1. Félix Fénéon and Jane Austen

    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.

    More: An 1899 review of Feneon’s translation from The Nation, which observes that the translator takes “few liberties” and one from 2009 which begs to differ.