Virginia Woolf died on March 28, 1941 near Rodmell, Sussex, England. She left a note for her husband, Leonard, and for her sister, Vanessa. Then, Virginia walked to the River Ouse, put a large stone in her pocket, and drowned herself. Some children found her body 18 days later.
A body that surfaced in the East River on Sunday (March 7, 2004) was identified by the city medical examiner yesterday as that of Spalding Gray, the confessional writer, monologist and actor who disappeared one month ago. The cause of death had not yet been determined, but the police were investigating reports that Mr. Gray, who had a history of depression, had committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island ferry. (N. Y. Times, March 9, 2004)
He wrote this about Virginia´s drown:
“So one night I made a big mistake. I took Mom to see the recently released film of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She wanted to go because she had this fascination with the life and death of Virginia Woolf. I’m not sure that she knew Virginia Woolf’s books all that well, but she did know the story of how Woolf ended her life by filling her pockets with rocks and walking into a river. She seemed to know that story as well as she knew the story of how Hart Crane, one depressed morning, walked off the stern of his cruising ship in the Gulf of Mexico, never to be seen again”.
(Impossible Vacation, page 28-29)
I found this while reading Impossible Vacation (written in 1992), and it seems to anticipate the event of his own moment of depression and drowning. That moment happened in the night when Spalding Gray took his kids to see Big Fish, the story of a dying old storyteller that was released in a river where he becomes a fish. After the movie, Gray left the kids at home and after that drowned himself into the East River. His body was found 20 days later. As was told Virginia’s body took 18 days to reappear. (Beto)