Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Brilliant People Die Young. Mario Miranda R.I.P.

In Julian Barnes' novel "Sense of an Ending" which I am reading now, the protagonist Anthony's friend Adrian dies. Adrian is a brilliant man and commits suicide after having dated Anthony's girlfriend. The novel is wonderfully insightful and full of deceptive simplicity behind which the author examines profound meanings of life in an offhand sort of way.

Now the question posed by the protagonist's mother is very valid. Do people who are brilliant reason themselves by their superb logical powers into committing suicide? Valid question. Any answer? Most brilliant people I know (how do I name them?) have either killed themselves or worked towards ending their lives in the most obvious way. I mean their brilliance came in the way of their acceptance of things as they were. Is reasoning and local (the essence of what we call learning) such a bad thing?

Questions. Questions.

The best poets also died in their youth, e.g., Keats (age: 26), Shelly (age: 30), both of them died in the prime of youth. Jim Morrison of The Doors, himself a not mean poet, died at the age of 27 drinking and drugging himself to his death.

Wonder why brilliant people die so young.

By the by, Mario Miranda died recently. When I was editor of Ambit he used to freelance as cartoonist for the magazine. Once he met me while he came to deliver the cartoon himself (usually a boy does this menial task) and when he saw me he said, "So, now you are working here." I said "yes" and we exchanged a few words. What he meant was that he had seen me when I was working for The Week magazine at their office.

Exception proves the rule. Mario was by no means in the prime of his youth. He died at the ripe age of 85 having lived a full life. R.I.P. Mario Miranda.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.

No comments: