For reasons I don’t want to go into, I decided to commit suicide.
The poet Marshak has these marvellous lines: ‘Death came like a court order and seized possession of life.’ Death came to me, too, like a court order. I chose not to resist the summons.
Having no experience with suicide, I turned to fiction. Emma Bovary poisoned herself. As far as I remember from Flaubert, it was a long and painful process, and – in view of the state of medical science at the time – uncertain. You could be saved and then a letter might be written to the courts: the life of every member of society belongs to society, and you have no right to do violence to public property. So poisoning was unsuitable.