Feuilleton  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Feuilleton (a diminutive of French feuillet, the leaf of a book) was originally a kind of supplement attached to the political portion of French newspapers. Its inventors were Julien Louis Geoffroy and Bertin the Elder, editors of the Journal des Débats. It was not usually printed on a separate sheet, but merely separated from the political part of the newspaper by a line, and printed in smaller type. In French newspapers it consisted chiefly of non-political news and gossip, literature and art criticism, a chronicle of the fashions, and epigrams, charades and other literary trifles.

Besides France, Russia in particular cultivated the feuilleton in the 19th century. The feuilleton in its French sense was never adopted by English newspapers, though the sort of matter represented by it eventually came to be included. But the term itself entered English use to indicate the installment of a serial story printed in one part of a newspaper. However the French form is quite popular in Continental Europe. For example the most famous Czech authors are Jan Neruda, Karel Čapek and Ludvík Vaculík.

In the novel The Glass Bead Game, by Nobel Prize winning novelist Hermann Hesse, the current era is characterised and described as The Age of the Feuilleton.

Contents

History

A supplement called “Feuilleton” appeared for the first time of 28 January 1800 in the Journal des Debats magazine. The word “feuilleton” meant “a leaf”, or, in this sense, “a scrap of paper”. Soon the supplement became the regular column devoted to entertainment and cultural issues. It is important to note that the English term “column” means both a part of a paper and the kind of press genre.

The original feuilletons were not usually printed on a separate sheet, but merely separated from the political part of the newspaper by a line, and printed in smaller type. The slot was therefore nicknamed, throughout the 19th century in France, as the "ground floor".

In 1836 the Paris newspaper La Presse first began to circulate a separate sheet from the paper entitled "Feuilleton" in which cultural items were included. This French development of the idea was then subsequently taken up by the Director of Die Presse of Vienna and the "Feuilleton" soon became commonly used in several other newspapers in Vienna.

At the turn of 19th and 20th century the traditional connection between the name “feuilleton” and the specific place in the magazine became weaker. From that point the term “feuilleton” has been associated only with the textual properties of the publication.

The changes in the functioning of the term “feuilleton” did not have much influence on the traditional features of the genre. Newspapers, for their part, have preserved its cyclical nature and the mark of it is the publication of a series of articles always in the same part of a magazine with additional use of different ways of signaling its cyclical nature (e.g., permanent vignettes, titles of columns, established forms of typesetting, etc.).

Prominent exterior features are an additional way for readers to identify the feuilleton as a particular genre, even when its structural features seem to be insufficient to defining it as such.

The radio equivalent of a feuilleton is a fixed position of a slot in the time layout of the transmitted programme and the use of different kinds of conventionalized signals, like the author’s own voice, the same title of a slot, etc.

The French form remains quite popular in Continental Europe, as witness the works of many popular Czech authors, such as Jan Neruda, Karel Čapek and Ludvík Vaculík.

Besides France, Russia in particular cultivated the feuilleton genre since the 19th century, and the word фельетон Template:IPA-ru acquired the general meaning of satirical piece in the Russian language.

In Polish press terminology the term feuilleton (Polish: felieton) meant a regular, permanent column in a magazine where episodes of novels, serial press publications (e.g. "Chronicles" by Boleslaw Prus in “Kurier Poznański”) and other items on entertainment and cultural issues were published.

Such a definition and use of a column still function in German and French press terminology.

Feuilleton style

The Feuilleton is a writing genre that allows for much journalistic freedom as far as its content, composition and style are concerned; the text is hybrid which means that it makes use of different genre structures, both journalistic and literary. The characteristic of a column is also the lack of the group of fixed features in strong structural relation.

Thematic domain of a Feuilleton column tends to be always up-to-date, focusing specifically on cultural, social and moral issues. An accented and active role by the columnist as the subject of the narration is also very important characteristic of this genre. The tone of its writing is usually reflexive, humorous, ironic and above all very subjective in drawing conclusions, assessments and comments on a particular subject.

Unlike other common journalistic genres, the feuilleton such is very close to literary. Its characteristic feature is lightness and wit evidenced by wordplay, parody, paradox and humorous hyperboles. The vocabulary is usually not neutral, and strongly emotionally loaded words and phrases prevail.

Reference in Other Works

Feuilletonism as a critical concept

In Hesse's novel, viewed retrospectively from a future scholarly society (Castalia) this age, so called, is generally but not simply portrayed as having an overweening, trivializing, or obfuscating character associated with the arbitrary and primitive nature of social production prior to the historical denouement which resulted in the creation of Castalia.

The bourgeois Feuilleton of the Belle Epoque, particularly France of the Dreyfus Affair period, and those of Fascist Germany, characteristic of the genre, served to effect Kulturpolitik and above all to establish norms, tastes, and form effective social identity, in particular expressing a underlying antisemitism. Glasperlenspiel was written during WWII and Hesse would have been reacting in part to these real historical developments.

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  • Feuilleton op.293, is a waltz by Johann Strauss II. It was composed for the third annual dance of the association of authors and journalists of Vienna , which took place in Sofienbad-Saal on January 24, 1865.


See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Feuilleton" 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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