Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let me tell you about my day, again

I returned to the San Francisco Public Library this morning to look at the three inter-library loan requests which had arrived. All together, there were nine rolls of microfilm from the State Library in Sacramento. They were each rolls I wanted to look at during my last visit, but just didn't have the time to go over.

There was microfilm of the San Jose Mercury Herald, Lodi Sentinel, and Delta News (Sacramento County). I spent a little more than two hours going through it all, and found four more screenings (and supporting advertisements) to add to my project, Lulu by the Bay. (My wife says I have creeping project syndrome.)

Nevertheless, I had fun, and love researching. Truly. I found two more listings for Lodi (a small, not-so-far-away Central California town located between the state capital of Sacramento and the city of Stockton -  made famous by Creedence Clearwater Revival), as well as one listing for the South Bay city of Santa Clara (found in the San Jose newspaper), and one first ever listing for the small hamlet of Rio Vista (found in the Delta News).

Pictured here is a rather typical example of the kind of stuff I have uncovered in my research. It is an advertisement for the 1927 Louise Brooks film, Rolled Stockings. Incidentally, that film largely shot in and around Berkeley, California.

According to the Cinema Treasures website, the T&D Theatre opened in 1912. "It was a long, narrow theater with a tall, brick stage house. For many years it was operated by T&D Theatres" and was eventually renamed The State Theatre. Interestingly, there was a T&D Theater located in Oakland, California - I have a handful of listings for Brooks' films having screened there as well. The Lodi theatre was advertised as a "T&D Jr.," so perhaps it was part of a chain of theaters in Northern California.

According to Cinema Treasures, the Lodi theater is now closed but the building still stands. Today, it serves as a banquet hall.

I take a streetcar to get to the library, and always bring along something along to read. And as noted in my previous blog, of late I have been visually skimming Jacques Arnaut by Leon Bopp. It is a French novel from 1933. Visually skimming is the best I can do, as I don't read French. However, I am hoping to spot a reference to Louise Brooks which I know exists in this book. I am 300 pages into the Bopp's book, and so far have not come across Brooks' name. 

However, I did come across a rather interesting looking passage, or chapter, called "Haine." It begins on page 183. And, it is filled with American references - to Chicago and New York, to Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis, to Babe Ruth, Lake Michigan, Chrysler, the Morning Pictorial, and American dollars. Lots of American dollar$.

I wish I could read French and could understand what appears to be a rather interesting novel. In my previous post I suggested this book was comparable to James Joyce's A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses or Finnegans Wake. Now, I'm thinking John Dos Passos' Manhattan Transfer or USA Trilogy.

In order to learn something about this intriguing novelist, I put in an ILL request for A study of Léon Bopp: the novelist and the philosopher, a 1955 English-language book. Perhaps it will provide some info on Bopp and his work. I will let my few readers know if I find that still elusive reference.


  1. I'm reading Manhattan Transfer right now for school. :)

  2. Dear Disposable,

    Please do post a few words on "Manhattan Transfer" when you have a chance. Would you recommend it?

  3. Yes, I'd recommend it. It's a little bit like Virginia Woolf, only more clear and less stream-of-conscious-y. It's basically a series of vignettes about life for a variety of people from the whole spectrum in New York City around 1925. It's very modern and utterly American. It's different from reading something like Fitzgerald. It uses different vernaculars for each of the characters. What I like about it is how it makes you feel for each character, and sympathize with them because of the way they're characterized.


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