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louis mayeux
A journalist, poet and all-around handyman in the literary trades, I've been publishing the Bookman for a decade.
Interests: sports, theater, poetry, fiction, journalism, piano, music, writing, movies. My favorite poets include Robert Lowell, John Keats, William Matthews, Turner Cassity. Favorite writers are F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, William Shakespeare, William Styron.
Recent Activity
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Louisa May Alcott's 150-year-old novel "Little Women" is receiving a new burst of attention. An excerpt from New Orleans University English professor Anne Boyd Rioux's new book, "Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters," appears on Friday's LiteraryHub. Rioux's book receives a major review/essay in the current issue of Atlantic Monthly. Magazine writer Sophie Gilbert points to Alcott's subversive elements and her innovations in literary technique. Alcott based her work on her childhood growing up in an eccentric home in Concord, Mass. She and her three sisters were the daughters of Branson Alcott,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Southern Bookman
August drifts along, headed toward an autumn of hope or despair. Waiting for the Manafort trial verdict, I saw the news shouted everywhere of Aretha Franklin's death. Another beautiful person gone in the ugly age of Trump. My heart soars whenever an Aretha song plays on my '60s satellite radio channel. She was a one-person choir of angels. Here in Atlanta, the kids are back in school, too soon. At dawn, a yellow school bus passing by lifts my spirits. Trump revokes Brennan's seccurity clearance because of "erratic conduct and behavior." Conduct and behavior! The big orange fool accuses Brennan... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Southern Bookman
The cost of corporate welfare keeps rising. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is cooking up a $900 million public financing deal for the $3.5 billion redevelopment of downtown Atlanta's dismal railroad gulch, according to the AJC's Scott Trubey. The public cost could reach $1.75 billion, Trubey reported. Bottoms had trouble paying her taxes, as disclosed during the mayor's race. But she can tabulate a 10-figure deal for wealthy California developer Richard Ressler. Arthur Blank's Mercedes-Benz stadium nearby cost state taxpayers $700 million, while Cobb County gave the Braves $392 million for Suntrust Park and the Battery entertainment/apartment/retail complex. Ressler, the... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Southern Bookman
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Novelist, poet and literary theorist Robert Penn Warren and his wife, the writer Eleanor Clark, shared a wonderful life of writing, family, travel and simple rural pleasures. Proud of his Southern heritage although raised in the border state of Kentucky, Warren contributed to the New Agrarian manifesto "I'll Take My Stand," then moved away from the group's intense regional conservatism, or, as their critics claimed, reactionary Confederate romanticism. In contrast, Clark was proud of her Connecticut Yankee heritage. Part of the radical leftist Partisan Review crowd in her youth, Clark also grew away from her early solipistic theories. While they... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Southern Bookman
Emory professor Carol Anderson in a New York Times opinion piece Sunday exposed point by point Georgia Secretary of State and GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp's campaign to suppress minority voting. The alarming article likely won't ever appear in Anderson's hometown paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, fearful of upsetting conservative readers. Instead, the AJC runs bland boilerplate pieces on its denuded Sunday editorial page. Anderson's article hints at Russian involvement in hacking Georgia voting machines in the recent presidential election, and a special congressional election. Kemp ignored warnings of hacking, Anderson indicates. She also brings up the destruction of state voting... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Southern Bookman
Roger Miller's songs and recordings gain luster as the years roll by. His easy-listening compositions, several of them "novelty" numbers, were underestimated when he arrived in the era of Bob Dylan, Lennon and McCartney and others. In retrospect, songs like "Dang Me," "Chug-A-Lug," and "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" stand as American classics. His witty lyrics and winsome singing give them the depth and texture of the best story-telling. Serious works like "England Swings" register with movie-like imagery. "King of the Road" is one of the great songs. Texas Monthly writer Christian Wallace in a warm review... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The PGA championship, golf's most under-appreciated major, is under way again. The 100th PGA is being held at St. Louis' Bellerive, an obscure course where a couple of majors have taken place.As usual, stories about Tiger Woods and his chances to win another major dominate the golf media. While golf writers disparage the PGA, I've always had a fondness for it. Begun in 1916, the PGA in its early years was dominated by Walter Hagen, golf's first great professional, little remembered today. While Hagen's not given credit for a career grand slam, he should be: He played in just one... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Baseball excitement is back, thanks to a new generation of Atlanta Braves. From the start of the season, the Braves have battled for first place in the National League's Eastern Division against the similarly resurgent Philaelphia Phils, as old villains the Nationals and Mets have fallen away. The Nationals have revived their chances recently, and are playing the Braves in a crucial series that gives a postseason flair to August baseball. The splendid first baseman Freddie Freeman is the only remnant from the last Braves playoffs team, dismembered for a long and tedious rebuilding. The renovation project is paying off... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Nathaniel Rich's history of how the country failed to stop climate change back in the late 1980s took up the entire issue of the New York Times magazine last Sunday. Now someone like Rich needs to do such an extensive examination of what humanity can do now to save the planet. As wildfires consume large areas of California - the Mendocino Complex blaze is the largest ever - a distinguished scientific organization has warned that the world might already be on the path to doom from irreversible global warming. In a Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists report, 16... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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Decatur's Agnes Scott College upset haughty Prinecton in the 1966 GE College Bowl, a small yet significant cultural moment. Writer Lynn Q. Yu in a revealing article on the Slate web site looks back at the quiet all-girl school's come-from-behind victory over the Ivy League powerhouse on the intellectually rigorous TV quiz show. Comparing the College Bowl to today's "Jeopardy" reveals how the nation's educational standards have declined. A year removed from Princeton's appearance in the NCAA basketball Final Four, led by Bill Bradley, the Tigers held the lead until the final seconds, when the Scotties snatched the win with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Nathan Heller's "Private Dreams and Public Ideals in San Francisco" in the current New Yorker matches family history to the city's decline as a center of diversity and free expression. Heller, who grew up in the beautiful city by the bay, looks at the lives of his grandparents, free-thinking progressives on one side and Reaganite Filipino immigrants on the other and how they intersected with the city's turn from liberal ideals to corporate uniformity. Avoiding academic-technical speak, Heller with elliptical lyricism traces the city's shift to tribal exclusivity. Along with the stories of his grandparents and his interactions with them... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Facebook has drawn heavy fire recently, but the graying social media site is gaining traction as a news vehicle. College football reporter Brett McMurphy on Wednesday published a bombshell article on his Facebook page indicating that Ohio State coaching legend Urban Meyer knew of domestic abuse charges against former assistant Zach Smith. The national uproar over McMurphy's article led to Ohio State placing Meyer on administrative leave. McMurphy reported that Courtney Smith, Zach Smith's estranged wife, had told Meyer's wife about the domestic abuse. Meyer recently fired Smith when the allegations first surfaced. Shelley Meyer, known as a confidant to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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Stacey Abrams is looking to make history as the first black woman elected as governor in the United States, but she's already appeared on Time magazine's cover. The Georgia Democratic leader's portrait on the news magazine's front and a profile by political writer Molly Ball are the most prominent pieces of a flurry of national attention given Abrams' gubernatorial campaign recently. The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times have also weighed in on Abrams' race against Trump-endorsed Republican Brian Kemp, whose hard-right positions glaringly contrast with Abrams' progressive ideas. Ball gives an engaging... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2018 at Southern Bookman
The old robber barons funded libraries, museums, foundations and universities. Today's wealthy look more like Scrooge McDuck than Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt. Outside of socially conscious ball players like LeBron James, today's wealthy want more money, money, money. The Trump administration, packed with idiot billionaires, stands ready to help its wealthy pals and their children, while taking kids away from poor refugees seeking asylum at the border. Steven Mnuchin, Trump's treasury secretary, told The New York Times he wants to give the top 1 percent wealthiest Americans a $100 billion tax... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2018 at Southern Bookman
I first saw Chipper Jones in the old Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium clubhouse when he was a fresh-faced kid out of red-neck Florida. He was an endearing youngster, with a mix of courtesy and cockiness that said he would be a star. Like a young Elvis, he walked toward me, and answered questions with "yes sir," and "no sir," followed by an incandescent grin. Then he tore up his knee, a career killer for many. Larry "Chipper" Jones came back. As a rookie, he was the extra jolt of power the Braves needed to take their only World Championship in their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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Lauren Goff, whose novels and stories portray Florida as a post-apocalyptic world of environmental horror, suffers chronic insomnia worrying about climate change and her children's future. Goff, in a New York Times essay Friday, says that she often soothes her jangled nerves by reading Elizabeth Hardwick's aptly named "Sleepless Nights." The novel, one of those books more discussed than read, is an autobiographical account of Hardwick's journey from rural Kentucky to the New York intellectual world of the 1950s and 1960s. Hardwick's reputation lies mainly with her literary essays, although admirers like Groff champion her fiction. Hardwick deserved a special... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2018 at Southern Bookman
While Atlanta has experienced a relatively mild summer, if frequent 90-degree-plus highs can be considered moderate, temperatures have soared to unprecedented extremes across the world. Wildfires rage from Greece to Yosemite. Even the Arctic withstands temperatures in the 90s. Sweden suffers through an alarming heat wave, as India cities grow inhabitable. A city in Oman hit 122 degrees. As New York magazine environmental writer David Wallace-Wells points out, as climate change doom appears more and more real, the media treat the reports as old news and the public yawns. While the wildfires and high temperatures have been covered, they receive... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2018 at Southern Bookman
I thought Stacey Abrams would have a better chance of beating Brian Kemp than Casey Cagle in the Georgia governor's election. After Kemp's stunning landslide win over the hapless lieutenant governor in the GOP primary runoff, I'm not so sure. The Georgia secretary of state received 69 percent of the vote to oust Cagle. Kemp's 406,638 votes were close to what incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal gathered in his GOP primary victory en route to a second term, indicating that Kemp appeals to so-called Republican moderates as well as the far-right. A late endorsement by Donald Trump propelled Kemp to the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2018 at Southern Bookman
During my pleasant weeklong stint at the New York Daily News many years ago, a grizzled copy editor remembered the days when a man could leave one New York City newspaper desk and land a job at another in 15 minutes. That era receded even farther into the past Monday, when the Daily News announced the firing of half of its already depleted staff. The Tronc Corp. carried out the layoffs with bloodless efficiency. Longtime News sports columnist Frank Isola was among those let go. A shaken Isola disclosed his firing on ESPN's "Around the Horn," giving an eloquent appeal... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Jonathan Gold, who died Saturday of pancreatic cancer at the much too young age of 57, was one of those writers who made readers believe they were experiencing his world. On the other side of the country, I felt I was with him as he explored Los Angeles' multitude of ethnic restaurants. He was a travel writer in his native city. Gold's pieces for LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times gave American literature something new, impressionistic essays and adventure stories more than works of food criticism. He revealed the colors, voices and light of the places he visited, as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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The Byrds' "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" is yet another influential rock album released in the tragic but creatively fertile year of 1968. Like the Band's 1968 "Music From Big Pink," the Byrds' album saluted traditional American music. While the Band covered a multitude of genres, "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," released on Aug. 30, 1968, emulated pure country. Both albums shone with covers of Bob Dylan classics. Byrds stalwarts Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman are marking the album's 50th anniversary with a tour along with country traditionalist Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives. A feature article by the Los Angeles Times'... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2018 at Southern Bookman
George Soros and Donald Trump are battling in the Georgia governor's race. Soros, the international financier and bogey man of European right-wingers and mentioned by Vladimir Putin during his bizarre press conference with Trump in Helsinki this week, has donated $1 million to the Georgia Democratic Party, the AJC reported Thursday. Another striking AJC front page story reported that Trump paused from dodging bullets over his cozying up to Putin to endorse Brian "Jethro" Kemp over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the GOP gubernatorial runoff election Tuesday. Those stories were juxtaposed with news that Delta Air Lines is reviving its... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2018 at Southern Bookman
John Feinstein's recent Golf Digest profile of golf announcer David Feherty is one of the most inspiring/heartbreaking pieces I've read. Feinstein, whose sports books and columns I've enjoyed over the years, tells how Feherty overcame mental illness and addictions to build a stellar broadcasting career. Now Feherty, like a modern Mark Twain or Charles Dickens, has built upon his TV success with a standup show based on his experiences. An at-the-scene view of Feherty's performance at Atlanta's Fox Theater last spring made me feel as if I were there. That's the inspirational part. The heartbreak comes from Feherty's grief over... Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2018 at Southern Bookman
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A huge contingent of American golfers and media have gathered at Carnoustie for this week's Open Championshp. In 1953, only one American reporter, John Derr, was present at the tough old course on the North Sea to witness Ben Hogan's triumph in the only Open Championship in which he ever played. Hogan came to still World War II-depleted Britain in a quest to complete the career "grand slam." He had been urged to play in the golf's oldest championship by Gene Sarazen, Tommy Armour and others. Armour," the "Silver Scot," had won the tournament at Carnoustie before the war. After... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2018 at Southern Bookman
Vladimir Putin at his press conference with Donald Trump kept grinning like the snake who'd swallowed the mouse. The old KBG hit man had completely manipulated Trump. Now was time to toss the orange sycophant a soccer ball. What a travesty. After all the presidents who had stood tall against Soviet/Russian leaders, from Kennedy through Reagan and Obama, Trump capitulated to the new czar. Nikita Khrushchev back in the '60s vowed "We will bury you." I never thought it would happen. Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2018 at Southern Bookman