I decided to make one more post based on Condrescu’s book, New Orleans, Mon Amour. For this post, I want to simply list some quotations and “did you know” phrases that caught my attention. Codrescu does have a way with words. I didn’t know:
1. That New Orleans had two German langauge daily newspapers in the mid-1800’s.
2. About the book, The Mysteries of New Orleans by Baron Ludwig von Reizenstein. Quite a colorful book and character. Codescu calls the author a “skinny eccentric who frequented seedy bars in the French Quarter” (3).
3. About the Nag Hammadi, Gnostic gospels. There is a whole story line he develops from a phrase from them, “Our sister Sophia, she who is a whore.”
4. About several festivals there. I did know about the Faulkner Festival, but not
5. Codrescu gives details I didn’t know about Molly’s and Jim Monaghan, all kinds of foods/recipes I’ve never tried, (like dishwater fish. It’s for real. Google it) I learned of the turtle soup at Commanders that is over 100 years old, i.e., the turtle soup pot has never gone out since it was opened in 1888. About writers I was unfamiliar with, whom I must look up soon.
6. About Katrina. He says the residents of New Orleans wondered “at the huge gaps between the reports of the media and the stories of our friends still on the ground.”
7. Though I had read Confederacy of Dunces in 1993, I did not know that “John Kennedy Toole . . . committed suicide here when no big eastern publisher would touch his novel. The small press of the state university finally did the book, and posthumously Toole was award the Pulitzer Prize” (48).
8. About Barkus, the dog parade
Codrescus says that New Orleans still has enough material to give “future readers a slimpse of what is was to be alive, a poet, in New Orleans at the end of the twentieth century and the very beginning of the twenty-first” (6). Other phrases:
“the rapture of legend and rumor” (15) Calls for dead people and that there is “a telephonic voodoo cult in the city” (17).
“New Orleans is a pirate city, in both legend and fact” (19)
*There are so many other good quotations, but perhaps these are sufficient food for thought.