SuicidePaperback French Literature
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- Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
- Format: Paperback | 104 pages
- Dimensions: 124mm x 173mm x 13mm | 181g
- Publication date: 5 June 2014
- Publication City/Country: Normal, IL
- ISBN 10: 1564786285
- ISBN 13: 9781564786289
- Edition statement: Available Again ed.
- Sales rank: 54,300
Edouard Lev delivered the manuscript for his final book, Suicide, just a few days before he took his own life. Suicide is not, then, 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--Lev 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 Lev 's beautiful, casually obsessive, pointillist ruminations, we come to know a stoic, sensible, thoughtful man who bears more than a slight resemblance to the author himself. Suicide is a near-exhaustive catalog of the ramifications of the act for which it was named, and a unique and melancholy farewell to life.
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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-- Works, Journal, Autoportrait, and Suicide--and three books of photographs. Suicide, published in 2008, was his final book.
"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, Lev 's fragments become wonderfully sharp, conjuring tragedy in a few sentences." --Zadie Smith "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 Lev (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 " Suicide is not a fictionalized account of Lev 's death; in some respects it is a negative image of it... Lev 's art and life nonetheless converge, fuse, and end brutally together. Ironically, Suicide represents a new departure for Lev : his previous books could be considered conceptual conceits, whereas Suicide is something else, a purely literary work. At the end of his life, Lev had by no means exhausted his art. --Hugo Wilcken, The Berlin Review of Books