SUICIDE by edouard levé

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not purely fiction but located somewhere between death porn, a bipolar’s daybook, and a conceptual suicide note, levé’s novel — which is inseparable from its author’s biography — seems less a treatise on suicide than a portrait of an elegant but somehow dull faculty. (or dulled? the translator’s afterword calls levé’s aesthetic habitually “austere.”) the narrator notes moments of the pedestrian sublime or accounts for days with gestures toward the philosophical, but somehow never does his sense flare into the poignancy it seems to, despite itself, strive for. the unrelenting dark gray of depression’s long term palette, however, the book does seem to get just right.

an interview with the translator, jan steyn.

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