Thursday, January 9, 2014

What's in a title, encore...

               It wasn't the end of the world, but close:
    The phrase, "The Big Easy," having been laid to rest at last ( ), we turn now to "World's End," the title of my second novel that's also just released as an e-book. Like The Big Easy it's set in New Orleans and environs and, as with the earlier book, the name picked up during my perambulations that included the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes when I was a reporter for the Times-Picayune.
   Plaquemines was the political fiefdom of the notorious segregationist, Leander Perez, and St. Bernard the haunt of mafiosi, most notably Carlos Marcello. But what about the name?
     Well, I saw it on a dilapidated sign pointing south along a dirt rut which I did not follow. I did photograph it and hope to eventually turn it up. Meanwhile, it was attached to my novel, and later also used by Paul Theroux and T.C. Boyle for their novels.
     Titles are not copyrightable, though it bothered me at the time to have World's End applied to other places and other books, but that's all pre-Katrina, when in fact the end of the world did more or less arrive for that watery stretch between New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. A civilization of sorts did go under for good, and
at least you can read about it:
              Here are some images that belong to the real place. More about it another time:


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