Letters — Issue 93

Mulgan and malaria-induced depression

In relation to Martin Edmond’s review of the new edition of John Mulgan’s Report on Experience (NZB, Summer 2010), one might suggest that the causes for Mulgan’s suicide in Cairo on 25 April 1945 could have included malaria-induced depression. William Jordan in Conquest without Victory (Hodder & Stoughton, 1969), writing about his WWII experiences with the partisans in occupied Greece, where he was, like Mulgan, a New Zealander attached to a British unit, writes in Chapter 17 of the tragic death of a normally cheerful English colleague named only as “Busty”, who shot himself at Rigani. He was suffering from an attack of the particular kind of malaria endemic to the Valtos region of Greece, which was notoriously vicious and often left its victims in a state of serious depression, and, evidently, vulnerable to acute mood swings. Mulgan was operating not too far away.

Doubtless, the “kind of exhaustion … one that we might call emotional, imaginative and spiritual”, of which Edmond writes, played its part; but there could have been this other factor as well.

 

John C Ross
Palmerston North

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Letters
Search the archive
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Architecture
Art
Autobiography
Awards
Biography
Byline
Children
Comment
Contents
ebooks
Economics
Editorial
Education
Essays
Extract
Fiction
Gender
Graphic novel
Health
History
Imprints
Language
Lecture
Letters
Letters
Literature
Māori
Media
Memoir
Music
Natural History
Non-fiction
Obituaries
Opinion
Pacific
Photography
Plays
Poem
Poetry
Politics & Law
Psychology
Religion
Review
Science
Short stories
Sociology
Sport
Subscribers only
Uncategorized
War
YA Reviewers
Young adults
Recent issues: subscriber-only access

Subscribe to NZ Books to access the issues above

Search by category

See more