Obviously, nobody has ever tried to calculate bullfighting suicide statistics, though it has not been a rare phenomenon, since the days it was proclaimed a public spectacle and comprises an enormous ground for researches and speculation on general suicidal nature. In fact, bullfighting is closely connected with death and each professional matador is ready to accept it each time he goes to the arena. Undoubtedly, this continuous readiness to accept death with honor, first, partly deprives a bullfighter of the inherent ability to fully appreciate his life, creating a potential suicidal person, who is not able to see the life value without bullfighting.
The researchers will find it interesting to compile comprehensive bullfighting suicide statistics if they trace out some pieces of history and matadors? biographies. To mention a relatively recent case, David Silveti, known as ?King David?, a third generation Mexican bullfighter, committed suicide in November, 2003 at the age of forty eight. He reached the top of his profession, having competed in four hundred and seventy bullfights until his retirement in 1995. Silveti underwent a knee surgery and suffered from serious head and spinal cord injuries. Although the exact reason for his suicide is not reported, the fact of bullfighting suicide remains.
As for aficionados? suicides, the first, but not the last case to be discussed, is a suicide of Earnest Hemingway. Generally, the writer was always somewhere on the verge of life and death, while death was one of the most vividly described and studied concepts in his works. Having dedicated much of his life to the bullfighting research, Hemingway passionately relived the tradition in his novels, interpreting it as a tragedy of Spanish culture. Although he suffered from a deep depression that conclusively led him to repeatable suicides, some investigators of his art and biography consider that a bullfighting passion consolidated him in his decision to commit suicide. Hemingway's suicide can be viewed in his own context: ?The bullfighter is an artist and his performance is to be admired for its elegance, courage and precision. It is not a bloodletting, as so many uninformed spectators allege, but a dramatic confrontation of life and death, a reenactment of the most elemental aspect of the human condition, namely, that death regulates life. The corrida has a message for all men: fear can be overcome, cowardice is odious, craft is everything, and, when allied with courage, the performance can ennoble the life?.
Bullfighting suicide statistics may also find connections with general suicide statistics of the countries, where bullfighting regularly takes place. Despite a massive international protest against bullfighting, there are no visible signs that the activity is to be declined. In 1994, seven hundred and twenty bullfights took place in Spain, while today the Spanish television broadcasts as many as five bullfights a week and estimated forty million spectators attended bullfights or similar taurine spectacles last year in Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. Suicide mortality rates have started to increase in Spain since 1982, in Mexico those increased one hundred and fifty six percent in the years 1970-1994 and have not decreased until today. France is also one of the countries with the highest suicidal rates in the world. Is it coincidence or regularity? Has there been a registered bullfighting with a suicide this year? It is difficult to answer until comprehensive bullfighting suicide statistics is complete