Three Lines

29 October 2007
Fénéon Three Line Novels

Fénéon Three Line Novels

Last night I got a text:

have you read felix feneon’s ‘Novels in Three Lines’. Fantastic.

Since this message didn’t come from a number stored in my phone I was puzzled. I could see it was a New York number though and my brain was soon spiralling the list of possible senders of this kind of info, who also (a) happen to have my number but (b) whose numbers I don’t have saved. A tricky contemporary problem of sets and subsets – not the first time I’ve stared at my phone thinking ‘who the fuck would send me that’. I was even wondering for a brief moment if this message was some kind of viral spam dreamed up by a weird (or desperate) publishers. Mystery still unsolved I succumbed and texted back to say:

Sounds cool. Who is texting me btw?

(Best to deal with these things head on). To which the reply was:

Graham. New phone.

So that was all solved.

The book – collecting Fénéon‘s sequence of three-line items for the Parisian daily Le Matin in 1906 – does look like a really great catalogue of super-boiled, narrative poetics and I’m looking forward to picking up a copy. It’s translated by Luc Sante too whose Low Life (about historical drink, drugs and other pleasures in Manhattan) is extremely good. Graham (admitting that he had time on his hands) even sent a picture of Novels In Three Lines later. Second time since I started this notebook that someone sent me a picture of a book. Here’s a link to the previous.


This Storm drama, unfolding in the background 24-7, is pretty gripping too.