Thursday, February 16, 2012
He would have left a note ... #Literary #Speculative
by Edmund Jorgensen
By the time Buddy Johnston vanished, his humiliation had become so abject, and so public, that I don't suppose many people would have been shocked if he had washed up one morning on the banks of the East River with rocks in his pockets and stones in his shoes. But after more than ten years of acquaintance—or friendship, as he and I both charitably called it—I knew Buddy too well to imagine that he could have committed suicide without leaving a note. A note at the very least, and more likely a tract, a manifesto, a complaint in the classical sense and quite possibly in classical meter. He was just the sort of man who could have begun composing a suicide note and so lost himself in admiration of his own prose style and depth of feeling, become so overwhelmed by the pathos of his own situation, that he forgot entirely he had intended to do away with himself. Then he would have published the note in The New Yorker with an introductory remark explaining how writing had "literally saved my life."