Does Double Suicide Lead To Blog Fame?

To a blogger, a real blogger, a blogger compelled and driven to reach for a higher truth or a new fantasy, what is the worst that can happen when you die? What are your final thoughts?

Who will update your blog? What will happen to your traffic? Does committing suicide mean you are also killing your blog?  What if your greatest public legacy is your blog? Is that beautiful or pathetic?  How will they remember you?

To read The Wit of the Staircase is to ponder those questions and more, including the strange cicumstances that led to the suicide of Theresa Duncan (left), 40, and then her longtime romantic partner, Jeremy Blake, 35.

Jeremy Blake committed suicide a week after he found Duncan’s body in their East Village apartment. He went to Rockaway Beach, took off his clothes, and walked into water (a page from his favorite book The Long Goodbye?). His body was found off the Jersey shore. Before that he asked a friend to write a final post in Theresa’s memory on The Wit of Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncanthe Staircase. It is the last post on the blog and it includes thoughts on the suicide of both Duncan and Blake.

Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan (right) are described in news stories as an art “it” couple, “players” in New York and Los Angeles art, film, and animation circles. Blake’s work has been collected by several major art museums, which have considered him a pioneer for mixing computer art, animation, film and other genres. Duncan was an essayist, screenwriter, CD-Rom game designer. When the LA Times published a story on Duncan and Blake, it listed her first as “blogger.”  

Why did this happen?

There are many theories and perspectives bouncing around the Internet. Apparently, Theresa’s paranoia escalated to a frightening level, involving conspiracies by the CIA, Scientologists, and others. One friend posits that she realized “in a rare moment of self-reflection” that she had destroyed Jeremy’s career with the paranoia and she wanted to die to allow him to live. Many describe them as incredibly close. 

Meanwhile, the blog lives on. There are dozens of blog posts and major media accounts of this story (and many more to come), meaning a lot of linkage to the blog. I am sure that the blog is getting high traffic, probably much higher than when Duncan was alive and writing for a devoted but relatively small audience.

I read the blog for signs of what was brewing in her mind. The postings are esoteric, obtuse, dark, intriguing – an artist’s mind at work. Her last post July 10 quotes Reynolds Price: “A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens–second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter.”

NEWSGrist, where spin is art, is a good portal of links and pics on this story. I guarantee that we will see big features and a book and movie on the saga of Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. For now, we have Theresa’s blog to search for clues for the dark forces that intruded on their lives.

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