Writing As Suicide And Vice Versa

Ben Hutchinson at Literary Review:

On 28 February 1989, a matter of days after the publication of what he had described as the first volume of a tetralogy, the Swiss writer Hermann Burger kept a long-held promise and killed himself. The world could not say it had not been warned: from his first novel, Schilten (1976), about a school teacher who prepares his pupils for death, to his collection of aphorisms Tractatus logico-suicidalis (1988), a gathering of over a thousand ‘mortologisms’ on the logic of self-slaughter, Burger was nothing if not consistently morbid. To rehearse Spike Milligan’s famous epitaph, he had told us he was ill.

That Burger’s warnings were not taken seriously during his lifetime owes much to his consistently difficult, narcissistic character. Declaring that he had no need to save money given his intention to die young, Burger drove around in a Ferrari, wore expensive white suits, performed magic tricks for politicians and offended almost everyone with whom he came into contact.

more here.