The urge to jump
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- "my whole soul was pervaded with a longing to fall; a desire, a yearning, a passion utterly uncontrollable."
Poe described the phenomenon more in detail in his short story "The Imp of the Perverse" (1845):
- "There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a Plunge."
The novella Lokis (1869) by Prosper Mérimée also describes the phenomenon:
- “Have you never found yourself at the top of a tower, or even at the edge of a precipice, having at the same time a desire to throw yourself down into space, and a feeling of terror absolutely the reverse? . . .”
Strictly speaking, the urge to jump has no name but several proposals have been made, ranging from "high cliff syndrome" to "l'appel du vide" (French for "call of the void.") Other proposals include "transvoltum" and the term 'imp of the perverse' itself, after the short story by Poe.
- Fear of falling
- Suicide by jumping
- Leap into the Void by Yves Klein
- The Imp of the Perverse