Maddy T's Reviews > Suicide

Suicide by Édouard Levé
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Sep 23, 11

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Quotes Maddy Liked

Édouard Levé
“Your life was a hypothesis. Those who die old are made of the past. Thinking of them, one thinks of what they have done. Thinking of you, one thinks of what you could have become. You were, and you will remain, made up of possibilities.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“Since you seldom spoke, you were rarely wrong. You seldom spoke because you seldom went out. If you did go out, you listened and watched. Now, since you no longer speak, you will always be right. In truth, you do still speak: through those, like me, who bring you back to life, and interrogate you. We hear your responses and admire their wisdom. If the facts turned out to contradict your counsel, we blame ourselves for having misinterpreted you. Yours are the truths, ours are the errors.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You used to believe that with age you would become less unhappy, because you then would have reasons to be sad. When you were still young, your suffering was inconsolable because you believed it to be unfounded.

Your suicide was scandalously beautiful…

You died because you searched for happiness at the risk of finding the void. We shall have to wait for death before we can know what it is that you found. Or before leaving off knowing anything at all, if it is to be silence and emptiness that awaits us.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You were not surprised to find yourself ill adapted to the world, but it did surprise you that the world had produced a being who now lived in it as a foreigner. Do plants commit suicide? Do animals die of helplessness? They either function or disappear. You were perhaps a weak link, an accidental evolutionary dead end, a temporary anomaly not destined to burgeon again.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“The last time I saw you, you were wearing a white cotton shirt. You were standing upright with your wife on the lawn, in the sunlight, in front of the chateau, at my brother’s wedding. You shared in the enthusiasm of the ceremony. For my part, I felt distanced from it. I didn’t recognize my family in this mundane get-together. You didn’t seem put off by the bourgeois ceremony, or by my brother’s choice to have his love approved by third parties, even when these were distant third parties. You didn’t have the sad and absent look you normally took on at public gatherings. You smiled, watching the people, a little tipsy from the wine and the sun, chatting on the large lawn between the white stone façade and the two-hundred-year-old cedar tree. I often wondered, after your death, if that smile, the last one I saw from you, was mocking, or if instead it was the kindly smile of someone who knew that soon he would no longer partake in earthly pleasures. You didn’t regret leaving these behind, but neither were you averse to enjoying them a little longer.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You couldn’t have been said to dance, exactly. Despite the music sounding around you, bodies being carried away by the whirling bass, it didn’t get inside you. You used to trace out the steps, but you were mimicking dancing, rather than doing it. You would dance alone. When a look crossed yours, you’d smile like someone caught off guard in an absurd situation.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You didn’t like to travel. You rarely went abroad. You would spend your time in your bedroom. It seemed useless to you to travel for miles in order to stay in a place less comfortable than your own.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You did not fear death. You stepped in its path, but without really desiring it: how can one desire something one doesn’t know? You didn’t deny life but affirmed your taste for the unknown, betting that if something existed on the other side, it would be better than here.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“You spoke to strangers for hours. Afterward you walked the streets in search of other cafes, but they were closed. You stretched out on the park benches of a square near the Gare Saint-Lazare, and you remarked on the shape of the clouds. At six o’clock you had breakfast. At seven you took the first train home. When, the next day, your friends repeated to you the words you had spoken to strangers in the cafe, you remembered nothing of them. It was as though someone else inside you had spoken. You recognized neither your words, nor your thoughts, but you liked them better than you would have if you had remembered saying them. Often all it took was for someone else to speak your own words back to you for you to like them.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide

Édouard Levé
“When you were awake, stretched out in your bed in the dark, shutters drawn, your thoughts would flow freely. They would grow obscure when you got up and opened the curtains. The violence of daylight would efface the nocturnal clarity. In the daytime, people were barriers, dividing you up, preventing you from hearing what you listened to at night: the voice of your brain.”
Édouard Levé, Suicide


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