ReadySteadyBlog

When I was young, I thought Life: A User’s Manual would teach me how to live and Suicide: A User’s Manual how to die. I don’t really listen to what people tell me. I forget things I don’t like. I look down dead-end streets. The end of a trip leaves me with a sad aftertaste the same as the end of a novel. I am not afraid of what comes at the end of life. I am slow to realize when someone mistreats me, it is always so surprising: evil is somehow unreal. When I sit with bare legs on vinyl, my skin doesn’t slide, it squeaks. I archive. I joke about death. I do not love myself. I do not hate myself. My rap sheet is clean. To take pictures at random goes against my nature, but since I like doing things that go against my nature, I have had to make up alibis to take pictures at random, for example, to spend three months in the United States traveling only to cities that share a name with a city in another country: Berlin, Florence, Oxford, Canton, Jericho, Stockholm, Rio, Delhi, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, Mexico, Syracuse, Lima, Versailles, Calcutta, Bagdad...

Extract from Édouard Levé's Autoportrait (translated from French by Lorin Stein, published by Dalkey Archive) over on the Paris Review.

Readers Comments

  1. Mark, hi.

    A review I wrote of _Autoportrait_ went up very recently here:

    http://www.thewinnipegreview.com/wp/2012/09/adventures-with-ice-cream-and-suicidal-frenchmen/#more-6061

    In case that interests you, and your readers.

    Jeff

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