Le Train de Nulle Part  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Le Train de Nulle Part (The Train from Nowhere) is a 233-page French novel, written in 2004 by a French doctor of letters, Michel Dansel, under the pen name Michel Thaler. Notable as an example of constrained writing, the entire novel is written without a single verb.

In the novel's preface, Thaler called the verb an "invader, dictator, usurper of our literature". Considering the novel a step towards literature comparable with the artistic impact of Dadaism and surrealism, Thaler surmised, "The verb is like a weed in a field of flowers. You have to get rid of it to allow the flowers to grow and flourish. Take away the verbs and the language speaks for itself." Thaler went so far as to organize a well-attended, tongue-in-cheek funeral for the verb, at the Sorbonne in Paris.

Sample

Quelle aubaine ! Une place de libre, ou presque, dans ce compartiment. Une escale provisoire, pourquoi pas ! Donc, ma nouvelle adresse dans ce train de nulle part : voiture 12, 3√®me compartiment dans le sens de la marche. Encore une fois, pourquoi pas ?

What luck! A vacant seat, almost, in that train. A provisional stop, why not? So, my new address in this nowhere train: car 12, 3rd compartment, from the front. Once again, why not?

See also

  • A Void, a novel without the letter 'e'.
  • Gadsby, a novel without the letter 'e'.






Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Le Train de Nulle Part" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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