Felix Feneon is a man who lived many lives; even during his own time he was hard to know. A close friend aptly described him as “invisibly famous.” For, indeed, Feneon balanced between living on two distinct poles of French society. One part of his life was spent in the shadows, writing pseudonymous political missives, and possible engaging in terrorist activities. The other part was as a renowned art critic, a model employee in a state bureau, and a famous wit.
“Novels in Three Lines” is a collection of Feneon’s writing that appeared in a French newspaper anonymously. Although the pieces are most obviously notable for their sheer succinctness, there is also a distinct stylistic charm to them that bring out stories and tragedies greater than simple prose ever could. As a collection, this book reminds us of the power of Feneon’s brilliance, especially because it is a genius that didn’t want to be remembered.