By Édouard Levé
«Adolescent, je croyais que los angeles Vie mode d'emploi m'aiderait à vivre, et Suicide mode d'emploi à mourir. J'ai passé trois ans et trois mois à l'étranger. Un de mes amis jouit dans los angeles trahison. J'oublie ce qui me déplaît. J'ai peut-être parlé sans le savoir avec quelqu'un qui a tué quelqu'un. Je vais regarder dans les impasses. Ce qu'il y a au bout de los angeles vie ne me fait pas peur. Je n'écoute pas vraiment ce qu'on me dit. J'ai parlé à Salvado Dalí à l'âge de deux ans. Décrire précisément ma vie me prendrait plus de temps que los angeles vivre. l. a. date de naissance qu'indique ma carte d'identité est fausse. Je ne sais pas sur qui j'ai de l'influence. Je parle à mes objets lorsqu'ils sont tristes. Je ne sais pas pourquoi j'écris. Je suis calme dans les retrouvailles. Je n'ai rien contre le réveillon. Quinze ans est le milieu de ma vie, quelle que soit los angeles date de ma mort. Je crois qu'il y a une vie après los angeles vie, mais pas une mort après l. a. mort. Je ne demande pas si on m'aime. Je ne pourrai dire qu'une fois sans mentir "je meurs". Le plus beau jour de ma vie est peut-être passé.»
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Extra resources for Autoportrait
The really dangerous aspect of decadence in human communities is the insensibility to it which it always creates. As it happened, my experience made me look at the changes through which I was passing in a different way. I began to feel alienated from the society in which I was living even from the time I entered the world in 1921, when I was in my early twenties. e. during the previous five years when I was engaged in my studies]. The changes were negative as well as positive. Certain things and qualities, dominant in the old order in which I was born and brought up, had disappeared or were disappearing.
Furthermore, as a Bengali, I have to record a decline which has a poignant relevance to me. During the same period of political and cultural decline in India I had also to observe the eclipse of Bengal as a force in Indian politics and culture. From the beginning of British rule down to 1920 the Bengali people dominated the political and cultural life of India. How positive their domination in politics was will be realized if I recall the curious idea which the British administrators in India held about the extension of self- government to Indians.
This might help others if they adopted it. I would, however, assure the reader that I have not allowed my knowledge of after events to colour my account. There are in the book historical verdicts made in retrospect. But I have kept them distinct from my description of what I saw, and from the recording of my opinions, forebodings and malaise as they were, retaining their immediate intensity. But whatever there might have been of imprecision or uncertainty in my diagnosis of the historical situation in which I was placed there was none whatever in my prescription for the disease.