Wow. I just read the news. Hunter S. Thompson is dead, by his own hand. While I don't know a lot about the man, I certainly didn't expect this. I've read a couple of his books and he certainly seems to write in his own voice. Given that, in some ways I feel like I do know him, and this seems out of character to me. If anything I'd have thought that it would be an accidental cough syrup overdose or something ironic, certainly not a gun to the head.
I guess this brings up a good point. How much can you really know someone from their writing? A verbal conversation is so immdeiate, there fewer filters, and you get an impression that is much closer to what's going on in the head of the person you are conversing with. Writing on the other hand allows the author time to consider the words on the page. If not satisfied, there are infinite opportunities to revise and extend. In his writing, had he perfected his voice to an extent sufficent to hide the fact that he was capable of suicide? Inheirent in that last statement is the assumption that not everybody is capable of suicide. I believe this is the case, or at least under normal conditions. Given the alternative between a horrific death and a pain free suicide, many would pick the latter. I believe that under normal day to day preasures only small percentage of people are capable of comming to the conclusion that dying is better than living.
I guess now I might have to reconsider this notion.