Ever wonder what art critic, anarchist, and feuilletonist Félix Fénéon was getting up to while he was in prison under suspicion of having been involved in a terrorist bombing? Well, as it turns out, he was busy translating Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey into French. Some thoughts from Ellen and Jim Have a Blog:
…we owe the existence of what is arguably the best translation of Austen into French [to the belief at the time that Austen was] utterly oblivious to anything political [and] that it was safe to allow someone who people inclined to terminology would call a terrorist to read and translate her. Felix Feneon translated Northanger Abbey into delightful witty and deeply felt French while he was in prison for the crime of blowing a Paris restaurant up with a bomb where a number of people were either killed or seriously maimed. A friend bought him a good dictionary and he was allowed to work undisturbed though.