"On the bowling lawn a stroke leveled M. André, 75, of Levallois. While his ball was still rolling he was no more."


Via the publishing blog Galley Cat, I just learned that one intrepid Twitter user is slowly releasing the magnificent mini-journalism of Félix Fénéon (1861-1944), a French anarchist and literary dandy who spent part of 1906 writing thousands of anonymous three line news reports for the mass-circulation daily Le Matin. As Luc Sante notes in his introduction to Novels in Three Lines, the collection of Fénéon miniatures he recently translated (and which the Twitter account is using), "They cover the same subjects as the rest of the paper—crime, politics, ceremony, catastrophe—but their individual narratives are compressed into a single frame, like photographs." A few samples to enjoy from Sante's translation:

A dishwasher from Nancy, Vital Frérotte, who had just come back from Lourdes cured forever of tuberculosis, died Sunday by mistake.

There was a gas explosion at the home of Larrieux, in Bordeaux. He was injured. His mother-in-law's hair caught on fire. The ceiling caved in.

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

Arrested in Saint-Germain for petty theft, Joël Guilbert drank sublimate. He was detoxified, but died yesterday of delirium tremens.

At five o'clock in the morning, M.P. Bouget was accosted by two men on Rue Fondary. One put out his right eye, the other his left. In Necker.

Twitter here.