Suicide, Anomy, and Stavrogin's Noose

A conversation with Dr. Amy Ronner

In Dr. Amy D. Ronner’s sixth book, Dostoevsky as Suicidologist: Self-Destruction and the Creative Process, she analyzes multiple suicides in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s writings to show how his understanding of self-homicide prefigures theories of prominent suicidologists. Based on her book, Dr. Ronner’s talk will reveal answers to some of the most mystifying questions. Why do people kill themselves? Is suicide a social fact? Why does a town plummet into chaotic ruin in Dostoevsky’s Demons? Why does Nikolay Stavrogin churn with pent-up rage and why does he choose that thickly soaped noose in lieu of a bullet for his self-demise? But there is an penultimate question mark: can there be a ligature between artistry and the pluripresent impulse to self-annihilate?