Murder, Suicide and Revenge: Past, Present and Future

Félix Fénéon’s tragic and unfortunate stories, although short in format, pack a punch when it comes to related events. Suicide, revenge, murder and other misfortunate and tragic topics are overriding motifs throughout the majority of Fénéon’s work. These pieces of work have been translated and posted to Twitter via Luc Sante.

Paul Signac’s portrait of Fénéon located in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1890)

Suicide has always been a touchy and taboo subject in society, but Fénéon’s work makes light of the subject. The writings are only a few sentences long, so there is little room to explain the facts of the situations. The bluntness of the writings play down and soften the delicate topic.

Revenge is always a topic in literature that involves a long-winded lead up to the actual event. Fénéon’s 3 line style hinders that lead up substantially, and forces a quick retribution within the story. This shows how brilliant, yet simple Fénéon’s writing style is, when it comes to conciseness.

Murder is, and always has been a prominent topic in literature. From murder mystery stories to crime television shows, it is hard not to come into contact with it in some form or another. Fénéon and his bite-sized stories are another example of how timeless murder in literature is. There will always be interest in murder, no matter where or when it takes place.

Félix Fénéon and his “Novels in 3 lines” deal with topics considered both taboo and prominent in cultures both past and present. The blunt stories and motifs surrounding them are accentuated using the short format in the original publishing in Le Matin, which was translated and re-published on Twitter.

Fénéon, Félix. “Novels in 3 Lines.” Twitter, 30 August – 8 November, 2010, Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
Signac, Paul. “Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890.” 1890, Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.



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