Novelas en tres líneas
Chris Power, en los blogs de The Guardian, comenta la publicación de Novels in Three Lines, traducción del periodista francés de fines del XIX Félix Fénéon. La historia detrás del libro es interesante: Félix Fénéon, un personaje importantísimo en la Francia intelectual de su tiempo, publicaba estas nouvelles en trois lignes en el periódico Le Matin, pero siempre se negó a publicarlas en un libro. Finalmente, algunos de sus textos se recuperaron y han sido publicados, para entusiasmo, sin duda, del más trascendente entusiasta del microrrelato en el Perú: Ricardo Sumalavia.
Dice la nota: " Fénéon's columns, drawn from the news wires and preponderantly concerned with murder, suicide, theft and injury, were a compound of subtly expressed cruelty, anger, dramatic tension and dry humour. Consider these examples:
"Three is the age of Odette Hautoy, of Roissy. Nevertheless, L Marc, who is 30, did not consider her too young."
"The schoolchildren of Niort were being crowned. The chandelier fell, and the laurels of three among them were spattered with a little blood."
"A dishwasher from Nancy, Vital Frérotte, who had just come back from Lourdes cured forever of tuberculosis, died Sunday by mistake."
In his introduction to their first English language edition, Novels in Three Lines, translator Luc Sante writes that although Fénéon did not invent the form, "he perfected it...gave it dynamism and tensile strength, made it an aggressive modernist vehicle." Sante has been extremely free in translating the title, since nouvelles customarily means news - as it did in Le Matin - and only rarely novellas; never novels. But he's right in suggesting there is a fiction-like richness to these tiny sketches. And he's spot-on with "aggressive": there is a rancour fuelling these pieces that makes reading a book's worth of them both an impressive and demanding experience.