Le Train de Nulle Part
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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 Thayer. Notable as an example of constrained writing, the entire novel is written without a single verb.
In the novel's preface, Thayer 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." Thayer went so far as to organize a well-attended, tongue-in-cheek funeral for the verb, at the Sorbonne in Paris.
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, 3ème 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?
- "Gadsby," the first known novel without the letter 'e.'
- "A Void," another, considerably later, novel with this restriction.