Feuilleton Prébende #2

Antoine Dufeu
21.04.01 → 21.05.31

Antoine Dufeu has been an associated author at Cneai since November 2020. In the “FEUILLETON” section of the cneai = newsletter, he invites you to read texts in progress and unpublished texts. “Prébende” is the title of a book currently being written, mentioned here opportunistically.

A. The Major

An excerpt from Adventures (in progress).

Upon crossing the United States of America border, a country that has spent hundreds of billions of dollars over decades in conflicts far removed from its territory, you will say that you “are visiting your friend Jonah” for a short vacation unless asked for a specific reason for your stay there. Vacations are never long enough, especially for those in power; yours, which – we know perfectly well – will only implicitly last about a week, at least for the diffuse authorities of the country where you’ll be a guest. When the border guard questions you, you will not tremble; you will refrain from unnecessary or inappropriate comments and simply respond as calmly, precisely, and plainly as possible. You will not dwell on what you know about the prison boom affecting the United States, a country that has embraced privatizing justice and imprisonment more than any other, where one in thirty citizens is either incarcerated in a federal or state prison or detained in a local jail awaiting trial or on parole. Nor will you think about the thousands of poultry workers deprived of breaks and thus forced to urinate and defecate in diapers during their working hours. In those moments, even though I will be a respectable distance away from you and, as for me, on the other side of the border, slightly late according to the schedule I set that day since waking up, negotiating the taxi fare in English and a little Spanish with a driver to get me near your arrival point, I will be your bodyguard. Our destinies will be intertwined, and our futures intimately connected.

“I will wait for you at ‘JFK,’” I wrote you a few days earlier in an email. The flight of the plane that brought you from one continent to another in about seven hours – from Europe to North America, to be exact – although it seems to have gone well, had a slight delay upon landing, the reasons for which I currently ignore. I find it rather welcome since I almost ran late myself to greet you, risking not making our set rendezvous. I watch the exits while keeping an eye on my phone and then spot you. I send you a wink through the sparse crowd, and you return a smile without detaching yourself, an air I would gladly qualify as determined if I didn’t know that you’re relatively nervous, having arrived in the United States for the first time in about fifteen years. Traveling light, something – trust me – I’ll soon congratulate you on, there’s no need for you to set down any baggage for us to embrace right away. Subsequently, I offer you a small PET plastic bottle. Drinking the fresh water it contains should quench your thirst and refresh you after, I noticed, this long journey. We leave the terminal: I have a hunch that next time, in a few weeks at most, I will welcome you again right here, except I’ll have a rental car and will drive us out of New York, perhaps to a fancy village in the Hudson Valley. For now, I suggest we take a taxi to the apartment I live in, where you will spend just one night before we leave together the next day for Atlanta.

B. The Minor

An excerpt from Les Fions (unpublished, 2019)
On the ChâteauGAI site

which is a chain of castles,

houses, and mansions,

in France and abroad,

hosting seminars

and business meetings

for companies,

they proudly boast

about “a customer satisfaction

and loyalty rate

close to 100%”;

they brag about providing

a “magical experience”

all year long.

In the same place,

Marie and Romain are presented

as a couple

that one would imagine having children.

However, in the city,

Marie and Romain are not

husband and wife,

and it’s only for the sake of the cause

that they seem to form a complementary

and reassuring duo,

kind and happy,

of sound mind and good physical health.

Five poems from Autocudi Replica (unpublished, 2020)


In Formula 1

crashed cars

are removed

by sorts

of tractors.



its name





Toto Wolff, on behalf of Mercedes F1,

renewed Valtteri Bottas’s contract

for a year.

He declares on this occasion:

“Valtteri is a simple and hardworking guy

who maintains good relationships with the entire team […]”

Christie Malry, meanwhile,

“is a simple man,”

at least in French.



one day

I won

the 500 Miles

of Indianapolis.


let’s watch

the replay.


Autocudi is not a town

in Italy.

Autocudi is not an island

in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Autocudi is an Aeolian island.