The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans: and Other Essays

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9780312135706: The Muse Is Always Half-Dressed in New Orleans: and Other Essays

In twenty-six essays, Codrescu turns his skeptical, amused gaze to such topics as Plato's effect on American sex, the cultural meaning of Ed McMahon, baseball's literary underpinnings, his own conception in a Romanian darkroom, an cuisine under the Ceausescu dictatorship, as well as to larger subjects, including the suicide of communism, American culture and politics, and his adopted city of New Orleans.

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About the Author:

Andrei Codrescu has been on National Public Radio's All Things Considered for over ten years. He is the author of numerous books, including Road Scholar, Zombification and a new novel, The Blood Countess. He is a professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Essayist and editor, poet and professor, columnist, novelist, radio commentator, scriptwriter, translator, and all-round man-of- letters Codrescu (Road Scholar, p. 194, etc.) presents his latest collection of essays. The subject matter ranges from the mood in the author's native Transylvania (not great) to the mood in his adopted home, New Orleans (wonderful), and back to the food in Transylvania (bad). (Perhaps not since the great Aaron Lebedeff forsook the stage has there been such Romanian angst displayed this side of the Atlantic.) And there's more, of course: an obligatory ode to baseball; an offbeat interview with Robert Duvall, in which Duvall gets his due; and an unfocused, but affecting, talk about photography. A man of passionate insight and irony, Codrescu pulls it off with unrestrained style and pungent wit. He considers running for exercise to be a sacrilege: Running is ``an extremely serious response to Cossacks chasing you with whips.'' Occasionally, the reader may not know where it's all going, but would be well advised nonetheless to stick with the recondite ambiguities while the author reviews a movie that virtually no one has seen, or deconstructs a literary journal that next to nobody in America has read. The trip is worth it. Codrescu--never one to write for readers who, as he pegs them, ``know what to expect from writers who know what they expect''--has cobbled together another interesting and generally entertaining fabrication, displaying an America occasionally shadowed by his former compatriot, Count Dracula. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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