Thursday 9 March 2023

The Big Book of Unfortunate Author Deaths

(I transplanted this thread I made over from Twitter to keep it in a more readable form)

The Big Book of Unfortunate Author Deaths

Sherwood Anderson: swallowed a toothpick which punched holes in his innards, leading to lethal peritonitis.Image
Ödön von Horváth, hit by a falling branch from a tree and killed during a thunderstorm, three days after writing a poem about being scared of storms.Image
Francis Bacon, killed by pneumonia contracted after an experiment in freezing a dead chicken with snow.Image
Tennessee Williams pulled open a pill bottle with his teeth and accidentally inhaled it, choking to death (massive amounts of Seconal in his system inhibited his gag reflex).Image
Georgi Markov, assassinated in London street via a tiny pellet of toxic ricin, fired into his leg from an umbrella wielded by someone associated with the Bulgarian Secret Service.Image
Margaret Wise Brown, in hospital for an ovarian cyst, kicked her foot in the air to prove how healthy she was after treatment, dislodging a blood clot in her leg. The blood clot quickly travelled to her brain, and she died in emergency surgery.Image
Molière suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage caused by tuberculosis, while playing the part of a hypochondriac in his own play 'Le malade imaginaire'.Image
Boris Vian, enraged at a screening of the movie of his 'I Spit on Your Graves', yelled "These guys are supposed to be American? My ass!" and then collapsed and died from a heart attack.Image
Bruno Schulz, murdered in revenge by a Gestapo officer after Schulz's own Gestapo protector killed the first Gestapo officer's "personal Jew".Image
Pietro Aretino, died from either a heart attack or fractured skull after laughing too much and falling off his chair on hearing a dirty joke.Image

Robert Louis Stevenson, while making mayonnaise, suddenly cried out "What's that? Do I look strange? My head, my head!" and dropped dead of a cerebral haemorrhage.Image
Nikolai Gogol put himself to bed and refused food, thus dying of starvation, in huge amounts of pain, after nine days.Image
Yukio Mishima, disembowelled himself at the conclusion of an incredibly ill-conceived and failed political coup; the devotee who was supposed to simultaneously cut his head off fucked the job up and failed despite several tries.Image
Barbara Salinas Norman was found naturally mummified in the dry heat of her New Mexico home, her corpse having gone undiscovered for up to a year.Image
Thomas Merton, electrocuted adjusting an electric fan while in the bath (though strange injuries to the back of his head were never investigated).Image
Aeschylus: eagle, turtle, skullImage
Orhan Veli Kanık, fell down an open manhole, seemed uninjured, then died two days later of a brain aneurysm.Image
Dan Andersson, accidentally exterminated along with the bedbugs in a Stockholm hotel pest eradication using cyanide gas.Image
Géza Csáth, murdered his wife with a gun, poisoned himself and slit his arteries. He was rushed to hospital, but escaped. He tried to go to a different hospital, but, upon being stopped by border guards, he poisoned himself AGAIN, this time successfully.
Bohumil Hrabal, died from a fall from fifth-floor hospital window, (erroneously?) attributed to an attempt to feed pigeons.Image
Horacio Quiroga, afflicted by horrific prostate pain, killed himself with cyanide in the presence of his new best friend, Vicent Batistessa, an "elephant man" whom he had successfully freed from the hospital basement.Image
Rosario Castellanos, electrocuted by a telephone while still wet from the shower (though suicide is suspected by some). (with thanks to @nadienadianadie, who brought this to my attention)Image
Richard Fariña, 2 days after his only novel was published, was shredded going through a barbed-wire fence while riding as a passenger on an out-of-control motorbike doing 90mph.
Frank O'Hara, killed by an illegal dune buggy on the beach after the car he was in broke down on the dark (his liver was fatally ruptured in the impact).Image
William "Henry Root" Donaldson, found dead with his trousers around his ankles, having suffered a massive heart attack while looking at internet porn.Image
Evelyn Waugh, died of a heart attack while sitting on the toilet.Image
Giordano Bruno, burned at the stake.Image
Joe Orton, bludgeoned to death by his lover, and fellow vandal of library books, Kenneth Halliwell.Image
Pier Paolo Pasolini, found run over several times by his own car, numerous bones and his testicles crushed by an iron bar, and his body doused with petrol and partially burned after his death. The identity of the perpetrator(s) is disputed.Image
Donald Goines, along with his wife, was murdered by multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and head. The book placed in his coffin by a relative was stolen before burial.Image
Ambrose Bierce, vanished into fucking thin air.Image
Edna St. Vincent Millay, broke her neck falling down stairs.
Aldous Huxley, died tripping out of his scone on LSD while suffering terminal cancer pain, the final LSD injection having been administered at almost exactly the same moment JFK was shot in Dallas.Image
Rupert Brooke, killed by an infected mosquito bite.Image
Pierre François Lacenaire, a murderer as well as a poet, died by the guillotine, on the SECOND attempt.Image
Malcolm Lowry, whether it was suicide, murder or accident (all possibilities), died of inhaling his own vomit while also full of booze and pills.Image
Emile Zola, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning attributed to an unventilated chimney, though a series of careful tests afterwards showed the chimney to be absolutely fine.Image
Mihail Sebastian, who managed to survive WW2 (some of it in hiding) only to be hit and killed by a lorry on 29 May 1945 on his way to deliver a lecture on Balzac.
After his death, a doctor removed Thomas Hardy's heart. Thomas Hardy's cat then raided the tin it was placed in and ate it. The undertaker then strangled the cat and interred the body with the rest of Hardy.Image
Dylan Thomas, having been on a massive bender, was then administered a dangerous amount of morphine by a hotel doctor, which put him into a fatal coma. "I've had 18 straight whiskies. I think that's the record," were his last words.Image
Gustav Kobbé, a keen sailor, was killed in the waters off New York when a seaplane landed on him.Image

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