Talk:Arthur Koestler

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Paranormal and Scientific[edit]

Whomever first wrote the description of "the roots of coincidence" either didn't read it or didn't understand it. He doesn't defend Kammerer's or Jung's view but is rather critical with it saying that it is almost non-sense. Their example (a small part of the book) is only presented to show the difficulties involved in finding a formal structure for the experimental findings of parapsychology. I have therefore edited the entry. Also as a trained physicist I can tell that he was very aware of the latest advances in Quantum physics which he presents superficially but quite rigorously and accurately. boirac Oct 2006

Arrow in the Blue[edit]

No list of Koestler's books is complete without mention of his wonderful autobiography, Volume I of which is called "Arrow in the Blue". It's a must read for anyone interested in Koestler.

I have added a write-up of how this first autobiography gives an early insight into his later decision to end his life. sc00b 02:19, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Thirteenth Tribe[edit]

...Leon Wieseltier can only be commended for debunking Arthur Koestler's attempt to rehabilitate the long discredited theory of the non-Semitic origins of East European Jewry [NYR, October 28].

A glance at Koestler's intellectual meanderings and fluctuations across the past three decades can only lead one to conclude that his intentions this time around in The Thirteenth Tribe were not the advancement of knowledge but cruel mischief, unforgiveable attention seeking (considering the predictable Arab response already noted by Wieseltier). Koestler, therefore, deserves to be openly chastised for misusing his considerable intellectual talents and devoting them to such a peripheral theory bordering on fantastic speculation, a tangential issue in Jewish history even in its heyday a generation or so ago.

Professor Henry R. Huttenbach, Department of History, The City University of New York, New York City


Book review followed by point by poitn refutations

Errors in the Thirteenth Tribe, by Kevin Brook

The Thirteenth Tribe has its own page, I suggest you take this there. --MacRusgail 11:14, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Usenet posting from Kevin Brook[edit]

[Kevin Brooks, a historian on this subject] writes in a Usenet newsgroup post:

From: Kevin Brook
Subject: Re: Khazars
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.medieval
Date: 2001-12-17 16:43:19 PST
Many elements of Arthur Koestler's thesis were proven false, while a few others were proven true. Some of his false claims are:
  • His concept that German Jews did not migrate to eastern Europe in large numbers.
  • His claim that French and German Jews mostly died out in the Middle Ages.
  • His exaggerated population figures for Khazaria.
  • His claim that Crimean Karaites descend from Khazars.
  • His supposition, based on Gumplowitz and other Polish Jewish scholars, that certain Polish placenames were named after Khazars. Only in Hungary and Transylvania do we find placenames that actually come from Khazars.
  • His claim, based on Mieses, that an Austrian legend about Jewish princes was based on the Khazar rule of Hungary.
  • His claim, based on Poliak, that Ashkenazic shtetls were derived from Khazar village life.
  • His claim that Ashkenazic Jews have hardly any genetic or anthropological connections to the ancient Judeans.

Reviews of Thirteenth Tribe[edit]

The following book reviews of his "The Thirteenth Tribe" provide various opinions (Rosensweig, Wieseltier, Szyszman, and Majeski are highly critical of Koestler's book but sometimes their criticisms are illegitimate; by contrast, MacLean, Steiner, Cumming, Schechner, and some other reviewers were more positive):

  • (Author?) (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") New Yorker 52 (September 20, 1976): 145.
  • Abramsky, Chimen. "The Khazar Myth." Jewish Chronicle (April 9, 1976).
  • Adams, P. L. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Atlantic 238 (September 1976): 97.
  • Anonymous. "Lost Empire: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Economist 259 (April 24, 1976): 121.
  • Blumstock, Robert. "Going Home: Arthur Koestler's Thirteenth Tribe." Jewish Social Studies 48:2 (1986): 93-104.
  • Brace, Keith. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Birmingham Post (1976).
  • Cameron, James. "Ask the Rabbi: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New Statesman 91 (April 9, 1976): 472.
  • Cumming, John. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Tablet (1976).
  • Du Boulay, F. R. H. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") London Times Educational Supplement (June 18, 1976).
  • Fox, Robin Lane. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Financial Times (1976).
  • Fuller, Edmund. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Wall Street Journal (1976).
  • Grossman, Edward. "Koestler's Jewish Problem: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Commentary 62 (December 1976): 59-64.
  • Kanen, R. A. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Library Journal 101 (August 1976): 1632.
  • Kirsch, Robert. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Los Angeles Times (1976).
  • Klausner, Carla L. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Kansas City Times and Star (September 12, 1976).
  • Maccoby, Hyam. "The Khazars and the Jews: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." The Listener 95 (April 8, 1976): 450.
  • MacLean, Fitzroy. "Shalom Yisrah: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New York Times Book Review (August 29, 1976): 4.
  • Majeski, Jane. "Chutzpah: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." National Review 27 (November 12, 1976): 1248-1249.
  • Mason, Philip. "The Birth of the Jews? The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Spectator 236 (April 10, 1976): 19.
  • Meyer, Karl E. "Conversion in Khazaria: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Saturday Review 3 (August 21, 1976): 40.
  • Raphael, Chaim. "Chosen Peoples: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Times Literary Supplement (June 11, 1976): 696.
  • Rosensweig, Bernard. "The Thirteenth Tribe, the Khazars and the Origins of East European Jewry." Tradition 16:5 (Fall 1977):139-162.
  • Salamone, V. A. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Best Sellers 36 (November 1976): 262.
  • Schechner, Mark. "All the Difference in the World: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." Nation 223:17 (November 20, 1976): 535-536.
  • Sheppard, R. Z. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Time 108 (August 23, 1976): 60.
  • Sokolov, Raymond. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") Newsweek. 1976.
  • Steiner, George. (review of Koestler's "The Thirteenth Tribe.") The Sunday Times (April 6, 1976).
  • Szyszman, Simon. "La question des Khazars essai de mise au point." Jewish Quarterly Review 73:2 (October 1982): 189-202.
  • Toynbee, Philip. "Who Are the Jews? The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." London: Observer (April 4, 1976): 27.
  • Wieseltier, Leon. "You Don't Have to Be Khazarian: The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler." New York Review of Books (October 28, 1976): 33-36.

Suggest 5 possible wiki links and 2 possible backlinks for Arthur Koestler.[edit]

An automated Wikipedia link suggester has some possible wiki link suggestions for the Arthur_Koestler article:

  • Can link political activist: ...r''' ([[September 5]], [[1905]] - [[1983]]) was a novelist, political activist, and social philosopher. He was the author of many popular...
  • Can link film director: ...that Koestler had beaten and raped several women, including film director [[Jill Craigie]]. After protests, a bust of Koestler was r... (link to section)
  • Can link out of step: ...inburgh]]. ==Work== Much of Koestler's work was completely out of step with mainstream views. He did not merely arrive at differe... (link to section)
  • Can link 8th century: ...ple in the [[Caucasus]] who converted to [[Judaism]] in the 8th century and were later forced to move westwards into current [[Russ... (link to section)
  • Can link personal life: ...ile implicit in his works, carried tremendous weight in his personal life. This was confirmed when he left a substantial part of his ... (link to section)

Additionally, there are some other articles which may be able to linked to this one (also known as "backlinks"):

  • In Sarkel, can backlink Arthur Koestler: ...nd settled in western Russia. From: The Thirteenth tribe by Arthur Koestler
  • In Scientific mythology, can backlink Arthur Koestler: ... and his reasons for withholding publication. According to Arthur Koestler, Copernicus did not propose a true heliocentric theory, he ...

Notes: The article text has not been changed in any way; Some of these suggestions may be wrong, some may be right.
Feedback: I like it, I hate it, Please don't link toLinkBot 11:32, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)


See Russian (usage) page for explanations. Please write your objections at its talk page, but don't revert right away. Mikkalai 20:29, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC).

See Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive C#Russian_.28usage.29_page for why this is a bad idea. Significant shifts in linking practices should get some kind of policy approval, rather than being implemented unilaterally for the articles you prefer. Please don't insert you link again until you get some consensus for it. Jayjg | (Talk) 20:53, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)


This page could use some copyediting/encyclopedizing. I'll try to help when I have time. --Dpr 09:07, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Hi Technopat, I have reversed your 'undo' of my edit of 'Life para. 2' because when I saw my edit was not up there, I thought I had failed to save it. Subseqduently I noticed that you have used the 'undo' to revert. I think my edit improves the para. Tell me what your objection is and I'll see if I can get it fixed. 3ig-350125 (talk) 00:15, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Vichy France[edit]

Koestler was not in a Vichy camp but before the Germans occupied France. According 'Scum of the Earth' he left Vernet in january 1940. Pse a correction. Ronald van Maas.

Please leave a URL or better reference as regards this information – thanks, David Kernow 22:57, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

His name![edit]

Artur Kösztler in Hungary is bad... the good write is Kösztler Artur (whe he was born his name - in Hungary - is Kösztler Artur. David - from hungary Wiki (please use my discussion page here). Please change it - thanks.

Done!  Best wishes, David Kernow 22:54, 16 December 2005 (UTC)
But now we say in the text "Koestler was born in Budapest to Henrik and Adele Koestler", which suggests the family name was Koestler, yet in the infobox he was born with the surname Kösztler. Which is the case? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:20, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

First crosswords in Hebrew?[edit]

Does anyone have a source for this? With acrostics being common in the Tanakh, it would seem odd that no one had earlier created a crossword puzzle in Hebrew. --Blainster 02:59, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the article texts states that he "claimed" to be the first. Which is highly possible, if we are talking in the narrower modern sense. The reference is either from Cesarani or Koestler's own description of his time in Palestine. Crosswords are less than 200 years old in English (I think) and neo-Hebrew is an even younger language. --MacRusgail 11:36, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

--Koestler writes about being "the father" of the Hebrew crossword puzzle in "Arrow in the Blue". He was pround of it. He said it brought some lightness to an otherwise oppressively serious journalism. I recall that the word he invented for it in Hebrew would translate into English as "word acrobatics"Meb53 22:06, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

Once again, the inclusion of references to popular culture, such as rock music, in an article about a thinker, drags Wikipedia down to the mental level of a twelve year-old.Lestrade 18:21, 7 April 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Not at all, the fact he is noticed in popular culture does not reflect badly on him. Not to mention the fact it is idiotic to pretend that only twelve year olds like rock music.
Not everyone considers Koestler a thinker. Did you ever hear the quote that "Koestler loved science, but science didn't love Koestler"? I think his thoughts on science are fascinating, but he has little or no real substantial direct influence on mainstream science, and the fact he even touched Parapsychology makes him a "kook" in some people's books. --MacRusgail 19:02, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Why is he a polymath?[edit]

Sounds like a philosopher, author and journalist. Why is he a polymath? The 'science' sounds like philosophy of science or pseudoscience. 12:38, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Well being the things you just said would make him a polymath, if only in the subjects he wrote about; he was also involved in many political campaigns at the front line, scientific research to a degree (such as in the case of the effects of LSD, or more controversially fringe science (what is and isn't "pseudoscience" is highly subjective anyway)). I think the fact that he wrote about such varied subjects, ranging from history, to science, to language to politics justifies this description. He also wrote (with varying success) in a number of creative genres - fiction, drama, and journalism. --MacRusgail 19:07, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
The term's usually used to refer to people who excelled in both the arts and sciences. While I guess it's not strictly a misuse, it's unusual to apply to someone who excelled in multiple areas of the humanities but not the sciences, or alternately in multiple sciences but not the humanities. --Delirium 16:59, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Whether he excelled in the sciences is a matter of opinion. :) He certainly was involved in both the sciences and humanities, and had works published in both areas. --MacRusgail 19:15, 15 October 2006 (UTC)


There isn't very much about Koestler being a rapist in this article beyond the mention of Cesarani's "claim"; in the linked article to Jill Craigie, though, the wording states that in Cesarani's biography "it was revealed he had been a serial rapist." Was he a rapist or not? is this disputed anywhere? does anyone care? Hjijch 01:54, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, some people definitely care. There was a big ruckus about this at the University of Edinburgh regarding the Jill Craigie claim. Coupled with Koestler's double suicide, his relationship with women is controversial. Is it disputed? Well, I don't know whether he did rape her or not, but it certainly is believed by some people. --MacRusgail 16:31, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
Allegations that he was a serial and violent rapist surely merit a section of there own.Musungu jim 00:57, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
And also very careful wording. --MacRusgail 14:26, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Jill Craigie herself confirmed that she had been raped by Koestler. 03:15, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Here is a 2003 review from The Times of Ronald Neame's biography of Tweedie; the rape by Koestler is the headline. (talk) 00:45, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't feel qualified to add it, but certainly between the biographer's allegations, and confirmation by many women after his death, AND the refusal of the universities to name a chair after him... surely there is enough to warrant a section. At the LEAST I would hope someone could add this information after the paragraph (in the "will" section)about the universities' refusals. I find the non-inclusion of this information offensive to women (and I have never said that in any context before). -- (talk) 18:39, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

It is certainly odd to have nothing on the matter. For what it is worth - if I read his statement correctly - Koestler's more sympathetic biographer, who initially questioned the claim, now seems to essentially believe it. Feketekave (talk) 23:45, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Balfour Declaration (Source of Citation)[edit]

The comment about the Balfour Declaration, that in it "one nation solemnly PROMISED to a second nation the country of a third," is included in Chapter 1, Romantics and Routine, of "Promise and Fulfillment, Palestine 1917-1949," first published by MacMillan and Co. Ltd., London and New York, in 1949. In the paperback, PAPERMAC (a division of MacMillan), shortened version of the original edition, published in 1983, the comment appears on page 4. The paragraph in which it appears reads:

"Now an improbable event [the rise of Zionism] is bound to lead to further improbable events, until the area of the the disturbance [a comparison has been made with a golf ball which has suddenly started moving towards a hole without being hit] gradually returns to normality. The ball which started rolling towards the hole on its own upsets the routine of the whole tournament. The appearance of the freak movement of Zionism on the political scene was bound to produce a series of freak-reactions. It culminated in the famous Balfour Declaration, one of the most improbable political documents of all time. In this document one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third."

--ZScarpia 14:25, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Koestler as post-modernist[edit]

I note that someone has referred to Koestler as post-modernist. I think some of his stuff is proto-post-modernist (if there is such a thing! I have to admit I hate the whole concept of post-modernism, because it is deliberately protean and pretty parasitic), in its critiques of science, and even communism. --MacRusgail 11:54, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have a clue what this sentence means?[edit]

Holons in a Holarchy have the dual tendency of integration and development and out of balance they tend to a pathology. 03:07, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

To understand this statement you should read Koestler's "A Ghost in the Machine" or "Janus: A Summing Up", more so the later. Holons are the basic building blocks of a Holarchy, where this Holarchy can be considered a system where it is considered more than just the sum of its parts. Each Holon has basically two or dual responsibilities, an integrating and an autonomous role. As Holons begin to interplay their autonomous roles can be supplanted by higher roles that allow them to integrate with each other and perform possible new actions that enable the entire system of holons to work together as one system with behaviors not evident when existing as just an amalgam of individual holons [note: this is not Emergence as in complex systems theory]. This integrated system is what is referred to as the 'dual tendency of integration and development', and the period when there is just an amalgam of holons is where these holons are when they are 'out of balance they tend to a pathology'. If you consider the Holarchy to be the desired state, then before this integrating state arises each holon behaves to its own pathological autonomous way, and the final state of integration is the "healthy" or balanced state of affairs. [note: this is also not an analogy of self-organization either]

Holon One (talk) 08:29, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Could somebody write an IPA version of his name to illustrate the pronunciation? I think it could be usefull. Musungu jim 13:39, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Could be a problem as there is more than one. "Koestler" is usually pronounced "Kessler/Kestler" in English, but "Köstler" is the real pronounciation no doubt.--MacRusgail 16:54, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

True MacRusgail. On they give the kessler pronunciation. I've also heard it pronounced Kerstler. How do Hungarians pronounce it?Musungu jim 15:23, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I would guess "Kuhstler".--MacRusgail 18:58, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
like that or something like Kurstler is how it is always pronounced in English. Never heard it pronounced anything like Kessler.Jagdfeld (talk) 09:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Heard it pronounced as "Kessler" tonnes of times. That's how they tend to pronounce it in Edinburgh University (where he had a connection). In my view, it would be good to include both, with a footnote.--MacRusgail (talk) 15:45, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
That's just a Scots accent, I think, which tends to be quick, reducing the vowel to something very short between e and ur. Jagdfeld (talk) 20:23, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Nope, common misconception. The RP form of English (unlike American, bar "New Yawk") tends to drop the "r" after a vowel (just as Cockney drops the "h" or adds it to certain words). It's very arhotic. ;-) In IPA, the final "r" might be recorded for the German/Hungarian pronounciated (but not beforethe "s"!), but for the RP, no "r" sound would appear anywhere. --MacRusgail (talk) 20:33, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Pronunciation of 'post-vocalic r' is a much more complicated matter than you suppose, both in the UK and in the US. See Rhotic and non-rhotic accents. Anyway the BBC pronunciation of the name is nearer to 'cursed-ler' than 'kessler'. Jagdfeld (talk) 22:46, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, British pronunciation is 'Curse-(t)ler', with silent r's. Rothorpe (talk) 23:06, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

How come? Musungu jim 17:13, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Because his birthname was "Kösztler" and that's how it would be pronounced in German.--MacRusgail 19:19, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

The Koestler Trust[edit]

Why is there no mention of the Koestler trust which Arthur Koestler created. It is to promote rehabilitation of prisioners through creativity. by annon

I have just spotted that too but am right in the middle of tiding up a lot of other loose ends to be able to think of any thing encyclopaedic to say. So will just leave this link here in the hope that an art therapist or someone can pick it up. Broadmoor hospital often have patients (they don't call them prisoners) who win Koestler prizes. --Aspro 10:26, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
I'll add it. Great idea, but not keen on a lot of the winners!!! --MacRusgail 19:28, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Fortean Times article link[edit]

I noticed someone added the Forteam Times link in and it was reverted. I asked about the removals [1] and Hu12 did say "Feel free to add back YOUR contribs to the Charles Fort article, as's contribs are all I'm targeting.--Hu12 19:49, 23 May 2007 (UTC)" [2] - the message was changed because (as you can see there) I have a conflict of interest and can't add them back in but their statement is fairly clear that there is no reason other editors can't put the link back in if they felt it added to the entry, in accordance with the general guidleines WP:EL. I'm informed this arose because the site moved and the site admin updated the links on a lot of entries triggering concerns about spamming, hence the removals (as they aren't allowed under the various guidelines). As the site moved I think the link has changed. I don't have the new link to hand but it can be easily found through the search. Hope this explains the background and resolves any confusion or concerns. Obviously that is just my take on the situation and feel free to seek clarification. (Emperor 22:24, 23 May 2007 (UTC))

Again - why? I thought it was an informative article, and I am puzzled why the editors seem to have targetted this particular one. I have also updated the link - the old one was defunct, and the new one works. --MacRusgail 16:13, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia defines spam as "Adding external links to an article or user page for the purpose of promoting a website or a product is not allowed, and is considered to be spam. Although the specific links may be allowed under some circumstances, repeatedly adding links will in most cases result in all of them being removed." (see WP:SPAM). That is why the links are reverted. Also, there are editors here that have a conflict of interest with that link ("3. Linking to the Wikipedia article or website of your organization in other articles (see Wikipedia:Spam);"). That is why the link was removed. Also, we have to observe WP:NOT#REPOSITORY, a few links are OK, there are now 8. If the link is interesting and tells something about the subject, maybe use it as a reference (see also the intro of WP:EL)? Hope this explains. --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:55, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Except, that despite your belief that it does, I can't see how. The page is a profile of Arthur Koestler, which is in line with the article, and actually quite informative. --MacRusgail 17:39, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I am sorry, I don't understand. You mean that you don't see how you can use this as a reference? I could try and break down all items in WP:EL (I could ask some questions like: does it add to the page, does it contain information that you cannot incorporate, etc., in which is this link providing more info than others (so would other links then also have to be here, so that we do get a linkfarm ..)), but I don't think that is really necessary. The link was originally spammed to this page, and therefore removed. If the general consensus is to place it there, then I am fine with that. If the page links to a profile, then certainly it contains information that is also on the wiki-page, and hence, it would make a great reference for certain parts (I see e.g. in the biography that he has been imprisoned a couple of times, at first glance I do not see the wikipedia article mention that information). And there may be other info. Hope this helps. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:09, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I see what you're getting at. Yes, it probably can be used as a reference. But no, I don't think it necessarily performs as spam (certainly one of the better pieces of spam I've seen if so). There are some mentions of his imprisonment in the article, and I'll try and link into that... --MacRusgail 18:11, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
For the spam issue, see special:contributions/Ali strachan (this page was the very first edit, see also WT:WPSPAM#Dennis_Publishing_WP:COI_Spam). Such link-additions should be discussed, not merely be a mass addition. I agree, there is way worse, still such additions are arguably not neutral. But thanks for the help, have a nice day! --Dirk Beetstra T C 19:06, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I've used it as a reference to his imprisonment, experience at 14, and his membership of the SPR. --MacRusgail 19:14, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


Anybody ever heard about another biography, entitled Koestler: A Biography, edited by Hamilton in 1982?

-- 07:17, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, Hamilton was the author who wrote a biography on Koestler, it is already mentioned on the mainpage: Hamilton, Iain, 1982. Koestler: A Biography. ISBN 0-02-547660-2.

-- 07:34, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Question regarding the name[edit]

If Koestler was born into a German-speaking family, why is he featured as Kösztler Artúr in the article? That, for sure, is not German, but Hungarian. If Koestler's mother language was German, I do not see why the Hungarian name should be mentioned. -- (talk) 13:32, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Because he was probably registered by a Hungarian speaker, and it should be borne in mind that a period of Magyarisation was beginning. I think it should be included. It is of interest. At least to me.--MacRusgail (talk) 15:40, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
But did they speak German or Hungarian in his home? If the former, the Hungarian name form cannot be called "native" without discussion of what that means in this case. (As with many other cases, I suppose.) (talk) 03:01, 10 February 2014 (UTC)


I removed this from the article:

"Questions have been raised by his suicide pact with his last spouse. Although he was terminally ill at the time, Cynthia was apparently healthy, leading some[who?] to claim he persuaded her to take her own life."

I removed it because (1) the last phrase is unattributed opinion, i.e. disallowed Wiki "weasel words"; (2) it speaks of a "suicide pact" without any information about it, (3) it speaks of a terminal illness without any discussion of it; and (3) it assumes we know that Cynthia did indeed take her life.

Before restoring this sentence to the article these questions need to be answered in the article: What was the cause of his death? What was his terminal illness? How did he respond to this diagnosis?

What was the "suicide pact" he made with Cynthia? Did they carry it out? How did the carry it out? What was Cynthia's state of health? of mind?

Who claims "he persuaded her to take her own life"? Where is this claim published? How does this differ from suicide pacts where one participant does not persuade the other? How can you distinguish between the two cases?

Nick Beeson (talk) 15:54, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

It's probably difficult to track this down now, but I do remember reading such speculations in a newspaper soon after their deaths. I believe that the suicides were by some kind of poison. Mrs Koestler was much younger (20 years or so, I think) than her husband, and in good health at the time (apart from being dead, of course). (talk) 23:46, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Alan Norton, in Brit. Medical Journal 288 (4 Feb 1984, p. 347), citing S. Vincinczey, Hungarian Roulette, Sunday Telegraph 1983, Oct. 9, 14 col. 1-3, "turned out more probably to have been the result of two independent decisions." I believe that the Times Lit. Suppl. in recent years also carried a piece, a letter I think, absolving AK from direct involvement in her death. ABS (talk) 19:21, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Koestler never had French nationality. Have amended accordingly. 3ig-350125 (talk) 21:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposed new structure for this article[edit]

I intend to introduce a more structured order into this article under broadly the following headings:

1. Early Life

2. Palestine

3. Return to Germany

4. Journalism

5. Impact of rise of fascism in Germany

6. Conversion to Communism

7. Travels in the Soviet Union

8. Writing propaganda

9. Living in France

10. Spanish Civil War

11. Break with Communism

12. England

13. Literary output

14. Wives and other significant relationships

15. Final years

16. Illness and Suicide

17. Notes

18. References

19. External Links

I intend to do this gradually. I also intend to archive the current discussion page as it is far too long and start a new page. Views on these proposed restructurings are welcome. 3ig-350125 (talk) 09:25, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I would argue that his biography, and his ideas should be separated. Matters such as his relationship with Communism, for example, should be in their own section. This list also doesn't cover his relationship with science, and is too heavily loaded towards his life before England.--MacRusgail (talk) 17:34, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Points taken and will come back to them with suggestions on how to go about this. 3ig-350125 (talk) 17:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Spouses and women and allegations of rape[edit]

I have moved the names of spouses to the info box and have deleted the rest of the section dealing with rape allegations as these are unsubstantiated hearsay and are beyond verification of the fact. 3ig-350125 (talk) 19:30, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

The rape allegations need to be restored. We cannot whitewash his article simply because he was an influential writer. The biography in which the allegations were made was written by David Cesarani, a noted historian, and was covered by major media sources at the time, such as the BBC, the NY Times, and the Independent. This article can make it clear that they are allegations only and never proven in a court of law or anything, but they have to be addressed in this article. howcheng {chat} 00:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Cesarani may be "noted", but the biography is actually pretty poor stuff and is fixated with the idea that Koestler pretended not to be Jewish. The big problem is that if an allegation is made, the mud sticks, whether it is true or not. The other problem is it happened so long ago, and the accused is also dead, so he can't defend himself or try to explain it away. We also simply don't know enough of the details. I tend to lean a little towards it being true, but I reserve judgment on the matter.--MacRusgail (talk) 00:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC) p.s. The NYT link is not helpful, it is a subscriber site.
The NYT has free registration. If you don't want to register yourself, you can try for an available login. As for the gist of your comment, I would agree with you, except that it was these allegations that led to the removal of his bust from the University of Edinburgh, and he had made such a large endowment to them. Thus, whether true or not, the allegations had a real-world effect on third parties. howcheng {chat} 01:03, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The inclusion in a biography of an alleged incident, such as rape, an act not witnessed by a third party, and alleged decades after the purported event is supposed to have occurred, and after the death of the accused thus depriving him of refutal, might perhaps be appropriate in a biography. But NOT in an encyclopaedic article, which ought to be based on indisputable facts in which hearsay, innuendo and one-sided accusations have no rightful place. Furthermore, Cesarani has lost his credibility in this respect by further accusing Koestler of having been a “serial rapist”, an accusation for which there isn’t a shred of evidence, nor is there any offered even by Cesarani himself. Koestler might well have raped Craigie, but that is not the point at issue in this argument. 3ig-350125 (talk) 11:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
My point is that it's immaterial whether the allegations are true or if they're just innuendo. Because of these details, the University to which he left a large amount of money, has hidden its connection with him. That's a big deal and it should be covered. howcheng {chat} 21:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I've signed up to the NYT once or twice in the past. It's a good newspaper, but considering I'm not American and hardly ever read it, I don't want to have to resign up every time I look at it and find it a bit of a nuisance. (Registering is a hassle, and I forget my log in details)

From what I know of Jill Craigie, which is very little, she is probably not the kind of person to make this up, or seek publicity. In fact, her apparent personality is probably one of the most convincing weapons that Koestler's accusers have. However, if this was to have been brought up, it should have really been in Koestler's lifetime.

Regarding Cesarani, he definitely had some axes to grind. Koestler's attitude to women is one of them. He probably had an archaic attitude to women, but how far he went is another question. Cesarani also obsesses about Koestler's Jewish background, as he has a background in Jewish history. The notion that AK was somehow embarrassed by his Jewish background is nonsense, or highly exaggerated. Like most modern European intellectuals - Jewish, Christian or whatever - he was just highly secularised. Koestler's relationship with Communism, and with science is much more important to the man's life. --MacRusgail (talk) 16:07, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Can't we at least mention it? Have a link to a newspaper and let people decide for themselves? Isn't it a bit rich for us to be airbrushing the history of the man that wrote Darkness at Noon? The facts are that substantial accusations have been made. Let the readers know the accusations exist, and then let them decide. -- (talk) 15:09, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm am absolutely AMAZED that there is no section about rape and sexual offences on his article. A wikipedia article should be a balanced acount based upon a variety of sources, and there are many which link Koestler to violent rape. That should not be seen as denying his significance as an author or influential figure. Someone is clearly keeping this article "clean", heh.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:43, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Agree with the comments immediately above. As I said in the "Rape" section as well, there are no reasons given in the article at present as to WHY so many universities turned down the chair he intended to endow in his will. Certainly this was due to the controversy about his alleged violence (and apparently confirmed by many women via the press, not just by the biographer Cesarani). This should certainly be stated in the article, even if it is done with a sentence along the lines of "no charges were ever brought against him whilst he was alive". To state the universities refused his money, and NOT to state why is disingenuous, at best. -- (talk) 18:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
"I'm am absolutely AMAZED that there is no section about rape and sexual offences on his article." - that's because they are extremely serious allegations. A lot of things are said about a lot of people, and not all of them are true. As I've said, Craigie strikes me as a credible witness, but most of the information is second hand. I would focus more on his suicide pact with a healthy, younger woman, as that is highly controversial, and well proven.
"there are no reasons given in the article at present as to WHY so many universities turned down the chair he intended to endow in his will" - It should be borne in mind that it was a Parapsychology chair as well, something which a lot of academics are slightly embarrassed by. Even without the Koestler connection, Edinburgh has turned parapsychology into a strictly post-grad programme, and there has been a fiasco about money from it being diverted into more "respectable" disciplines, and the vacant chair wasn't properly advertised when it fell vacant recently. The information about the bust is true though, it is no longer on display, although "Koestler" still appears in the name of the chair.--MacRusgail (talk) 20:52, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia goes by what there are sources for, and there are certainly plenty of usually reliable sources stating that Koestler committed rape. We can use only second-hand information, anyhow, not primary sources. That said, it will probably be to the satisfaction of all parties that we state simply that rape allegations exist, and that his public image has been affected by this fact. Feketekave (talk) 23:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

After all this, I see that all references to the rape controversy have now been purged from the article. Does the above discussion suggest that this was in any way backed by a consensus among contributors? Nandt1 (talk) 04:43, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

I have createda section entitled Controversial personal life which says

Koestler has been described as a serial rapist and misogynist. He not only engaged in endless seductions but horrific treatment of all the women in his life, even when he didn't actually rape them. His philandering was plainly neurotic. A man driven to copulate with as many women as possible not only has difficulty establishing happy relations with women, or regarding them as equals, he doesn't actually like them.[65] This could e additionally referenced.Cathar11 (talk) 14:38, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for accepting my invitation to dive into this contentious field. This said, I have a feeling that your initial contribution will be pulled apart by readers asking for factual details, as well as (as you yourself noted) citations. It might make sense to try to make the discussion more specific (including incorporating a discussion of the specific case of Jill Craigie, which seems to be well-documented). Nandt1 (talk) 18:43, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to expand,I feel this is a minimum entry. The refs have much more particular detail.Cathar11 (talk) 23:22, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I am hoping that someone more knowledgeable than I will pick this one up -- there is clearly more work to be done on it. Nandt1 (talk) 13:39, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Absent other interventions, I have tried to do at least the minimum myself. This included making the connection to Craigie, as well as identifying as a quotation several sentences by Wheatcroft (that had previosuly been incorporated bodily into the text without explicit identification as a quote), which should really be standard practice. Nandt1 (talk) 12:14, 11 January 2010 (UTC)


What about the connection with Camus and Anti-capital punishment (death penalty)? One of his great contributions... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Koestler Trust[edit]

Article started. Please help expand it.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:06, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

I am working my way through numerous Koestler biographies and reviews and building up the main article on Koestler here. I am bound to come up with appropriate further information re the Trus and will share details with the new page you have started, as and when ... 3ig-350125 (talk) 16:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that's excellent. I hope the rewrite goes well. I'll give it a good look over when you're finished.--MacRusgail (talk) 17:12, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Restructuring completed 4 Aug. 2009[edit]

I have completed the restructuring of this article. The structure is now linear as well as chronological. There is, of course, an awful lot more one could include, but this is an encyclopaedic entry, not a full-blown biography and I had to draw the line somewhere. In fact, I had to repeatedly go back to excise and condense my own writing.

I reversed my decision to create a separate section for wives and other significant women in Koestler’s life, partly because his liaisons were so numerous and partly because this is, after all, essentially an article about Koestler the writer. I did, however, include sufficient information about his three wives and have also mentioned Janine Graetz, the mother of his illegitimate daughter. I have also included an image of 8 Montpelier Square, taken by me on 30 July 2009, when passing through London.

To make this discussion page more user-friendly, at the end of this month I shall archive the page. 3ig-350125 (talk) 18:29, 4 August 2009 (UTC)


The section on that subject says, "In the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy religious education in schools was compulsory and from age six, when he started school, he would have been introduced to the Hebrew alphabet and the Hebrew language through Bible-reading classes. It is likely that he picked up some Yiddish too, through contact with his grandfather." His possible knowledge of Yiddish is sourced to Cesarani, but the statement about the Hebrew language is pure speculation and extremely unlikely. When was Bible-reading in Budapest primary schools ever in Hebrew? Marshall46 (talk) 19:32, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

I haven't heard this. Did Koestler ever have a Bar Mitzvah or attend synagogue as a child? --MacRusgail (talk) 20:55, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Essay/Review about Arthur.[edit]

Christopher Hitchens wrote this piece over at "The Atlantic" and thought it might be potentially useful for this article and hence I will post it here for future reference (feel free to use if you think it is suitable etc.). [3]. Cheers!Calaka (talk) 10:03, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Edit: Technically it is a book review for this book:Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic by Michael Scammell. Just to clarify.Calaka (talk) 10:04, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

J. Treglown review of Scammel's bio, TLS, July 23, 2010, @

  ABS (talk) 19:27, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Scammell vs. Cesarani[edit]

Although the 689-page, authorized biography of Koestler by Michael Scammell has been published since late 2009, there are very few citations from this book, while there are many still from Cesarani.

I am going to begin adding quotes from Scammell. While I will leave in many or most references to Cesarani, I am going to note when quotes come from the authorized biography versus others.

Please note: Cesarani has errors in his biography, which Scammel corrects. For instance (and this is where I start making changes today), in the "Origins and Early Life" section, this article cites Cesarani's error (which comes from Koester himself) that Koestler's paternal grandfather came from Russia: he was in fact an "Austrian," i.e., from the Austrian empire (including Hungary). Cesarani spells his mother's surname "Zeiteles" when it was "Jeiteles."

If any have different thoughts about this plan, please feel free to let me know. --Aboudaqn (talk) 05:53, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Reflections on Hanging[edit]

I am surprised that so little is said about this tract in the article, and that no one has written an article on the work itself. ROH is one of the most important philipics in Western History. It had a DIRECT influence on the abolition of hanging in Britain, and in consequence much of the rest of the world. He keeps his style compassionate but reasonable and cool. He cites examples of what happens on the gallows, the way judges deliver their verdict, and most importantly, he utterly destroys the notion that murderers were unmitigated renegades. Most murders, then and now, were domestic, and based on sudden impulse. The work is one of the finest arguments in ethics, and it WORKED. Considering Wikipedia has an article on an exploding whale corpse replete with exhaustive accounts, photos, links and archives of talk pages, it would be pleasing to see a small fraction of all that effort devoted to something infinitely more worthy.

There is one quote in the work which will ALWAYS stay with me: A judge, sentencing a man to death for the forgery of a florin, says "And I hope that in the next world, you might receive the mercy that a due regard for the currency forbids you to hope for here." Myles325a (talk) 08:17, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

False Photo[edit]

The second photo in this entry, whose caption reads "Arthur Koestler with Mamaine Paget, Robie Macauley, and Flannery O'Connor in 1947. Photo by C. Cameron Macauley" is wrong: Koestler simply does not appear in that photo. I cannot imagine why someone would have gone to such trouble to find the photo, write a long caption -- and then muff the main detail, but there you have it.

What is proper procedure here? (If asked, I would vote to remove the photo.)--Aboudaqn (talk) 04:38, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

File:Arthur Koestler.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Vandalism (Judaism section, where else)[edit]

I have manually reverted a change to the article. Adding this to talk in case our vandal comes back.

The vandal deleted a statement and a reference, and instead made an opposite claim, which went unreferenced. It also went way off the NPOV map with a bit about "Zionist groups who seek to hold onto stolen Palestinian land". I don't expect that's a conflict that will end in my lifetime, but those words couldn't be any more weasely if they tried. They're also uncited. For reference compare and contrast the original:

Koestler's thesis about the Khazar origins of European Jews - while widely cited by various antisemitic groups(requested a citation for this) - has been conclusively disproven by science. Since the year 2000, genetic studies on Jews around the world have demonstrated that widely separated Jewish populations have a common origin that traces back to the vicinity of the Middle East.[73] <---- reference. with the changed version:

Koestler's thesis about the Khazar origins of European Jews - while widely rejected by Zionist groups who seek to hold onto stolen Palestinian land - was marginally confirmed by genetic studies, which showed a genetic similarity to people living north of Georgia, moreso than to Arabs, but the two genetic groups are only slightly different to begin with <---- no reference

I've made this revert primarily because I disagree with removing referenced material to add a POV statement, rather than because I agree with the original claim. If others want to edit appropriately, or even remove that's fine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:11, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

About the categorisation[edit]

Since Arthur Koestler died in 1983, shouldn't the name of the category to which this article is assigned be "Deaths through Parkinson's Disease" rather than "People with Parkinson's Disease"? ACEOREVIVED (talk) 23:38, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Intellectually acceptable/relevant ?[edit]

The first part, the biography part of the article, is well-made, and relevant.

Further, I am a bit surprised and shocked : there is his suicide note and then, a paragraph on the "rapist" and "misogynistic" tendencies when he copulated, and then, paranormal activities as well as the jewish part of him. What a mess !

Question : Wikipedia means to be an encyclopedia. In which encyclopedia you can find in a library will you find a suicide note and articles on the sexuality of the person you enquired about ? If you want to know that, you read the biography of the person.

Second, I am asking in name of the ethics, how relevant the suicide note is. For me it is not. It is shocking, and has nothing to do here, when we see there is almost no mention or quotation of it's books. In the same way, I would like to know how relevant how the "rapist" stuff is ? (and even if it's true. I mean, there is nothing to do in an Encyclopedia. When you read an article on Computers, you haven't a part on "how the silicium worker are slave", isn't it ?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:35, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

NPOV - Encyclopedia dramatica has an article called 'almost raped' that applies here.[edit]

(Initial comment): I know very little about this man, and am about as detached from caring as could be possible. Although I found it interesting that we have three entire paragraphs dedicated to him being a serial rapist based on the 'claim' of one woman, a feminist whose works are by and large very ... how can I put this tenderly. Batshit insane? We're talking reference to solid objects as being 'the masculine' and clearly sexualising and repressing non-solid objects because males have external defined genitals which can become solid and thus all solid objects appeal to men purely because they see everything hard not as an instance of atomic bonds joined together in a certain state but because it's all an extension of a giant stiffy, or words to that affect.

Whilst yes it is founded that feminist student protesters managed to get his bust removed, it was done so to stop vandalism not in concession of any of these allegations.

Three paragraphs. All in the positive. Not a single statement pointing out that none of these claims have EVER been substantiated in fact nor has a SINGLE complaint been filed against the man in the history of his entire life for any form of sexual misconduct.

If that's not NPOV breaching I have no fucking idea what is. I'd hate to think that some bitter fucking ex of mine got up my goat long after I was dead and got a man-pal of hers to write an angry essay about how I violated her womanly understanding of physics with my solid atoms only to have my wikipedia page dedicate nearly as much to me being a serial rapist as to the fact I left my worldly possessions to a loopy pseudo-science like paranormal investigations.

Come on. Surely those more thoroughly attached to this article can reach a consensus to overpower the potential loony-tunes out to blacken this guys name with farcical and entirely unsubstantiated allegations? The take away point of this article given it's placement isn't a single thing he's done throughout his life but that he was a cad and not just a cad, a 'serial-rapist cad.' It's sheer and utter nonsense, and should be excised most vehemently with the prejudice warranted by such absurdity of slandering a dead man who can't defend himself who has never, in any way, been tied to the allegation of one clearly batshit mental woman with extremist political ideologies that benefit greatly if her claims get heard yet die in obscurity of an angry hate filled life were it not for her claims.

Can we get some neutrality, sanity, and decency here? BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 12:05, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

(Edit after further thought and flagging of NPOV):

Ok, I just realized the guy above me had the same qualms. I very rarely edit as I volunteer with the dispute resolution team and try not to get involved / attached to articles, but I am very tempted to be bold and just remove that content. I won't, because I would still like to assist should this go to dispute resolution as frankly I'm quite disgusted no one has taken it there to begin with given that it's gross misconduct to portray someone in such a heinous light pushing an obvious agenda against the person (and frankly that or a level of sheer ignorance that would probably equate to not being able to use a computer are the only reasons such drivel would appear in an article).
Thus, if any of the regular editors read this, please feel free to remove that crap until a more structured section addressing this content could go in it's state. In the interim I am flagging this as NPOV quite clearly, as it needs rectification. Heck, I've wasted as many keystrokes as it would take to fix the problem, but again, I just can't get involved in case the agenda pushing aforementioned loons return wanting to challenge the matter. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 12:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
All of this seems to be based on the claim of ONE person which was added in a book. I read some of the links, the Statesman makes all sorts of similar claims of serial badness yet not any actual evidence was offered. I am in no mood to argue with people about this nor is being "bold" on my list of things to do. Consider me a reader who feels this article unfairly portrays an author as a serial rapist based on a single, flimsy and suspect source. And that Statesman article is simply an excersize in character assassination. Why do they seem to have it in for Koestler? Jee whiz read the article sited. That article would never see the light of day on Wikipedia, yet we're using it as a source to portray a man as a serial rapist. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Captain Sparkly Butte (talkcontribs) 20:53, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

Original language of The Gladiators[edit]

This is my first time using the talk pages, please be gentle and let me know if I should have done something better.

This article claims Koestler's first novel (The Gladiators) was originally written in Hungarian. This claim is repeated in other articles: The Gladiators (novel), Arrival and Departure. There's no supporting citation in any of these.

On the other hand Invisible Writing has this: "The novel [The Gladiators] was first published in England in 1939, in an excellent translation by Edith Simon. Then the war broke out, the German manuscript was lost during my flight from France, and the German edition which appeared after the war had to be re-translated from the English translation." I have an epub edition on my hands right now, so I can't tell the exact page number, but this is in the penultimate paragraph of Chapter XXIV. Excursion into the First Century B.C..

I also looked up a Hungarian biography of Koestler which claims in Chapter 4. Spartacus p63.: "Koestler mind első regényét [Gladiátorok], mind azt ezt követő Sötétség délbent német nyelven írta, de Franciaország a második világháború kezdetén bekövetkezett összeomlása alatt az eredeti kézirat elkalódott, csak angol fordítása maradt fenn." in MÁRTON László: Koestler, a lázadó [Koestler, the rebel], Pallas Könyvek 2006. ISBN 963 06 1044 2

In my rough translation: "Koestler wrote his first novel [The Gladiators] along with the following Darkness at Noon in German, however the original manuscript was lost during the fall of France at the begininng of WWII, only an English translation remained."

The second source may not be independent of the first.

These sources though bring me to the conclusion that The Gladiators was not written in Hungarian, but in German. Unless someone challanges this with other sources, I'm going to change the above three articles soon to reflect this.

Rubasov (talk) 18:48, 21 November 2013 (UTC)

I have made the changes and removed the claims of The Gladiators being written in Hungarian. was actually me, I just forgot to log in. Rubasov (talk) 19:36, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

arthur koestler[edit]

hello. it says arthur koestler's father was born in 1869 and married in 1861. I have no information about either but this seems to be impossible. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:32, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

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"Committed" suicide[edit]

With this edit, User:Oshwah reverted my bold change in the lede of "commiitted suicide" to "died by suicide" with the ES "I believe consensus is to keep the wording as it was".

I see no evidence that this has been discussed here. There is a section about "#Suicide" above but it does not mention "committing" it, the only use of the word "commit" on this page is about rape.

I realise Koestler's suicide note uses the words "commit suicide", but I am not sure that WP should use the term outside of quotes, it can be seen as non-neutral. Suicide in the United Kingdom#Terminology is indicative. It is not as if "died by suicide" are WP:weasel words. What is the consensus? (talk) 08:08, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

By the way, committed suicide is a redirect so the link does not need to be piped. (talk) 08:12, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

As far as I remember, "committed suicide" (instead of "died by suicide") was determined to be the proper phrase here. I see edits that change this often; it would be good to know what the correct word use has been established to be here, and where this is pointed out within our policies, guidelines, or a consensus. If my recollection is determined to be incorrect, please accept my apologies in advance. I also extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to this IP user for starting this discussion so that we can figure out the right solution - thank you for doing this. :-) ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 08:19, 17 January 2019 (UTC
I've categorised the redirect committed suicide (and some others) as {{R from non-neutral name}}, but not to pre-empt this discussion: its documentation says "Normally, these redirected links should be replaced,..", and this may well be an exception (like the use of self-murder in Symphorosa). From looking at the "what links here" it seems this term and similarly committing suicide etc. are seldom linked, though perhaps editors just write "committed suicide", which is a compromise of sorts. (Same user, different IP) (talk) 10:18, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
England and Wales decriminalized suicide via the Suicide Act 1961. But the word "commit" doesn't necessarily imply illegality. It does seem odd, though, that the article body uses "killed themselves", with no piped or redirect link, while the lead uses "committed suicide" with that link. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:30, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
(edit conflict)"Kill yourself" was already categorized as {{R from non-neutral term}} (in June 2018), and that categorization has been taken out and added back a few times. "Suicide" can be verbed, so "suicided" is possible. (talk) 10:50, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
I don't believe that word is a normal part of English. Certainly not British English. Martinevans123 (talk) 10:54, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Maybe not common, but it has been in use both sides of the pond for over 150 years. (talk) 11:22, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
I've yet to see it used anywhere in a Wikipedia article. Personally, I can't really imagine a worse compromise. Martinevans123 (talk) 11:30, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
I was expecting it to be a neologism, but it seems to have overtaken "died by suicide" around 1880, according to Google ngrams. Outside of quotes and references, it's used once, in suicide booth. I think it's ugly too. (talk) 11:35, 17 January 2019 (UTC)
Ah yes, so it is. In that unsourced sentence about The City and the Stars. Is that the word Clarke uses? Martinevans123 (talk) 12:07, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Move trimmed external links here (for possible discussion) per WP:ELPOINTS (#3), WP:ELMIN, and WP:NOTREPOSITORY.

-- Otr500 (talk) 13:16, 18 February 2020 (UTC)