Daily Dose Pick: Illustrated Three-Line Novels

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More than a century after this collection of short news items appeared in a French newspaper, Joanna Neborsky’s contemporary illustrations accompany the text in a different kind of graphic novel.

Journalist Félix Fénéon anonymously wrote more than a thousand brief reports for Parisian paper Le Matin, a selection of which have been translated by Luc Sante and republished in Illustrated Three-Line Novels: Félix Fénéon . Bringing new life to the Frenchman’s historic accounts, Neborsky’s artwork elegantly draws on the past for inspiration.

A social critic and possible anarchist, Fénéon wrote condensed pieces about local current events in the years following fin-de-siècle France. His faits divers chronicled odd news, true crime, and unsettling deaths that exposed, critiqued, and reflected modern French society at the time. In 2007, Belgian-American writer Sante translated Fénéon’s contrite correspondence for the New York Review of Books, and soon after, Neborsky began the work of illustrating more than two dozen of the social summaries.

Visit Joanna Neborsky’s website, read more about her work, check out Luc Sante’s original translation of Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines

, and buy a copy of Illustrated Three-Line Novels

.

Click through below for a gallery of images from the book.

“Swimming teacher Renard, whose pupils porpoised in the Marne at Charenton, got into the water himself…” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher

“Portebotte got 12 years in the penitentiary. In Le Havre, he murdered the exuberant nini the Goat, on whom he thought he had claims.” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher

“The harlots of Brest were selling illusions with the additional assistance of opium. At several houses the police seized gum and pipes.” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher

“There were banquets, speeches, toasts.” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher

“She was committed for insanity, the comrade’s death being somewhat notorious.” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher

“…caused his carriage to topple in Ménlimontant, and fractured his skull.” From Illustrated Three-Line Novels : Félix Fénéon by Joanna Neborsky (translated by Luc Sante) Courtesy Mark Batty Publisher