As the cities of the Gulf Coast struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina, it’s worth a few moments to think of the literary legacies now floating in the floodwaters.
In New Orleans, Stanley Kowalski, Stella Kowalski and Blance DuBois are all in the same boat, but Blanche’s paper lanterns don’t stand a chance. They may or may not run into John Kennedy Toole’s Ignatius Reilly, who is most likely huddling with his mom in the SuperDome, complaining about the confederacy of dunces.
Way out on the outskirts of town, there’s no telling what’s going on at Jack Kerouac’s strange farm where Old Bull Lee holds court on his porch, dreaming of a dry spot in faraway Tangier.
Our thoughts are with the survivors of the hurricane and the flood, who are now certainly depending on the kindness of strangers.