Quote of the Day


From Edouard Levé’s Suicide, a fictional book written about a young man who commits suicide at 25, as narrated by a friend of his.

Edouard Levé committed suicide 10 days after delivering the manuscript of the book to his editor. The book was sparse and beautiful, and was well worth the little time it took me to read it. The following passage in Suicide was particularly good, in my opinion (if emotionally blunt):

“Your mother cried for you when she learned of your death. She cried for you every day until your burial. She cried for you alone, in her husband’s arms, in the arms of your brother and your sister, in the arms of her mother and your wife. She cried for you during the ceremony, following your coffin to the cemetery, and during your inhumation. When friends, many of them, came to present their condolences, she cried for you. With every hand that she shook, with every kiss she received, she again saw fragments of your past, of the days she believed you to be happy. Faced with your death, scenarios of what you could have lived or experienced with these people, gave them a feeling of immense loss: you had, by your suicide, saddened your past and abolished your future. Your mother cried for you in the days following your funeral, and she cried for you again, alone, whenever she thought of you. Years later, there are many, like her, whose tears flow whenever they think of you.

Regrets? You had some for causing the sadness of those who cried for you, for the love they felt for you, and which you had returned. You had some for the solitude in which you left your wife, and for the emptiness your loved ones would experience. But these regrets you felt merely in anticipation. They would disappear along with you: your survivors would be alone in carrying the pain of your death. This selfishness of your suicide displeased you. But, all things considered, the lull of death won out over life’s painful commotion.”


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