Translated from French by Eva Richter

45 pages, free e-book in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI (Kindle) formats

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Henri Roorda – 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.”

For a long time I have promised myself that I would write a small book called Joyful Pessimism. This title pleases me. I like the sound it makes and it decently expresses what I would like to say.

“But I believe I have waited too long: I have aged, and there will probably be more pessimism than joy in my book. Our heart is not a perfect thermos that conserves the ardor of our youth until the end, without losing anything.
— Henri Roorda