According to Simon Critchley, an author and philosophy professor at the New School where he runs a Suicide Note Writing Workshop, the interest people have in someone else's last goodbyes "is almost pornographic."
In antiquity, there was no need to leave a note, he said. It would have been obvious why you killed yourself.
He then shared famous notes left by, among others, Virginia Woolf, Adolf Hitler and Kurt Cobain.
A student raised her hand to share a note she brought, a personal favorite found in an anthology.
Dear Betty, I hate you. Love, George, she read. The class laughed but quickly began talking about the dichotomies in the letter love and hate, humor and anger and then moved on to the larger question of the purpose of a suicide note.
To not die alone, said Sara Clugage, 33, an artist from Brooklyn. To address someone.
Theyre filled with pathos, another student interjected. They ultimately arent that interesting.
They are a last, desperate attempt at communication, Mr. Critchley said. They are failed communication, in a sense.
|Oops! Tokyo's Oldest Man Had Been Dead for 30 years|
|Basil Baxter goes to a wedding|
|Eco-Friendly Burials Grow in Popularity|
|T is for Toilet: Potty Training From Hell|
|Cellphones Don't Cause Cancer. Or Do They?|
|“Systemd is, to put it mildly, controversial.”|
|“The Reality of Building Fantasy.”|
|U.S.S. Enterprise Owner's Manual|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|“The Amazon Dash button for horny men and women who don’t feel comfortable telling their partner they’d like to have sex.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“If you’re dating, you’re going to be let down. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.”|
|Testing Whether the Earth is Round or Flat|
|“A sophisticated global marketing strategy from an industry that is desperate to attract new smokers.”|
|“A low flyover of Jupiter's moon Europa.”|