Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Félix Fénéon's "Novels in Three Lines", via Twitter
August 17, 2008 8:26 PM   Subscribe

There's the emergent practice of the posthumous diary blog (e.g. Mr. Pepys) and there's the recent adaptation of Hamlet as a Facebook feed.

Now comes Twitter, which is spooling out Félix Fénéon's "Novels in Three Lines" at some irregular clip. Translated by Luc Sante, described as narratives compressed into a single frame, these 3-line news items from Le Matin 'are the poems & novels Fénéon never otherwise wrote.'
posted by cloudscratcher (24 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Novels In Three Lines is probably my favourite book of the last few years. Other than that, I have nothing useful to contribute to this discussion.
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:38 PM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


A few details in the matter of Mr Fénéon
posted by Wolof at 8:41 PM on August 17, 2008


Sorry, no matter how hard you try, Twitter will still be an essentially useless medium for broadcasting meaningful statements. It's a bumper sticker communication system.
posted by shii at 8:44 PM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thomas Cook blogs.
posted by djgh at 8:53 PM on August 17, 2008


An excellent biography of the aforementioned M Fénéon
posted by Wolof at 8:53 PM on August 17, 2008


The Hamlet-as-Facebook-feed joke would have worked much better if it hadn't been in plaintext. Take HySpace -- while not nearly as subtle or universal as the McSweeney's feature, is (I think) stronger overall for working within a convincing Myspace-y layout. Simply being told that it's a Facebook feed doesn't help.
posted by lumensimus at 9:01 PM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


His translator provides us with yet more upon the estimable Fénéon
posted by Wolof at 9:21 PM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Nouvelles" doesn't mean "novels," goddamnit. It means "news."
posted by nasreddin at 10:21 PM on August 17, 2008


(or short stories, apparently. I guess I'm an idiot.)
posted by nasreddin at 10:22 PM on August 17, 2008


It really does mean "news", nasreddin. I take the English translation as a deliberate license.
posted by dhartung at 10:42 PM on August 17, 2008


I'm hoping other people hop on this idea and start Twittering Catcher in the Rye.
Got expelled. Oh well. Gonna hang around Manhattan. Football sucks LOL
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:55 PM on August 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


There is a guy doing Moby Dick as twitter-feed, a paragraph an hour during the day. I gave up after the first couple days though, I wanted more faster than it could be supplied.
posted by pupdog at 11:49 PM on August 17, 2008


I love Feneon's little crafted faits divers. I bought the book a while back.

But I have no love for this Twitter interface. In this case, it adds nothing. If you want to see more, there's a longer excerpt in this NPR piece. Or, buy the book.
posted by vacapinta at 4:49 AM on August 18, 2008


The Orwell Diaries...
posted by jim in austin at 5:06 AM on August 18, 2008


Along the same lines as the Pepys project is The Orwell Diaries: entries from George Orwell's journal, posted exactly 70 years after he wrote them. It just started, so don't feel like you have to catch up.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:19 AM on August 18, 2008


I think it's a great idea and will bring this work (if it keeps up) to people who would otherwise never have read it.
posted by blucevalo at 5:29 AM on August 18, 2008


david markson might work well in this format.
posted by not sure this is a good idea at 6:16 AM on August 18, 2008


There is a guy doing Moby Dick as twitter-feed, a paragraph an hour during the day. I gave up after the first couple days though, I wanted more faster than it could be supplied.

It's my brother Dan.
posted by EarBucket at 6:22 AM on August 18, 2008


Great book. I don't use twitter but it seems like it, or an RSS feed, would be a perfect way to take it in. Still, NYRB is my favorite publishing house so I hope many choose to buy it. The introduction by Luc Sante adds value to the book but even that is available by web (Wolof's 12:21 link).

There isn't a drop of sympathy in these, nothing held sacred. It's all played for a laugh. Excellent example of how a work can be disturbing without being graphic and crass. He knows it isn't news as information, but as entertainment, and plays it up accordingly.

My favorite:

On the bowling lawn a stroke leveled M. André, 75, of Levallois. While his ball was still rolling he was no more.
posted by BigSky at 11:15 AM on August 18, 2008


The Hamlet-as-Facebook-feed joke would have worked much better if it hadn't been in plaintext.

Like this?
posted by bibliowench at 4:08 PM on August 18, 2008


Bibliowench, you are a champion. That's perfect :)
posted by lumensimus at 7:50 PM on August 18, 2008


It's not mine, but I'll take the "champion" as a finder's fee.
posted by bibliowench at 8:49 PM on August 18, 2008


As it was intended!
posted by lumensimus at 9:58 PM on August 18, 2008


Although the timeline is entirely backwards. ...Unless I remember the play backwards. Either works!
posted by lumensimus at 10:05 PM on August 18, 2008


« Older African Kings, by Daniel Lainé...  |  Whether you're fleeing tropica... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments