Why is it so great? I came across this stunning line (yes, it’s more than one sentence) in a piece in a literary journalism journal about the novelist Colette’s outings as a journalist covering “crime of the century”-type trials. Who knew? But she reveals the perception and imagination that fueled her fiction here, putting herself in the mind of an infamous sociopath. The sentence that follows is almost as chilling:  “We remain stunned in front of the tranquil and gentle murderer, who keeps a diary of his victims and rested, perhaps, while at work, with his elbow on the window and feeding the birds some bread.”

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