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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
James Joyce's "Ulysses" is a living presence for Irish writer Anne Enright. Enright, who was born in in Dublin and unlike Joyce returned to the city, has written a series of brilliant analyses of Joyce's ground-breaking masterwork to mark this year's 100th anniversary of the modernist classic's publication. Along with an introduction to a new Penguin Classics edition of the novel, Enright has written essays examining "Ulyssess" for publications ranging from the Guardian to the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. Her articles give a reliable, clear guide to Joyce's language, literary techniques and use... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Southern Bookman
During my convalescence from knee surgery, I've been thinking about John Milton. The English author of "Paradise Lost" and a landmark essay supporting freedom of speech lived in a time of political turmoil rivaling ours. Milton supported the revolution that brought the death of King Charles I and served Oliver Cromwell's republic. After the restoration of King Charles II, Milton was an outlaw, serving time in jail. After a general pardon of those who had participated in regicide, the blind Milton returned to his home to write "Paradise Lost," "Paradise Regained" and "Samson Agonistes," dictating his blank verse epics to... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Southern Bookman
Nearly three weeks after knee replacement surgery, normal life is slowly returning. Thanks to the resolute support of my wife and family, I've completed the first stage of rehab. After a regimen of home visits from competent and cheerful physical therapists, I'll switch to outpatient work next week. My steady progress so far encourages me for the hard months to follow. In between exercises - the old squats, leg lifts and calf raises along with new stretches and bends - I've kept reading newspapers, magazines and books while watching “Law and Order” and “Andy Griffith” reruns on TV. The Braves... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Southern Bookman
I'll soon complete the trifecta of Atlanta hospitals. Following my long association with Piedmont, where my three children were born, and a week in Grady Hospital after a minor stroke, I'm headed to Northside Hospital Wednesday for knee replacement surgery. The new knee will join a pacemaker in my heart and artificial lenses in my eyes. Growing old had changed me into the bionic man. Sure, I'll love to smash 300 yard drives with the new knee, or run the Peachtree. But I'll be happy if I can just walk down the street without pain. Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Ray Liotta portrayed Frank Sinatra, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Henry Hill, yet was always Ray Liotta. Memorably playing a variety of roles with his distinctive style, Liotta possessed the gift of making tough guys endearing. Liotta died in his sleep Wednesday night or Thursday morning in the Dominican Republic, where he had been working on the film "Dangerous Waters." He was 67. Like his "Goodfellas" co-star Robert De Niro, Liotta was a character actor with star presence. He stamped Hill as the central character in Scorsese's 1990 organized-crime saga, standing out among a stellar cast of De Niro, Joe Pesci,... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2022 at Southern Bookman
The faces of innocent children murdered in Uvalde, Texas, appeared on The New York Times front page Thursday morning. They shouldn't have been news. But on the day the students were to have begun summer vacation, they had replaced photos from Ukraine, and stories about the midterm primaries and the stock market. Another mass slaying, America's third in recent memory, had killed 19 fourth graders and their dedicated two teachers in a small predominantly Mexican-American town near San Antonio. In a scenario re-enacted over and over since Charles "Texas Tower" Whitman began the modern mass shooting era in 1966, a... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Roger Angell, the revered baseball writer, stands among the legendary New Yorker stalwarts who defined the magazine from its first frivolous days in the 1920s through its rise as a paragon of serious journalism. Angell's life intersected with that of the magazine, a cultural and intellectual beacon founded by Harold Ross as a humor magazine to chronicle the Jazz Age. One of Ross's first hires was Angell's mother, Katharine Sergeant Angell White. As literary editor, she shaped Ross' vision of a breezy, sophisticated magazine for a new generation leaving rural America for the bright city lights. Divorcing Angell's father, the... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2022 at Southern Bookman
With another Georgia election in full swing, Greg Bluestein's "Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power" ends like a TV series cliffhanger. As state voters head to the polls for the primary Tuesday and another general election in November, Georgia Democrats hope to repeat on a state level their stunning 2020 wins for national offices. Bluestein's "Flipped" tells the often amusing inside story of how Joe Biden won Georgia's presidential election over incumbent Donald Trump, followed soon after by U.S. Senate upset wins by Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock over GOP incumbents David Perdue... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's expected knockout victory over GOP challenger David Perdue will hand Donald Trump an embarrassing defeat. Perdue's Trump-backed campaign was declared dead this week by AJC columnist Bill Torpy, who noted that the former U.S. senator has pretty much disappeared from the campaign trail. During Perdue's single Senate term, he was known more for his subservience to Trump and insider stock deals than any legislative accomplishments. Kemp, who's built a huge lead by citing tax cuts, pay raises for state workers and popular pork-barell programs, likely will win without heading to a runoff. That will allow Kemp... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2022 at Southern Bookman
I'm one of the many "This Is Us" fans grieving for Rebecca Pearson, who headed to TV Mom heaven in Tuesday's episode. After six years telling the Pearson family saga with flashbacks and surprise plot shifts, "This Is Us" will end next week. Showing that network TV is capable of high-quality shows, creator Dan Fogelman's "This Is Us" offered novelistic writing, memorable archetypal characters and virtuoso acting. I've been involved in many cable and network shows over the years, but only "30 Something" rivaled "This Is Us" in expressing a generation's desires, ambitions and anxieties. "This Is Us" defined the... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2022 at Southern Bookman
John Keats is gaining on Shakespeare and Dickens as the most written about English authors. Critic Lucasta Miller's "Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph" follows Anahid Nersessian's "Keats Odes: A Lover's Discourse" and Jonathan Bate's "Bright Star, Green Light: The Beautiful Works and Damned Lives of John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald" in the burgeoning Keats boom. The least known Romantic poet when he died in 1821 at age 25, Keats is now considered the era’s greatest poet and thought by many second only to Shakespeare, based on a relatively small collection of poems. Combining biography,... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Larry Woiwode's saintly dedication to writing made him a hero to fellow authors and a small following of readers. The author's acclaimed multigenerational novel "Beyond the Bedroom Wall" drew national acclaim and wide readership. Much delayed because of his writing struggles, the 600-age work triggered an emotional breakdown and nearly ruined his marriage. Washington Post critic Jonathan Yardley cited the book as one of the 20th century's greatest novels. After that success, Woiwode wrote additional novels, short stories, essays, biographies and poetry, and taught the writing craft at a number of universities. He was also named North Dakota's poet laureate.... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2022 at Southern Bookman
The Atlantic will expand its book coverage, citing its heritage as a major force in American intellectual culture. "Expect more book reviews and essays — plus provocative arguments, reported stories, profiles, original fiction and poetry, and, of course, recommendations for your every reading need," said Jane Yong Kim, the venerable publication's literary editor, in announcing the expansion. Founded in 1857 in Boston amid the country's turmoil that led to the Civil War, the Atlantic Monthly published many of the landmark pieces of American literature. With founders like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow William Dean Howells and James Russell Lowell,... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Spooky to see those images of the Milky Way black hole on Friday the 13th. Those extraterrestrial scientists who released photos of the black hole's spectrum must have a sense of humor. On Friday the 13th, the black hole appears even more ominous and strange. Scientists say a black hole sucks into its endless dark chamber anything that gets too close. And I'd thought the black hole was the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Will it ever hold public hearings? Another black hole is the U.S. Senate, where progressive legislation goes to die. Black hole: that would be... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Atlanta's affordability, along with its pleasant year-round weather, long attracted newcomers from bigger, more expensive cities. Now Atlanta's a national leader for rising costs, reaching a 10 percent annual inflation rate in April, according to the Wall Street Journal. The inflation rate for the entire country was 8.3 percent, lower than expected, but still disturbingly high. New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, some of the nation's most expensive cities, registered an annual inflation rate of around 7 percent, according to the April figures. Those cities have long been plagued by outlandishly high housing costs. They've suffered staggering population declines... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Gearing up for knee replacement surgery, I'm juggling several books, along with the usual newspapers and magazines. For inventive titles, my stack includes ace AJC reporter Greg Bluestein's "Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power" and "Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World." Flipped and crashed: that's how the world feels these days. Watching Democratic campaign ads on TV, I fear Georgia's purple tinge will quickly wash off. And as inflation rises, climate change advances and Putin pummels Ukraine, Tooze might need to write a sequel to "Crashed." Actually, he has, "Shutdown:... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Rivian's crashing stock price has not yet halted the electric vehicle manufacturer's plans to build a massive plant east of Atlanta. But it's difficult to see how the former Wall Street darling can maintain its ambitious plans after such a financial downfall. The company's stock plunged to $22.78 a share Monday after electric vehicle partner Ford announced it would sell 8 million shares. Rivian stock soared to a high of $172 a share after the company's IPO last November, the biggest of the year. Reports of Rivian's financial troubles brought a scolding from the Wall Street Journal editorial page, not... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2022 at Southern Bookman
These breezy, blessedly cool days of early May bring to mind the man who had words for nearly every human occasion: William Shakespeare. Keats as an aspiring young poet imagined Shakespeare sitting at his desk writing. Struggling with "Endymion,” Keats sought to emulate Shakespeare's posture, the way he held his pen, his dedication. As spring lingers with windy days and pleasant weather, I wondered if Shakespeare had lived through a similar May when composing Sonnet 18: "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?" In the sonnet, written in perfect iambic pentameter, Shakespeare arrogantly assures a beloved young man or... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2022 at Southern Bookman
I'm a Braves fans, but I have to confess that I find baseball more exciting when the New York teams are good. The Mets and the Yankees this year are bringing back the 1950s Big Apple magic, when the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants and Yankees dominated the game. With the best records in baseball, the Queens Amazins' and the Bronx Bombers are hurtling toward a subway World Series, which would boost baseball's declining profile in the national sports landscape. While I've cooled on the Yankees over the years, I was a big Yankees fan in my childhood. When they... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Kathy Boudin spent her final years as a Columbia University professor fighting for social justice. Her friends and loved ones portray her as a saintly advocate for prisoners' rights and a pacifist lover of nature, music and poetry. I have a hard time ignoring the fact that she was a murderer. Boudin, who served 22 years in prison for her role in the killings of two police officers and a security guard in a 1981 Brinks armored car robbery, died Sunday of cancer at age 78. Although she had no direct role in the murders, she drove the getaway car... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2022 at Southern Bookman
I was out of town last Friday, and so didn't engage in my weekly treat of reading Joe Morgenstern's movie review in The Wall Street Journal. Readers' letters praising Morgenstern on the WSJ editorial page Tuesday gave the sad news that I'd missed the 89-year-old Morgenstern's farewell column. Morgenstern said goodbye to his loyal readers just before his 27th anniversary at the WSJ. Morgenstern is the last of a generation of film critics who ushered in the New Hollywood revolution, acclaiming movies like "The Graduate," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," "Easy Rider" and "Bonnie and Clyde." Later came "The Godfather,"... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Emily Ratajkowski in a personal essay for the Los Angeles Quarterly captures Los Angeles' hallucinatory aura. The author of the recent controversial essay collection "My Body," Ratajkowski displays impressive literary talent in the piece for the Los Angeles Review of Books' print publication. Reminiscent of Joan Didion and Eve Babitz, Ratajkowski describes the loneliness, dislocation, alienation and strange excitement that the city and its freeways give visitors. She recalls her struggles as a young actress/model trying to make it in the big city. In an amusing and horrifying image, she looks back on falling asleep while driving on the 101... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Spending a pleasant morning at the University of Georgia Library over the weekend, I found bound copies of the Partisan Review. To celebrate my 71st birthday, I perused issues from the spring of 1951, when New York City had begun ascending to new heights as the world's cultural center. Founded as a Marxist/anti-Stalinist journal by Philip Rahv and William Phillips, the Partisan Review transformed itself into the forum for an influential generation of New York City writers. Flipping through the brittle, yellowing pages, with ads for defunct bookstores and long-forgotten books, I joyously encountered work by Elizabeth Hardwick, Elizabeth Bishop,... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2022 at Southern Bookman
Another National Poetry Month is almost gone. In April, publishers release new poetry books and publications heighten their attention to the genre all but ignored the rest of the year. The New York Times Sunday Book Review recently devoted an entire issue to "poesy." The New York Times Sunday magazine now publishes a poem each week. Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda Thursday proclaimed his love of poetry in lavishly praising new critical studies of the art by Guggenheim Foundation President and noted poet/critic Edward Hirsch and Johns Hopkins professor and formalist poet Brad Leithauser. Both have been longtime leaders... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2022 at Southern Bookman
As evidence mounts that the Republican Party stands for insurrection and opposes the truth, the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday remembered U.S. Grant, who defeated the Confederacy's rebellion against the United States. On the 200th anniversary of Grant's birth, Civil War historian Allen G. Guelzo defended the Republican's Civil War record and often disparaged presidency. That followed Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan's recent praise of Grant for his magnanimity to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865, Palm Sunday. Grant allowed Lee's defeated soldiers to keep their horses and weapons,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2022 at Southern Bookman