Suicide reads like a photo album. This is no surprise, considering that Levé was as much an accomplished photographer as he was anything else. The prose is clipped, almost terse; while each line can be seen to represent a single idea in just the same way a photo in an album represents one moment in time. These ideas, like collections of photos in an album, create events and distinct sections in a book where there are no chapters. Praise must be given to translator Jan Steyn who deftly maintained the integrity of each line/photograph while keeping the entire piece cohesive.
Over at Three Percent, why Edouard Levé’s Suicide deserves to win the BTBA fiction prize. [via Three Percent] (Just to contextualise this isn’t the only book they are writing such an article for; this is part of a series looking at the BTBA fiction longlist.)
At the risk of sounding superficial, I have to admit that I’m ridiculously intrigued by this book partly because of the biographical context (that is mentioned in the first paragraph of this article). Beyond that, however, everything I’ve read about this book has left me intensely curious, plus the fact that any Edouard Levé I’ve read so far (which admittedly should be too little to be admissible) has been remarkable and fascinating.
That’s sort of my long way of saying that this is one of the books that’s on my read-this-soon list.