5 October 07 | Chad W. Post

The new issue of the New York Review of Books is out, with a couple of the articles available online, including Luc Sante’s piece on Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines.

The original French title of Félix Fénéon’s book, Nouvelles en trois lignes, can mean either “the news in three lines” or “novellas in three lines.” It was the title under which Fénéon, an art critic among other things, published 1,220 news items in 1906 in the Paris daily newspaper Le Matin.

I can’t imagine how an entire book of these reads, but here are a couple incredible examples:

“To die like Joan of Arc!” cried Terborgh, from the top of a pyre made of his furniture. The firemen of Saint-Ouen stifled his ambition.

Mme Fournier, M. Vouin, M. Septeuil, of Sucy, Tripleval, Septeuil, hanged themselves: neurasthenia, cancer, unemployment.


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