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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
I didn't recognize Creative Loafing. Instead of the familiar newsprint cover with the newspaper's logo emblazoned across the top, I saw a stack of publications with a higher grade of paper and no visible name. Not quite as glossy as a magazine, the cover showed photos of chicken wings, with a boldly colored headline splashed from top to bottom "the ultimate wing smackdown." Suddenly I realized that this must be Creative Loafing, seized by another misguided re-design experiment. A closer examination proved my suspicions correct. I found the logo hiding at the bottom of the page, printed in tiny type.... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Southern Bookman
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Author Mark Pendergrast expresses large hopes for Atlanta's Beltline in "City on the Verge: Atlanta and the Fight for America's Urban Future." As Atlanta historian and former city reporter Douglas Blackmon said in a June review of the book in The Wall Street Journal, Pendergrast tries to cover too much, bogging down in details. Blackmon, now a scholar at the University of Virginia, also pointed to Pendergrast's contradictions in analyzing the issues of gentrification, affordable housing and the revitalization of poverty-stricken neighborhoods. Pendergrast pushes the Beltline's potential in revitalizing the inner city, while asserting that the trail system will help... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Southern Bookman
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William Faulkner spent much of the last years of his life in Charlottesville, Va., where for a time he held the post of writer in residence at the University of Virginia. Faulkner's writings came to mind after last weekend's murderous assault by Nazis and other white supremacists in Charlottesville. The Nobel Prize winner's books and short stories examined how the obsession with the "Southern heritage" and the Confederacy crippled the region. At 152 years after the Civil War's end, those repulsive beliefs rise again. During his time at Charlottesville, where his daughter, Jill, lived with her family, Faulkner frequently spoke... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Southern Bookman
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Steve Oney’s “A Man’s World” gathers 20 profiles of men from Oney’s more than 40 years as a magazine writer. Oney characterizes the pieces as “portraits” that show men interacting with the world as “fighters, creators, actors and desperadoes.” The book encompasses a rich selection of famous and ordinary men and their challenges, triumphs and failures. Displaying a consistent control of language and masterful use of details, the pieces cover Oney’s career from his start at the old Atlanta Journal and Constitution magazine to those written for Los Angeles and California magazines, Premiere, Esquire, GQ, Time, Playboy and The New... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Southern Bookman
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The appearance of Thelonious Monk's previously unreleased "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" is the most exciting jazz event of the summer. Recorded in 1959 for French director Roger Vadim's 1960 film "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," the album is the latest discovery of important jazz recordings in recent years. Seven reels of tape were found in the archives of Marcel Romano, the manager of French saxophonist Barney Wilen, who played on the album. Along with Wilen, fellow tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, double bass player Sam Jones and drummer Art Taylor join Monk on pulsing performances of some of his familiar compositions. Far from the... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Southern Bookman
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The PGA Championship, golf's least pompous major, holds the promise of great stories this weekend. *Jordan Spieth, the latest in a long line of Texas greats, seeks to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in golf's upper echelon as winners of all of the sport's modern majors. With victories in the Masters, U.S. Open and last month's British Open, Spieth at age 24 needs to capture the PGA's Wanamaker Trophy to complete the cycle If he falters, Spieth should have a long career ahead of him to win the PGA, but time slips away... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Barbara Cook was a musical star who seemed as much a part of Manhattan as honking cabs, rushing crowds and Broadway marquees. Cook died Tuesday at age 89. Like Glen Campbell, who died on the same day, she overcame addictions and debilitating disease to refashion her career, performing to near the end of her life. A native of Atlanta, Cook first made her mark on Broadway as a young ingenue, starring with Robert Preston in Meredith Wilson's 1957 blockbuster "The Music Man." Playing the straitlaced librarian Marian, Cook delivered one of the all-time great showstoppers, "Till There Was You." Alcoholism,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Jimmy Webb's lyrics to "Wichita Lineman" are simplistic, even banal, on the page or screen. Glen Campbell's voice raised Webb's words to literature, loaded with mystery, longing and romance. Campbell's working man reaches mythical heroism. The lush orchestration somehow works with the portrait of American rural loneliness. Campbell's solo on the guitar's bass strings, augmented by Wrecking Crew colleague Carol Kaye's bass riffs and fellow guitar wizard James Burton's backing, is a masterpiece. When Campbell sings "The Wichita lineman is still on the line," his voice hits a higher octave, a moment that makes the song a great poem. Campbell... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul 2 Soul tour swung home last weekend to Nashville. The Music City power couple filled downtown's Bridgestone Arena, where the Predators only a month or so before had electrified the old river town with a run at the Stanley Cup, losing in the finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The hockey afterglow remained bright, with a beaming Hill shouting "Hello Smashville" to the adoring crowd. McGraw and Hill's blend of pop, rock and country, Vegas glitz and Nashville friendliness, packed the big bowl for two shows. Strained vocal chords had led Hill to cancel a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at Southern Bookman
Preparing to leave Nashville, where we saw the Tim McGraw-Faith Hill extravaganza at Bridgestone Arena. An entertaining show, although part of me wanted to catch John Kay and Steppenwolf at the nearby Ryman, which has moved far beyond its Grand Ole Opry origins. Now bachelorette parties plague downtown Nashville and the Broadway strip is mobbed with honky tonk cowboys and angels. Ragged homeless men hover in corners. The construction crews stay busy and the construction cacophony mixes with drum and guitar. Ready to head home over the Monteagle mountain, "Live Like You Were Dying" echoing in my mind. Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Holly Hunter and Carrie Coon try hard to save "Strange Weather," an obviously low-budget indie movie, but their fine-acting exercises misfire. Written and directed by Katherine Dieckman, known for music videos, "Strange Weather" recyles well-worn movie themes, most prominently "Thelma and Louise." Dieckmann hits a range of stereotypes: feisty Southern women, sensitive young men, evil capitalists, Louisiana Cajuns, a bar owner with a gruff exterior and loving heart. The film seems like a film school offering cooked up from one of these "how to write screenplays" books. After her stirring turn in the "Big Sick," Hunter's tough and tender Southern... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Georgia's junior senator, David Perdue, is a rising star of the Trump era. Perdue on Wednesday appeared at a White House press conference with President Trump and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas to announce proposed legislation to halve the number of immigrants receiving green cards for permanent U.S. residence. The "RAISE" plan would give Green Card priority to highly skilled professionals and those who speak English. The high profile announcement was the latest Trump-era accomplishment for Perdue, who influenced Trump to name his cousin, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, as agriculture secretary. Georgia senators like Richard Russell and Sam Nunn... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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Tracy Letts and Debra Winger, who generate smoldering chemistry as an aggrieved married couple in "The Lovers," have achieved brilliant careers while following different paths. Letts first made his name as a playwright, writing the transformative comedies "Killer Joe" and "Bug." His "August: Osage County" won the Pulitzer, although the play resorted more to theater conventions and cliches than his original earlier work. A fervent stage actor for Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Letts took his career to a new level by winning a Tony for his performance as George in a Broadway revival of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." Earlier, he... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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I was surprised that Georgia State's transformation of Turner Field into a new football stadium is complete. The downtown university's Panthers will play this year in a 25,000-seat stadium refashioned from the Braves' Turner Field, itself a conversion from the 1996 Olympics' track and field stadium. Georgia State held a media open house Monday for what is now called Georgia State Stadum, pending a corporate naming deal. The coming out party made enough of a splash to rate coverage from the AJC's venerable scribes Tim Tucker and Steve Hummer, who've witnessed a good chunk of history at the site, including... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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I'd just finished listening to Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love" on YouTube when the news arrived that Jeanne Moreau had died in Paris at age 89. Moreau's performance at Catherine in Francois Truffaut's "Jules et Jim" ravished my heart when I saw the film as a young man. The New Wave classic defined a carefree, artistic philosophy of life to which I aspired. As her obituary in the Guardian reports, Moreau fashioned a brilliant career as a theater and film actress. She also directed two films. Seen as the essence of French culture, she was part English thanks to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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June Foray created the voices of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Nastasha Fatale for "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," a mainstay of Saturday morning television for baby boomers. Foray, who died this week at age 99, provided the voices for many other cartoon characters during her long Hollywood career, often uncredited, according to her obituary in The New York Times. Along with steady cartoon roles, she led efforts to launch the Annie awards for voiceover performers. She also pushed for the giving of Academy Awards for animation. While most Rocky and Bullwinkle fans were unaware of Foray's work, she played... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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As a dabbler in Shakespeare studies, I had my doubts about TNT's "Will," the latest show based on the playwright's early days in London. Viewing "Will's" first two episodes on cable on demand, I was surprised to find Craig Pearce's Elizabethan confection delightful and engaging. Uniformly described by the critical pack as a "punk rock" version of the young Shakespeare, "Will" with its contemporary songs and music video sensibility gains authority with its historical depth and dramatic intensity. Pearce, an actor and frequent film partner of Baz Luhrmann, keeps the show's disparate strands in harmony rather than clashing. Today's artistic... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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There might be a cure for the summertime blues after all. Literary biography! As Trump's bizarro world rumbles toward a grinning apocalypse, sperm counts fall, polar ice caps melt, baseball lumbers on and football players prepare for another season of damaging their brains, let's escape into the lives of writers who wrestled with the American experiment and enriched its language. Yes, all of them men. Two of the biographers are women though. As Russia's shadow grows across the land, Trump spews his paranoid rantings to Boy Scouts and Twitter, and Congress prepares to wreck health care, several literary biographies have... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at Southern Bookman
Now I know why I'm seeing more Peter Aman signs pop up along Atlanta's potholed streets and crumbling sidewalks. Atlanta mayoral candidate Aman grabbed a substantial fund-raising lead for the last quarter, according to Creative Loafing. I suppose The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has laid off too many reporters to have anyone left to check the reports. Aman broke the $500,000 barrier for the quarter ending June 30, raking in $504,000 from real estate development firms, lawyers, and corporate executives. Former Bain and Co. colleagues contributed significant amounts, CL said. Front-runner Ceasar Mitchell raised $305,661 for the quarter, and still holds the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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I discovered, or rediscovered, Matthew Klam earlier this summer when I read Klam's essay in the Saturday Wall Street Journal, "How to Get Over an Aversion to Whiskey." Klam's piece was part of the Journal's occasional series in which writers review new alcohol brands. One example of how the Saturday WSJ is often more interesting and readable than the Sunday New York Times, the alcohol reviews show that booze makes for good writing. Such was the case, well, not a case, just a bottle, with Klam's piece on trying Nelson's First 108 Tennessee Whiskey. Spanning family history, community ties and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at Southern Bookman
Although I'm a lifelong LSU football fan, I hate to see the demise of Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels. Freeze raised the intensity of SEC football, heightening the league's national prominence. Although most LSU fans are gloating over Freeze's sudden demise, he revitalized the LSU-Ole Miss rivalry, pushing the Tigers to compete on a higher level. The sanctimonious Hugh was a villain from central casting, hyperactive on the sidelines, crying to the officials, displaying his emotions like a bad silent movie actor. Freeze with his wild gestures and goofy expressions was one of the game's outlandish characters. Freeze... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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The exhilarating return of "The Game of Thrones" also brought back the pleasure of New Yorker writer Sarah Larson's recaps. Larson's witty takes on the HBO sensation speak for fans like me who had never read George R.R. Martin's books before finding ourselves captivated by the show's storytelling, gorgeous scenery, fascinating characters, sexy themes and special effects. While finding comic value in her incomplete knowledge of Martin's mythology, Larson delivers astute insights into the show's appeal. For those fans seeking deeper understanding of the Westeros themes, Jason Concepcion's "Ask the Maester" column is back on HBO's "Ringer" web site. I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2017 at Southern Bookman
The Open Championship, golf's oldest and most prestigious major tournament, unfolds for the 146th time this week at Royal Birkdale on England's northwest coast. That's the title the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews prefers for its signature event. In America, the tournament has long been known as the British Open. The R&A has launched a campaign for the U.S. media to drop the British tag and call the tournament "The Open," according to The Wall Street Journal. That might be a tough sell: Many U.S. golf fans and media refer to the U.S. Open as "the open."... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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"To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee in her final years enjoyed a blossoming friendship with Auburn University history professor emeritus Wayne Flynt and his wife, Dorothy. Shunning email, Lee and the Flynts exchanged hand-written letters until Lee's infirmities worsened, leading to her death in 2016. Their correspondence, along with Flynt's commentary, has been collected in "Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship With Harper Lee." The slight, pleasurable book reveals details of Lee's reclusive life in her hometown of Monroeville, Ala,, the model for the Maycomb of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman." Until suffering a stroke, Lee also... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Southern Bookman
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The Public Theater's"Hamlet" starring Oscar Isaac (left) pulled off the rare feat of receiving high praise from The New York Times' Ben Brantley and The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout. Teachout, who usually shows less tolerance for experimental work than Brantley, surprised me with his approval of lauded New York director Sam Gold's modern dress production of Shakespeare's most famous and most challenging play. Known for giving attention to theater outside of New York City and skewering audience favorites like Bette Midler's "Hello Dolly," Teachout was among those blasting Gold's gimmicks with the recently closed Broadway revival of "The Glass... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Southern Bookman