The half-dozen suicides I’ve known seemed to have nothing compensatory to balance the life of the mind. I mean writer suicides. With my good friend Richard Brautigan there was the chicken-and-the-egg question of whether he was a writer who became a suicide, or a suicide who became a writer. We actually discussed the matter while trout fishing in Montana and he said he would never commit suicide as long as he could still write and his lovely daughter Ianthe depended on him. The news was terrifying but somewhat expected.

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