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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
On the Friday before the Museum of Modern Art's closure for four months, crowds swelled throughout the afternoon. A blockbuster exhibit, Joan Miro's "Birth of the World," spoke warnings from the era of Franco and Hitler. After the startling realism of his early paintings, Miro's work grew more ominous and fantastical, giving witness to the age of the dictators. Viewers stood transfixed before Miro's monumental "Birth of the World," which expresses the fragility of our earth and existence. The elemental objects of the painting, emerging from a swirling gray background, speak of our life's delicate balance, that time is running... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Southern Bookman
On Sunday morning, the Hudson Yards shopping mall's great walkways are deserted. Well-dressed clerks stand outside the famous luxury-branded stores, their eyes searching for customers. Comments we'd heard from seasoned New Yorkers echo with truth. The gaudy retail space resembles a Midwestern shopping mall. The names - Tiffany, Cartier, etc. - speak of New York. But we could be in Minneapolis or Columbus, Ohio. Outside, the crowds desired by retailers fill the public square. Groups swirl about, pausing to take selfies or gaze at the adjacent apartment towers rising toward the sun. Reminiscent of a 1950s sci-fi movie, thrill seekers... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Southern Bookman
Walt Whitman's presence feels close at New York City's Grolier Club. One of several New York City events marking the bicentennial of Whitman's birth, the Grolier's "Poet of the City" exhbit gives an intimate portrait of Whitman. A jewel of scholarly depth and crisp presentation, the Grolier exhibit illustrates Whitman's enduring fame, his influence on gay culture and the continued cultural importance of "Leaves of Grass." Born in Brooklyn, Whitman found early success in building trades, printing and newspaper writing. As a young man, he headed from his native borough across the East River to the bustling streets of Manhattan.... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Southern Bookman
Gearing up for a weekend trip to New York City, my longtime love. The city has changed dramatically through the years, while its energy and frantic chaos remain the same. As The New York Times documented in a special section recently, the Manhattan skyline looks far different now then it did even five years ago. Resembling War of the Worlds aliens, monstrous skyscrapers have risen, blighting street life below. The soaring towers' owners, Mideastern and Eastern Europe billionaires, buy the high-rise apartments as money-laundering vehicles. The ghostly units above the clouds mostly stay vacant. Below the buildings' shadows, small retailers... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Why did Kevin Durant play Monday night? After missing several games with a "strained calf," the Golden State Warriors star took the court in Toronto for the fifth game of the NBA finals. During his absence, the defending champion Warriors had fallen behind the Raptors three games to one. After a promising first quarter, Durant's right leg again crumpled, not from a leap or a fast break, but a delicate feint and dribbling maneuver. As feared, Durant suffered a torn Achilles tendon, a career-threatening injury. Without their sharp-shooting star, the Warriors eked out a 106-105 win over the Raptors to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Watching college baseball, I missed much of the Tony Awards Sunday night. The few musical numbers I caught lumbered with the worst excesses of Broadway, making me glad that I'd mostly remained at the ballpark. The lackluster and disjointed Tonys show did have the surprise of "Hadestown" winning seven more awards than "To Kill a Mockingbird." On a night where "Network's" Bryan Cranston beat out "To Kill a Mockingbird's" Jeff Daniels for the aging white male leading man award, "Hadestown" dominated the musical field. It looked more interesting than productions based on Cher, the Temptations, Tootisie and Bettlejuice. The legendary... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Mac Rebennack gained fame with his "Dr. John the Night Tripper" persona, drawing upon the voodoo and Mardi Gras Indian traditions of his native New Orleans. Moving away from the most ostentatious elements of the camp-swamp character during the years, he drew more and more upon his virtuoso playing, mixing avant garde daring with American roots perspective. With Dr. John's death at age 77, the world has lost another music master with deep connections to New Orleans jazz, rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues. An innovator, he was also a preservationist with an encyclopedic knowledge of the city's musical... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2019 at Southern Bookman
D-Day's 75th anniversary brings a gallery of stories. Most who served and died in the Normandy invasion of June 6, 1944 remain unknown heroes. Those who survived to remember make up a distinguished gallery. Some were already famous: Henry Fonda. Atlanta golfer Robert Tyre "Bobby" Jones, at age 44 one of the oldest men who served on that long and violent day. New Yorker writer A.J. Liebling gave the magazine's readers a three-part account of the invasion. The United Press's Walter Cronkite landed in a glider behind German lines with the 101st Airborne. Later, he joined Edward R. Morrow's CBS... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2019 at Southern Bookman
The British literary journal Granta celebrates its 40th anniversary with a spring issue packed with literary treasures. Launched by American expatriate to Britain Bill Buford in 1979, the magazine became known for discovering new writers and publishing special issues. Buford revived the title from a humor magazine for Oxford students called The Granta that began in the Victorian era. Shaking off that musty past, Buford transformed Granta into a showcase of dazzling new writing. The 40th anniversary issue contains many of the magazine's greatest hits, including Buford's farewell editorial in 1995 when he left for a successful writing career interpreting... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2019 at Southern Bookman
The Broadway production of "King Lear" starring Glenda Jackson will close a month early. Producer Scott Rudin announced that the show at the Cort Theater will have its final performance on June 9, The New York Times reported. The production had been scheduled to end on July 7. The closure comes a year after the 83-year-old Jackson won her first Tony Award, given for her performance in Edward Albee's "Three Women." First appearing on Broadway in the 1960s production of "Marat/Sade," the two-time Academy Award winner Jackson has been a favorite of New York critics and audiences. Even Jackson's immense... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2019 at Southern Bookman
I'm rooting for DeMarcus Cousins and the Golden State Warriors. Before Cousins came to the New Orleans Pelicans a couple of years ago, I knew little about him other than that he was a troubled player for the Sacramento Kings, known for feuding with coaches, drawing technical fouls, and jostling with opposing players. I didn't remember that he'd played a year for John Calipieri's hated Kentucky Wildcats. But Cousins was a model player for the Pelicans, complementing Anthony Davis and sparking the bedraggled team toward the playoffs. I found myself upset when Cousins' season ended with a horrible ankle injury,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2019 at Southern Bookman
It looks like a Walt Whitman summer in New York City. The bicentennial of the 19th century poet's birth is being marked with exhibitions at the Grolier Club, the New York Public Library and the Morgan Library, according to The New York Times. Artifacts from the "Leaves of Grass" author's career will be displayed, including manuscripts, first editions and a lock of his hair. This is also the bicentennial of Herman Melville's birth. The "Moby Dick" author also will be honored in New York City. Like Whitman, who began his career as a Brooklyn newspaperman, Melville is associated with the... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2019 at Southern Bookman
As Hollywood turns against Georgia for its draconian anti-abortion law, Major League baseball Wednesday awarded the 2021 All-star Game to the Atlanta Braves' SunTrust Park. Disney CEO Robert Iger threatened to stop making movies in Georgia over the anti-abortion law on the same day that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a festive event at SunTrust Park called the stadium and the surrounding Battery complex "the best in baseball." Those who've gone to walkable and rail-accessible stadiums like Chicago's Wrigley Field, Boston's Fenway Park, New York's Yankee Stadium, San Francisco's Oracle Park and Denver's Coors Field might disagree. Hidden in the... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Author Tony Horwitz's death Monday at age 60 was truly shocking. Horwitz had just published his latest book, "Spying on the South," and was on a book tour. He died while walking in Chevy Chase, Md., on the same day that he was to appear at the famed Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C. After surviving Mideast battlefields, hazardous factories, Civil War re-enactments, Pacific voyages, Australian hikes and Southern dive bars, Horwitz succumbed to a heart attack while on a routine Memorial Day walk, according to his wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks. Following the example of George Plimpton... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2019 at Southern Bookman
I spent Memorial Day morning completing Nathaniel Philbrick's "In The Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown." Along with Washington's patience and leadership in keeping peace among different factions, I was struck by how big a role the French played in the U.S. gaining independence. The French navy's control of the Chesapeake Bay after a victory over the British fleet ensured the American victory at Yorktown, where the French army's siege tactics led to British Gen. Cornwallis' surrender. Philbrick, who also wrote a readable account of the early days of the Revolution in Boston and... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Esquire appears the next long-established magazine to undergo major changes in hopes of surviving the digital age. Editor-in-Chief Jay Fielden stepped down this week after three and a half years with a cheeky Instagram post that showed a photo of him leaving the Hearst headquarters in New York City, bags in hand. Fielden's 300-word goodbye said he has no plans other than finishing a book, practicing the piano and getting up earlier to make his children breakfast. The New York Times Friday reported that Fielden's resignation is the result of a Hearst "reshuffling" under digital chief Troy Young, who had... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Now Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is a movie critic? Mr. Shotgun is a multi-talented wonder, an expert on women's health and now a Hollywood insider. After signing legislation that criiminalizes abortion, Kemp blasted Hollywood threats to boycott Georgia as coming from "C-list" celebrities. Although Kemp's campaign commercials showed a gift for comedy, he undoubtedly knows as little about who's big in Hollywood as he does about medicine. Who would he put on the A-list, Mel Gibson? Since Georgia gives unlimited tax breaks to film-makers, Kemp's probably right that a boycott won't gain much traction. The studios make too much profit... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Montgomery's history of racial violence is bringing a building boom to the Confederacy's first capital. Hotels are rising and historic buildings undergoing revitalization because of Bryan Stevenson's two memorials to black victims of slavery and lynching, as reported in a New York Times article Wednesday. Visitors are streaming to Montgomery to view Stevenson's Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery documents the old cotton port's past as one of the South's top slavery markets. The National Memorial remembers those lynched in the United States, primarily in Southern states, from Reconstruction until after... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2019 at Southern Bookman
After the fraught finale of "Game of Thrones," some of us are looking forward to the next HBO event, the "Deadwood" movie. The May 31 film won't set off a cultural earthquake like "GOT," but it likely will generate debate among its small but passionate fan base. David Milch's Western about the late 19th century gold mining town was abruptly ended in 2006 after three seasons. HBO promised a concluding two-part movie, but it never materialized. Then HBO announced a couple of years ago that it would produce a film showing "Deadwood's" characters 10 years after the show's last episode.... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2019 at Southern Bookman
The global battle against climate change suffered another blow with the unexpected re-election of Australian prime minister Scott Morrison, a conservative notorious for his anti-environmental policies. Goodbye, Great Barrier Reef. Like the Amazon rain forest, threatened by Brazil's hard-right president, you're going down. Morrison's election had the Wall Street Journal's editorial page chortling Monday. Australian native Rupert Murdoch's newspaper seemed giddy over Morrison's unexpected win over the Labor Party. Polls had consistently predicted a victory for Labor and its anti-climate change policies. A WSJ news story called Morrison a "coal-hugger." Like Brazil, Australia is a sensitive flashpoint for the world's... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Old Baton Rouge sports editor Bud Montet used to run a column called "Random Shots," which I grew up reading. Old Bud was a funny man. In Bud's memory, here are a few of my Random Shots for a warming Friday. *What was the ugliest ride of the week, Danenarys Targaryen on her dragon or John Daly on his golf cart? *Zion Williamson is warming up to the idea of playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. A bowl of gumbo and a beignet and he'll be fine. And if the NBA doesn't work out, there's always a home for him... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2019 at Southern Bookman
I wanted to like "At Eternity's Gate," in which William Dafoe portrays Vincent Van Gogh. Alas, director Julian Schnabel's moody 2018 film was a long slog, especially the many sequences showing Van Gogh strolling through woods and meadows as sad, sad music plays. Dafoe tries his best with Van Gogh's earnest mystical dialogues, but he sounds like a college student who'd just discovered the wonders of art. While Van Gogh was pretty ravaged at his death at age 37, Dafoe appears too old for the part. His enactments of Van Gogh's mental breakdowns don't illicit sympathy but the conclusion that... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Basketballs are bouncing, bouncing, bouncing on the rim. Pucks are flying down the ice, and baseball fans still wearing winter coats to the ballpark. And for the first time since 1949, the PGA golf tournament is being played in May, not August. After years unfolding in brutal summer heat, the lesser of golf's four majors begins its new springtime schedule Thursday at Long Island's Bethpage Black, the tough municipal course where two U.S. Opens have been held. With cool weather rather than the traditional sweat-fest, the tournament will seem more like the British Open. The PGA and TV carrier CBS... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Were Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe really so different? Day, who died Monday at age 97, presented a wholesome, virginal image that contrasted with Monroe's smoldering sexuality, according to The New York Times' front-page obituary. Times film critic A.O. Scott gave a shrewder assessment of Day's movie persona in the essay, "Hip Sex Goddess Disguised as the Girl Next Door." An accompanying photo shows Day in "Pillow Talk," sitting on the side of a bed wearing a slip and showing off her million-dollar legs. As Scott pointed out, Day in another movie with Rock Hudson sang a swinging number with... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2019 at Southern Bookman
Not only is Las Vegas booming from the Supreme Court legalizing sports betting in our land of the free. Along with landing an NHL hockey team and the Oakland Raiders, the glitzy desert mecca is now a hot spot for literature. The gambling and entertainment town associated with Frank Sinatra, the Rat Pack, Howard Hughes and the Mafia now hosts a high-toned literary festival and supports a bookstore known as the Writers' Block, according to an article in The New York Times Monday by John Williams, who also writes some of the newspaper's best book reviews. Why shouldn't Vegas be... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2019 at Southern Bookman