New Works in Translation from Spurl Editions: “My Suicide” by Henri Roorda, trans. Eva Richter

Spurl Editions is an independent American publisher specializing in literature and photography. Founded in 2015, it focuses on dark, eccentric, obscure, or unexpected works, both originally published in English and in translation.

Spurl is pleased to introduce its first literary foray: My Suicide, by Henri Roorda. The author – a Swiss anarchist, math teacher, and columnist – shot himself in 1925, but left behind this essay, which examines his life and philosophy of “joyful pessimism.”

In this baleful, little-known treatise, Henri Roorda presents debt and boredom in a world of capital as “his reasons for going,” and he dissects these motivations with such astuteness that his anatomy of himself and his perceived failures becomes spellbinding. My Suicide is both melancholy and humorous, political and deeply personal – a meditation on unfulfilled desires and the “uselessness of old age.”

Translated from French by Eva Richter, My Suicide appears for the first time in English on November 18, 2015, as a free e-book in PDF and EPUB formats from Spurl Editions. Excerpts recently appeared in Asymptote’s October 2015 issue. For your review, please find a PDF of My Suicide linked HERE.

Every now and then my suicide seems to me a little like a “farce.” Oh! Why is the line that separates trivial things from serious things not better marked? — Henri Roorda

OTHER TITLES

LAX: Photographs of LAX 1980–1984 is currently available from Spurl Editions. These black-and-white images of Los Angeles by John Brian King depict a metropolis that has now vanished. The book was recently featured in KCET’s Artbound, We Heart, AnOther Magazine, Amadeus Magazine, and Interview Magazine(Germany).

In Spring 2016, Spurl Editions will release the hallucinatory novel Monsieur de Bougrelon by Jean Lorrain. Openly gay, Lorrain was addicted to ether, and many of his works revolve around men mired in decadence, vice, and implicit homosexuality. Appearing in English translation for the first time, Monsieur de Bougrelonfollows an eccentric, outmoded dandy as he leads two ennui-filled Frenchmen around misty Amsterdam. Guiding them through sailors’ bars, whorehouses, and costume galleries, Bougrelon recounts grotesque stories of his past and delves into his “heroic friendship” with his aristocratic companion.

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