This article examines the urban fiction of Jeanne Marni’s 1898 Fiacres, a collection of twenty-five stories that first appeared in the daily newspaper Le Temps. The stories are presented in the form of dialogues transcribed by an invisible spectator from within the horse drawn carriages for hire, the fiacres, the fin de siècle taxi cabs. Training her eye on and lending her ear to Belle Époque Paris, Marni registers the conversations of Parisians as they move about the city. In these feminocentric, and by turns humorous or ironic texts, Marni hones an “urban comic” that merges two nineteenth-century figures: the “invisible” flâneuse and the “inaudible” rieuse, or funny woman. Focusing on the intersection of the representation of urban experience and the humorous in Fiacres, this article situates Marni’s sound bites within a genealogy of women writers and the city that looks back to Delphine Gay de Girardin’s witty chronicles of July Monarchy Paris, the “Courrier de Paris” (1836–1848), and ahead to Annie Ernaux’s ironic journal of urban selfhood in transit, Journal du dehors (1993).

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