Monday, February 06, 2017


Jean Marcel Bruller (1902 – 1991) was a French writer and illustrator, a Resistance fighter, and a novelist. During WWII, he co-founded Les Éditions de Minuit with Pierre de Lescure and Yvonne Paraf. He wrote under the pen-name of Vercors. He authored THE SILENCE OF THE SEA, which was translated into 17 languages and sold a million copies. He wrote a number of science fiction novels as well, one of them being short-listed for a Hugo Award. (The 1952 novel Les Animaux dénaturés (translated variously into English as You Shall Know Them, Borderline, and The Murder of the Missing Link) was made into the 1970 film Skullduggery (1970) starring Burt Reynolds and Susan Clark, and examines the question of what it means to be human. -- Wikipedia.)

But way before that, in the year after the crash, Covici, Friede, Publishers published the hardback 21 DELIGHTFUL WAYS OF COMMITTING SUICIDE, written and illustrated by Jean Bruller. It's copyright 1930 by Conde Nast.

The book is:

"For the use of persons who are discouraged or disgusted with life for reasons which do not really concern us."

As Corey Ford explains in his intro, "I have suspected for a long time that a lack of exact knowledge on the subject was the cause of much of the bungling and messy attempts at self-destruction which we encounter today; and I hope this little volume, with its graphic illustrations, carefully scientific text, and copious notes, will serve to educate the public in the finer points of the Art."

This tongue-in-cheek "manual" has some great drawings in acid colors by Jean Bruller. Some very dark humor here; macabre humor that was not, and perhaps is not, to everyone's taste. Regardless, here are the 21 ways of doing it as prescribed by Mr. Bruller.

Suicide by Means of Blowing Out the Brains

Suicide by Means of Prolonged Total Immersion

Suicide by Means of Prolonged Partial Immersion

Suicide by Means of Carbon Asphyxiation

Suicide by Means of Other Asphyxiation

Suicide by Means of Hanging

Suicide by Means of Precipitation from an Elevated Site

Suicide by Means of Poison

Suicide by Means of Arterial Section

Suicide by Means of Empalement

Suicide by Means of Applied Pressure

Suicide by Means of Animal Absorption

Suicide by Means of Combustion

Suicide by Means of Explosion

Suicide by Means of Harakiri

Suicide by Means of Hydraulic Excess

Suicide by Means of Rolling

Suicide by Means of Burial Alive

Suicide by Means of Voluntary Contagion

Suicide by Means of a Deficiency of Alimentation

Suicide by Means of Excessive Longevity


Unknown said...

Thanks! I used to have this book 60 years ago and have searched in vain for a copy. Wanted it for my Babar-loving grandchildren.

Unknown said...

Thanks! I had this book 60+years ago and have been searching nfor it without lick for ny Babae-loving grandchildren.