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Autoportrait

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,251 ratings  ·  158 reviews
In this brilliant and sobering self-portrait, Edouard Levé hides nothing from his readers, setting out his entire life, more or less at random, in a string of declarative sentences. Autoportrait is a physical, psychological, sexual, political, and philosophical triumph. Beyond "sincerity," Levé works toward an objectivity so radical it could pass for crudeness, triviality, ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published 2012 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 2005)
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4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,251 ratings  ·  158 reviews


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Matthieu
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I was three, I cut my toe very badly with a garden spade; I entered a perfectly white space, and felt no pain. I used to purchase sports equipment from a man who was later convicted of molesting several boys. I have slept with exactly four people. I take inventory of my possessions twice a year. I am very neat (obsessively so). The smell of wet earth soothes me. I remember everything, though I've learned to forget things as well. I once fell asleep on a bus (ten minutes away from my house), ...more
Solange te parle
J'avais très envie de ce livre après avoir lu "Suicide". La quatrième de couverture a décuplé cette envie. J'ai dû attendre le moment opportun avant de me jeter dedans parce que je savais que le plaisir serait bref. Je ne suis pas déçue, je suis sous le choc. Au premier abord, ce livre est un peu une version littéraire des "50 facts about me" que l'on trouve sur YouTube. En beaucoup plus radical. La phrase d'Édouard Levé est impeccable. Le principe de rupture force l'émotion et le respect. Humou ...more
Hadrian
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wry, intriguing, morbid little book composed entirely of 'I-statements': I am, I was, I feel, I wanted, I remember. Ranges from three or four words to longer paragraphs. These are not always in any discernible order, but they begin to make sense once you connect the other ideas and memories together.

The overall impression is of a whole life, pieced together through fragments.
Magdalen
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
τόσο ιδιαίτερο και διαφορετικό απ' όσα βιβλία έχω διαβάσει. Αδιαμφισβήτητα ξεχωριστό χωρίς κεφάλαια, παραγράφους, πυκνογραμμένο και παρ' όλα αυτά δεν κουράζει καθόλου. Ανάλαφρο ύφος και γραφή, όμως, μεταδίδει έντονα συναισθήματα.

Είναι κυριολεκτικά μια αυτοπροσωπογραφία όπου μερικές φορές έβρισκα τον εαυτό μου να ταυτίζεται.
Πραγματικά υπέροχο.

ΥΓ: ΘΕΛΩ ΤΟ SUICIDE ΧΘΕΣ και δεν το βρίσκω πουθενά :(
Supreeth
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Supreeth by: Magdalen
Autoportrait is one huge paragraph of a book,take one sentence at a time. Literature comes in all shapes and sizes, and this is one of a kind, I've never read anything like this. This one has something for everyone, all these 'I-...' sentences come together to make sense. It sounds autobiographical, but at the same time this can coincide with anybody's autobiography.
Jeff Jackson
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Drawing direct inspiration from Joe Brainard's I REMEMBER, a cousin to David Markson's author tetralogy, a personalized variant on the world historical sentence-long riffs in Patrik Ourednik's EUROPEANA. Edouard Leve's AUTOPORTRAIT is an unconnected series of single sentences about his life. Preferences, memories, allergies, turn-offs, proclivities, escapades, travels, loves, sexual positions, musical favorites, observations. Wisely, the book's title was not translated as "Self Portrait" - the a ...more
Proustitute
Levé has a unique way of inviting his readers into his melancholy; reading this, I was reminded of Suicide and what I can only term—and this is a project on which I'm currently working as well—Levé's performance of melancholy. While many people feel that depression, melancholy, and despair are highly individualized emotional states that the majority do not speak about, Levé channels some of the confessional school in his work (both photographic and literary) but suggests that he needs an interlo ...more
Vit Babenco
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“To describe my life precisely would take longer than to live it.”
Autoportrait is a one-paragraph-long book.
“I take no pleasure in others’ misfortunes. I do not bow down before a metal idol. I am not horrified by my heritage. I do not till the earth. I do not expect to discover new marvels in classical music, but I’m sure of taking pleasure until I die in the ones I already know.”
The book is a lengthy list of what the author likes and dislikes; what he does and doesn’t; what did and didn’t happe
...more
Aslı Can
Benliğimin oranını hesap edemeyeceğim bir kısmı Edouard Leve ile birlikte toprağın altında, solucanları ve böcekleri izliyormuş gibi hissediyorum ve bu his onu tanıdıkça giderek artıyor.
Alireza
اتوپرتره، نوعی سلفپرتره در کالبد کلمات است. اتوبیوگرافیِ هنرمندی فرانسوی است که مسیر بیوگرافی نویسی را طی نمیکند. هر جمله که نویسنده در مورد خودش نوشته صرفا «او» را روایت میکند نه حوادث زندگی و خاطرتش را. این به تصویر کشیدن خود به کمک کلمات شکل بدیعی دارد و جالب است که خواننده در تمام طول کتاب احساس نزدیکی میکند با نویسنده. ...more
Jocelyn
Darkness frightens me. I never wear sunglasses. My brother and I have the same birthday. I met a girl at the Shillington Pool when I was 8. We watched The Parent Trap and decided we would get our parents to marry; it worked. Living in a basement traumatized me. I believe I am infertile, this thought does not make me sad or happy. I never think about getting married or having a wedding. It is rare that I feel comfortable meeting someone new. I have no interest in keeping up with the latest techno ...more
Melanie
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
'a factual report seems to me the most beautifully unpoetic poetry there is'.

Edouard Levé's free writing I-statements are humourless, colourless, soundless, they exit on an inaudible sigh, they are intangible.

The form is list-like, robotic and therefore it is easy to agree they are fact but the facts have already died, like cold stars that still throw their light.

' I prefer a ruin to a monument'.

For me, these distant stars shine on multiple human faces, not Edouard alone but what do the repetit
...more
ilknur a.k.a. iko ◬

başlamadan önce bir şey diyeceğim, EN BOKTAN YAYINEVLERİNDEN BİRİSİN SEVGİLİ SEL*. iyi kitapları basıyor olman seni iyi yapmaz.
- bok gibi sayfa düzenin var.
- orjinalinde dipnot yoksa bile kahrolası fransızcaları, film, kitap isimlerini aşağıda dipnotla belirtmelisin ama yapmıyorsun.
- nedenini anlatsan bile anlayamayacağımı bildiğim şu huyun: cümlenin son kelimesinin son hecesini inatla çizgi çekip aşağı vermen, ya da bi sonraki sayfada başlatmak varken cümlenin ilk kelimesini ve hatta hecesin
...more
Tosh
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Without a thought in my head, I went to Stories Bookstore and Cafe in Echo Park, and decided to purchase a copy of Edouard Levé's "Autoportrait." I have heard of this book through Dennis Cooper's blog, and reading about "Autoportrait" made me curious to go get the book itself. After purchasing it, I went directly to the Echo Park Library, or Edendale Libray as it is officially known, to start reading the book. I didn't leave the library till I finished the entire book.

Once you start it, the wri
...more
david
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ah, good old ‘Suicide, ’ your previous novel. How I miss it.

Along comes Autoportrait, just before the skiff lands on the shores of Nod.

All the a priori research has been done before engaging in this new text.

Our only job now is to read it. And it is short.

'Autoportrait' (Self-portrait), is not a story, but an incoherent rambling. Although most would disagree with me, according the literati.

The only pro-Leve argument that could be used here is that he is a literary cubist. A Picasso of the writte
...more
Stephen
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
If one of the purposes of art is to alter our perceptions of the world, Leve's Autoportrait has to be considered a work of art. Though on the face of it a mere collection of declarative sentences ranging from the mundane to the subtly profound ("Contradicting myself brings two kinds of pleasure: betraying myself and having a new opinion."), Autoportrait is an at turns unsettling and comforting book.
Arzu
Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deneme
ilk cümlesinden itibaren keyifli bi' okuma..
belli bi' kuralı, sıralamayı gözetmeden rastgele birbiri ardına dizilmiş bildirim cümleleri ile édouard levé'nin beyninde gezintiye çıkıyorsunuz..
rahatsızlık verici bi' nokta; metnin bazı tekrar cümlelerinin tutarsız olması, birbirini sağlamaması..
Shahrzad
گزارشی از احوالات نویسنده، با کمی پس و پیش کردن جملات میتوانی شرح زندگی خودت را بخوانی.
وقتی چنین کتابهایی میخوانم، فکر میکنم نویسنده شدن، همزمان چه سهل و سخت است
...more
Ipsit
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Among the most obnoxious things one person can ask of another is to “tell me something true about yourself.” Such a banal and breezily intrusive request drastically misunderstands the nature of self-disclosure; it calls for a sort of intimacy on demand, a statement of biographical fact that is expected to reveal, by mysterious inference, the truth about a life. It’s also a question that is close to impossible to answer. Reading Autoportrait, I found myself thinking of it as a fiendishly appropri ...more
Faek
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: To whom it may concern
Recommended to Faek by: Vit Babenco
I have cheated on two women, I told them, one didn’t care, one did
Sibel Kaçamak
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Üzerimde bomba etkisi yaptı. Yazarın deneme türünde kendi portresini çizdiği bir kitap. Düşününce neden olmasın dedim. Nasıl her ressamın hayatının neredeyse her döneminde kendi portresini yapmış olması elzemse yazarlar için de bu iş neden böyle olmasın? Üstelik tek bir otoportreyle de kalınmamalı. Yine de yazar otoportreleri daha fazla cesaret ister diye düşünüyorum. Bir roman ya da öykü içerisine sıkıştırıp gizlemek daha kolay ya da daha esrarlı diyeyim.

Okurken büyük bir kısmında işte bu benim
...more
Ombledroom είναι η θεία Κούλα
«Επειδή είμαι αστείος νομίζουν ότι είμαι ευτυχισμένος.
Τα κύρια ονόματα με συναρπάζουν γιατί αγνοώ την σημασία τους.
Πιο πολύ αρχίζω παρά τελειώνω.
Αντιλαμβάνομαι μόνο όσα κόκαλά μου πονάνε.
Το «Όχι» ως απάντηση με ικανοποιεί με τη συντομία του και μ’ ενοχλεί με τη βιαιότητά του.
Τραβάω φωτογραφίες γατί δεν έχω πραγματική όρεξη ν’ αλλάξω τα πράγματα.
Αν εξαιρέσεις τα θέματα της θρησκείας και του σεξ, θα μπορούσα να ζήσω ως καλόγερος.
Είχα ένα ατύχημα με μοτοσυκλέτα που θα μπορούσε να μου κοστίσει
...more
julieta
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europa
Tengo sentimientos encontrados con este libro.

Por un lado, me encanta que rompe con todo, entra directo, a enumerar características personales, en frases cortas, y de alguna manera me cae bien que no respete ninguna estructura, y que simplemente haga ese Autorretrato, como una selfie escrita. No tiene adornos de ningun tipo, es casi una lista, me hace pensar en Perec, quizás también porque lo menciona al abrir el libro. Igual y es un juego conceptual, esto de escribir desde una visión que no tie
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-lit
Eduoard Levé’s suicide in 2007 at the age of 43 casts a shadow across any consideration of his work. It now casts a shadow across this review.

The self-portrait is a project for visual artists. Appropriate and telling marks add up to an image in which we think we see the essence of its maker. Literary artists write autobiographies, the longer the better, or memoirs, preferably as excoriating as possible.

Eduoard Levé, who was also a photographer, found the literary equivalent of the painter’s app
...more
Stephen Durrant
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This small, strange book is unlike anything I have read. Made up of disconnected and seemingly random statements about the "I," it strikes me as a kind of pointillist autobiography, and the author in fact was a painter and photographer before turning to writing. "Autoportrait" also is a denial of both depth and meaning, although there are, to be sure, deep anxieties, in fact a few neuroses, lurking not too far below the surface. Some of Levé's self-observations are humorous ("When I want to see ...more
Tanuj Solanki
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Among the many declarative sentences that form this book, the following

"I'm making an effort to specialize in me"

perhaps captures Edouard Leve's attempts more than anything. His is a Knausgardian impulse mixed with a dire need for brevity. He is not a dabbler in narrative arts, as explained below:

""I do not like the novel" doesn't mean I do not like literature, "I don't like narrative movies" doesn't mean I don't like movies.

His works are unlike any other that I've encountered.
Fernando Jimenez
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Autorretrato' es una descripción del autor en un espejo roto en el que también se ve el lector. Es una novela desordenada, un libro de aforismos y microrrelatos. Es la continuación por otros medios de los recuerdos de Perec. Es la nota de un suicida donde se atisban algunas razones para no vivir, o más bien ninguna.
Murat G.
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kağıt-basım
Yer yer ilgi çekici olmakla birlikte, genel olarak sıradan bir otoportre.

İlgi çekici otoportre örneklerini aşağıda sunuyorum. Üstelik kağıt israf etmiyor, paramızı almıyorlar.

Örnek 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72c8Y...

Örnek 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD4w3...
ΠανωςΚ
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Δύστροπο, αυτοαναφορικό, εμμονικό, εντέλει μοναδικό.
Grace Liew
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reading this book made me wish there was a search function for printed books. The book is essentially made up of fragments (not even long enough to be called “vignettes,” since each scene ends precisely with the sentence). Which leaves you with random memories of moments, unable to remember where something occurred in the book. The middle could be the beginning, the beginning could be the end. And for days after, a random sentence/scene would materialize in my brain, and I’d have no way of knowi ...more
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Levé was self-taught as an artist and studied business at the elite École supérieure des sciences économiques et commerciales. He began painting in 1991. Levé made abstract paintings but abandoned the field (claiming to have burned most of his paintings) and took up color photography upon his return from an influential two-month trip to India in 1995.

Levé's first book, Oeuvres (2002), is an imagin
...more
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“I want this epitaph engraved on my tombstone: “See you soon” 17 likes
“At the beach girls arouse me less than in the library.” 12 likes
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