Autoportrait

Autoportrait

by

thoroughly-enjoyed, , non-fiction, read-in-2012, 2012, favorites, books-to-purchase, aa-europelit, also-about-art, contemporary-lit, french, french-literature, 2014, avant-garde-punks, 2013, Cultural, Autobiography, Nonfiction, Literature, European Literature, Biography, Art, Poetry

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, even banality: the author has stripped himself bare. With the force of a set of maxims or morals, Levé's prose seems at first to be an autobiography without sentiment, as though written by a machine—until, through the accumulation of detail, and the author's dry, quizzical tone, we find ourselves disarmed, enthralled, and enraptured by nothing less than the perfect fiction . . . made entirely of facts.

Title:Autoportrait
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781564787071
Format Type:

    Autoportrait Reviews

  • Matthieu

    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 ...

  • MJ Nicholls

    A charming and revealing series of sentences on selfhood. The sort of thing that if not performed by a respected artist and photographer might seem banal and inconsequential and unpublishable. But the...

  • Jeff Jackson

    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 EUROPEA...

  • Vit Babenco

    “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...

  • Proustitute (on hiatus)

    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—Le...

  • d.a.v.i.d

    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 t...

  • Melanie

    '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 i...

  • Stephen

    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 rang...

  • ipsit

    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 se...

  • Tosh

    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 blo...