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[Comments] (3) Found Fiction: Sometimes the new Project Gutenberg texts that show up in my RSS feed are really interesting, but usually they're boring sentimenal novels of the nineteenth century. However even boring sentimental novels can provide entertainment value via their lists of illustrations at the front of the book. When each illustration is captioned with a corresponding line from the book, you can read the captions as a sort of derivative work created at semi-random out of sentences from the book. It often makes for intriguing literature.

For instance, The Day of Days we get this little denoument:

"What I want to say is—will you be my guest at the theatre tonight?"

"You are the one woman in a thousand who knows enough to look before she shoots!"

Facing her, he lifted his scarlet visor.

He was Red November.

And in Little Eve Edgarton this madcap comic gem:

"Music! Flowers! Palms! Catering! Everything!"

"I am riding," she murmured almost inaudibly

"I would therefore respectfully suggest as a special topic of conversation the consummate cheek of—yours truly, Paul Reymouth Edgarton!"

"Your paper-doll book?" stammered Barton

"Don't delay me!" she said, "I've got to make four hundred muffins!"

Suddenly full comprehension broke upon him and he fairly blurted out his astonishing information

"You're nice," he said. "I like you!"

"Any time that you people want me," suggested Edgarton's icy voice, "I am standing here—in about the middle of the floor!"

Man, four hundred muffins. Almost makes me want to read the book. Actually I just skimmed it and that one's not too bad.

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Posted by Kristofer Straub at Tue May 24 2005 18:28

Man, the first one is so profound. I love it. I was obsessed with the idea of microfiction for a while, and still am, but I can't actually come up with any good ones, I only know it when I read it. It's like a painting.

Posted by rachel at Tue May 24 2005 20:27


Posted by Alyson at Wed May 25 2005 14:25



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