Dandy, anarchist, master of le mot juste, and critic of genius, Félix Fénéon published short news stories in Parisian paper Le Matin in 1906. He called them Nouvelles en trois lignes which can be translated as either "News in three lines" or "Novellas in three lines." These faits-divers were a popular genre of the period, but no one produced them with quite the poetic verve, concision, irony, humour and depth of Fénéon. I've been reading a lot of them lately--they have a haiku-like quality, but they are also emphatically journalistic, immediate and singular. Here are a few mof my recent favourites:
"If my candidate loses, I will kill myself," M. Bellavoie, of Fresquienne, Seine-Inférieure, had declared. He killed himself.
A certain madwoman arrested downtown falsely claimed to be nurse Elise Bachmann. The latter is perfectly sane.
In a café on Rue Fontaine, Vautour, Lenoir and Atanis exchanged a few bullets regarding their wives, who were not present.
The May Day celebration in Lorient was noisy, but not a hint of violence gave the slightest cause for police intervention.
Strikers in Ronchamp, Haute-Saône, threw in a river a worker who insisted on continuing his labour.
Both hit, she by a streetcar, he by an automobile, Marie Chevallier, 10, of Le Mans, and Le Franc, 3, of Vannes, are dead.
Sailor Renaud carried out a suicide pact with his mistress, in Toulon. Their last request: a coffin for two, or at least a double grave.
Because of his fidgeting, police in Brest decided séances held by the bard Artigues, a candidate, were not campaign-related. Summons and fine.
Again and again Mme Couderc, of Saint-Ouen, was prevented from hanging herself from her window bolt. Exasperated, she fled across the fields.
Any babblers like to try their hand at one of these?