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The anarchist, the esthete, the mystic, the revolutionary socialist, even if they do not despair of the future, agree with the pessimist in the same sentiment of hatred and disgust for whatever is; in the same need of destroying the real, and escaping from it. The collective melancholy would not have invaded consciousness to that point unless it has taken morbid development; and in consequence the development of suicide which results from it, is of the same nature. All the proofs unite in causing us to regard the enormous increase which has shown itself within a century in the number of voluntary deaths, as a pathological phenomenon which becomes every day more menacing.
–Émile Durkheim, Le suicide: étude de sociologie (1897)
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”