Autoportrait

Autoportrait

4.5 2
by Edouard Leve, Edouard Lev, Aedouard Levae, Edouard Lev?
     
 

In this brilliant and sobering self-portrait, Edouard Levé hides nothing from his readers, setting out his entire life, more or less at random, in a string of declarative sentences. "Autoportrait" is a physical, psychological, sexual, political, and philosophical triumph. Beyond "sincerity," Levé works toward an objectivity so radical it could pass

Overview

In this brilliant and sobering self-portrait, Edouard Levé hides nothing from his readers, setting out his entire life, more or less at random, in a string of declarative sentences. "Autoportrait" is a physical, psychological, sexual, political, and philosophical triumph. Beyond "sincerity," Levé works toward an objectivity so radical it could pass for crudeness, triviality, even banality: the author has stripped himself bare. With the force of a set of maxims or morals, Levé's prose seems at first to be an autobiography without sentiment, as though written by a machine--until, through the accumulation of detail, and the author's dry, quizzical tone, we find ourselves disarmed, enthralled, and enraptured by nothing less than the perfect fiction... made entirely of facts.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Simultaneously brilliant and banal, Levé's newest (after Suicide) is a vivid self-portrait/autobiography that lays bare the workings of his mind, the flashes of recollection that make up his life. Fears, observations, pets, favorite words, foods, sleeping positions, and sexual infidelities emerge in a dreamy, stream-of-conscious mélange reminiscent of Lyn Hejinian's seminal My Life: "I cut my own hair…I have seen too many grinning corpses on TV…I will repeat sentences or opinions that I've heard, verbatim…To reassure myself, when I am lost in a foreign city, I go to the supermarket." There is no coherent narrative here—no beginning or middle—, and the string of unconnected musings does occasionally grow monotonous; but then life is often unremarkable, and Levé does not discriminate. This is an autobiography to be read slowly, piece by piece, savoring the sensory details and fragmented stories, all the while pondering what parts of our own lives we would use to tell our own self-portrait—though Levé admits that "To describe life would take longer than to live it." (Mar. 15)
The Quarterly Conversation - Scott Esposito

[A] small gem from a writer of great talent and originality.

Words Without Borders

Autoportrait is a delight the first time around and only gets better upon rereading or being read alongside Levé's other works.

Numéro Cinq - Jason DeYoung

An unflinching self-portrait.

The Complete Review

Levé's text is a fluid, absorbing -- and often beautiful -- read. A fascinating piece of work.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564787071
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
03/15/2012
Pages:
120
Sales rank:
619,757
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Edouard Leve was born on January 1, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. A writer, photographer, and visual artist, Leve was the author of four books of writing-"Oeuvres", "Journal", "Autoportrait", and "Suicide"-and three books of photographs. "Suicide", published in 2008, was his final book.

Edouard Lev was born on January 1, 1965 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. A writer, photographer, and visual artist, Lev was the author of four books of writing "Oeuvres", "Journal", "Autoportrait", and "Suicide" and three books of photographs. "Suicide", published in 2008, was his final book.

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Autoportrait 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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