Suicide

Suicide

5.0 2
by Edouard Leve
     
 
Suicide cannot be read as simply another novel—it is, in a sense, the author's own oblique, public suicide note, a unique meditation on this most extreme of refusals. Presenting itself as an investigation into the suicide of a close friend—perhaps real, perhaps fictional—more than twenty years earlier, Levé gives us, little by little, a

Overview

Suicide cannot be read as simply another novel—it is, in a sense, the author's own oblique, public suicide note, a unique meditation on this most extreme of refusals. Presenting itself as an investigation into the suicide of a close friend—perhaps real, perhaps fictional—more than twenty years earlier, Levé gives us, little by little, a striking portrait of a man, with all his talents and flaws, who chose to reject his life, and all the people who loved him, in favor of oblivion. Gradually, through Levé's casually obsessive, pointillist, beautiful ruminations, we come to know a stoic, sensible, thoughtful man who bears more than a slight psychological resemblance to Levé himself. But Suicide is more than just a compendium of memories of an old friend; it is a near-exhaustive catalog of the ramifications and effects of the act of suicide, and a unique and melancholy farewell to life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The suicide of a childhood friend—addressed here as "you"—elicits a reflective and dignified expression of wondering and grief in this last work by artist and writer Levé (1965–2007), who finished this novel 10 days before killing himself. The narrator describes his friend as a solitary, taciturn character who smoked American cigarettes, studied economics, played the drums in rock bands, and kept largely to himself. Subtle, troubling details begin to emerge: feeling increasingly "ill adapted to the world," the friend stops traveling and obsesses over his own death, designing his own tomb and growing despondent, seized by a kind of resignation. In the end, having left the house with his wife to attend a tennis date, he returns by himself, heads to the basement, and blows his head off. Why did he do it? the author wonders. Leve's slender narrative possesses a near-clinical precision of detail, which functions as both a funeral oration and the chilling foretelling of his own death. (Apr.)
Jacques Morice - Telerama
“A book that will never disappear, a book too provocative ever to be forgotten.”
Hugo Wilcken - The Berlin Review of Books
“Suicide is not a fictionalized account of Levé’s death; in some respects it is a negative image of it. ‘You didn’t leave any letters for loved ones to explain your death,’ he writes, although Levé himself reportedly did. Levé’s art and life nonetheless converge, fuse, and end brutally together. Ironically, Suicide represents a new departure for Levé: his previous books could be considered conceptual conceits, whereas Suicide is something else, a purely literary work. At the end of his life, Levé had by no means exhausted his art.”
Zadie Smith
“A astonishing novel.”
From the Publisher

"The sadness of this book is overwhelming. Yet at the same time it's a cause for happiness, because it's the final record of a writer who found, in the end, the correct vessel for his talents. In Suicide, Levé's fragments become wonderfully sharp, conjuring tragedy in a few sentences." --Zadie Smith

Dalkey Archive Press

"The suicide of a childhood friend--addressed here as "you"--elicits a reflective and dignified expression of wondering and grief in this last work by artist and writer Levé (1965-2007), who finished this novel 10 days before killing himself.... Leve's slender narrative possesses a near-clinical precision of detail, which functions as both a funeral oration and the chilling foretelling of his own death." --Publishers Weekly

Dalkey Archive Press

"Suicide is not a fictionalized account of Levé's death; in some respects it is a negative image of it.... Levé's art and life nonetheless converge, fuse, and end brutally together. Ironically, Suicide represents a new departure for Levé: his previous books could be considered conceptual conceits, whereas Suicide is something else, a purely literary work. At the end of his life, Levé had by no means exhausted his art. --Hugo Wilcken, The Berlin Review of Books

Dalkey Archive Press

The Berlin Review of Books - Hugo Wilcken
Suicide is not a fictionalized account of Levé’s death; in some respects it is a negative image of it. ‘You didn’t leave any letters for loved ones to explain your death,’ he writes, although Levé himself reportedly did. Levé’s art and life nonetheless converge, fuse, and end brutally together. Ironically,Suicide represents a new departure for Levé: his previous books could be considered conceptual conceits, whereas Suicide is something else, a purely literary work. At the end of his life, Levé had by no means exhausted his art.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564786289
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
04/14/2011
Series:
French Literature Series
Edition description:
Available Again ed.
Pages:
104
Sales rank:
593,917
Product dimensions:
4.84(w) x 6.98(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Edouard Levé was born on January 1, 1965, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. A writer, photographer, and visual artist, Levé was the author of four books of writing―Works, Newspaper, Autoportrait, and Suicide―and three books of photographs. Suicide, published in 2008, was his final book.

Jan Steyn is a South African translator from French and Afrikaans to English. He holds a degree in Comparative Literature from Emory University, and his translations include Suicide and Works by Edouard Levé.

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Suicide 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmine Zarzuela More than 1 year ago
Seems like a good book to me havnt bought it yet but im going to