Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roland Topor

100 Good Reasons to Kill Myself Right Now
By Roland Topor
translated by Edward Gauvin

Roland Topor, Piou-Piou, 1974

1) Best way to make sure I'm not dead already.

2) It'll throw off the last census.

3) They're waiting on me down below to start the party.

4) They shoot horses, don't they?

5) I'll rise in the esteem of my peers.

6) I'll no longer dread the millennium.

7) Just like Werther! They won’t call me ill-read anymore.

8) I'd make a fool of my cancer.

9) I'd make a liar of my horoscope.

10) To be my therapist's ruin.

11) To get out of voting.

12) An infallible cure for baldness.

13) To make a fresh start!

14) Death ennobles: knighthood at last!

15) I'd feel less alone.

16) I'd be fêted next All Saints' Day.

17) The cost of living rises, but death remains affordable.

18) Good way to find your roots.

19) Finally, a martial arts move I can manage.

20) To be green and fertilize the lawn.

21) To mark the day with a white stone.

22) Others could put my organs to better use.

23) To make way for youth.

24) At last, a starring role!

25) To take advantage of the exhibitionism inherent in dissection tables.

Roland Topor, Rebonjour

26) To taste the subtle delights of reincarnation.

27) The nightmare of leap years, over at last!

28) To give my body of work a moral dimension.

29) To make people think I'm honorable.

30) To turn this list into a last will and testament.

31) I'll become a citizen of the world.

32) Euthanasia wasn't made for dogs.

33) I'll have the last word.

34) 67% of French people support the death penalty.

35) 'Cause it's a good way to quit smoking.

36) To simplify my duality: I'll see things more clearly with only one of me left.

37) A deliverance less laborious than a delivery.

38) There's nothing left to do.

39) I don't want to aggravate my lack of social security.

40) To kill a Jew, like everyone else.

41) To join the silent majority. The real one.

42) To leave behind a widow simply bursting with youth.

43) I can't live in worry now that my deodorant's stopped working.

44) To dodge the general draft.

45) To preserve the mystery surrounding me.

46) To prove the neutron bomb can't hurt me.

47) To lose weight without a diet, or even lifting a finger!

48) I insist on complying with the federal plan for staggered vacations.

49) I'm trying to spare someone else the unfortunate consequences of an assassination.

50) To save energy, coffee, and sugar.

Roland Topor, Two Musicians of Death

51) So I won't be ashamed to look in the mirror anymore.

52) What if I'm immortal? Might as well find out as soon as possible.

53) One less mouth to feed.

54) To prove to EVERYONE that I'm no coward.

55) To count how many people cry at my funeral.

56) To see, from the other side, if I've made it over.

57) Instead of tearing my gray hairs out one by one, might as well tear my head off all at once.

58) With a revolver: to be noisy after 10pm.

59) With gas: to savor the charms of that last cigarette.

60) By hanging: to turn an ordinary rope into a delightful good luck charm.

61) Under a train: to extend other people's vacations.

62) With barbiturates: think I’ll sleep in tomorrow morning.

63) By electrocution: to shake things up a little.

64) By defenestration: to escape my fear of elevators.

65) I've heard death is an easy lay. I'm gonna have me some good times.

66) If I put my subscriptions on hold, I won’t miss a thing.

67) To be good with (tiny) animals.

68) To die the same year as Elvis.

69) To skip out on taxes.

70) To skip out on rent.

71) To stop snoring.

72) To come back in the wee hours and tug on my enemies' feet.

73) To keep from ripping myself off as I get older, like de Chirico.

74) Because I'm an endangered species and no one is protecting me.

75) Because I've prepared a choice phrase for the final moment, and if I wait too long I'll forget it.

Roland Topor, Rebonjour

76) To sever my umbilical cord once and for all.

77) To be the founder of a new style: Dead Art.

78) To watch the movie of my life at a very exclusive screening.

79) To see if there are any virgins left on the other side.

80) So they'll deck me out when they lay me out.

81) Because I can't wait to use the amusing epitaph I made up: GOOD RIDDANCE.

82) To see if paralytics will be healed on my tomb.

83) So the twentieth century will finally contain an important event.

84) To feast on the exquisite blood of young women, once I'm a vampire.

85) Because I've always wanted to speak a dead tongue.

86) So I can, quite strikingly, inform everyone of my position on suicide.

87) Because Paris just isn't what it used to be.

88) Because Groucho Marx is dead.

89) Because I've read all the adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

90) Because weather forecasts let me down.

91) So others will follow my example.

92) To start a revolution.

93) To prove my skill, if I don't miss.

94) For a change of friends.

95) For a change of scene.

96) To be above the law.

97) Because a well-done suicide is worth more than an average lay.

98) So I won't die at a hospital.

99) So my blood will make a nice stain on a canvas.

100) Because I've got 1,000 good reasons to hate myself.

Edward Gauvin is the translator of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper: Stories. In the coming weeks I'll also be featuring some of Gauvin's articles on the Belgian School of the Strange (appearing now at Small Beer Press's Not a Journal).

Images from the German catalog Topor: Tod und Teufel and Topor, Le dictionnaire. The "Rebonjour" images can also be found in a gigantic (11 x 17) French publication. The publisher (United Dead Artists) also recently did a Charles Burns catalog.