About the Carnival

Summer on the Planiol.

This site is a production of Domaine du Réal sponsored by the Bureau surréaliste du Roussillon and is posted from the banks of the Agly River in the commune of St. Paul de Fenouillet, France.

The authors are ex-travelers—writer, photographer—living now in the Occitan region of Southwestern France on the ancient Catalan border, in the shadow of Bugarach, on a garrigue’d hillside overlooking on one side the Agly River and, on the other, the Roussillon plain. On clear days we glimpse a silver sliver of the Sea.

Life is a carnival bursting with every theme that word inspires, from Mardi Gras in New Orleans to circus sideshows: a never-ending river of “riotous elements.”

Menu headings will take you to a riotous mixture of poetry, photography, stories, plays, and more. We hope you will be amused and entertained by the show.

Domaine du Réal’s Flicker Photostream

Domaine du Réal’s Blogspot site

Assumption Street

Assumption Street is an accurate fabrication of the past, present, and future of life in Mirabeau County: its people and their dilemmas and despairs, catastrophes and successes as they struggle to get through life and find out what lies beyond.

Posts will feature random yet interwoven excerpts from diaries, newspaper & egosphere clippings, assorted fragments of video & audio recordings, and various esoterica. The future of Mirabeau County will also include works from the Ohm Resistance and its samizdat publications.

The stories of the future Mirabeau County revolve around the Madden family (and its extensions) as they live as well as they can on what is left of the Gulf Coast polluted, hurricane-swept, and stigmatized as heretical by the Presidential Purity Police.

Places like the Lost City of Cibola do exist. You will not find them on a map, but you know they are real. Mirabeau County is one such place.

Mirabeau County is located on the Gulf Coast, somewhere between New Orleans and Biloxi. Its primary geographical features include Bay St. Vincent, the Barrier Islands (Salt and Dog), the Salt Island Sound, Emerald Beach, the Loup River, the East Pearl River, Bayou DeSang, and the Piney Woods. Principal towns include the County Seat of St. Vincent, the industrial port town of Port Sulphur, the beach hamlet of Mirabeau Landing, and the upland crossroads of Doyle’s Switch. The population is comprised of a rich mixture European, African, Caribbean, Native American, Vietnamese, and, in recent years, immigrants from Mumbai and Syria.

These are the true facts. The rest is pure conjecture.

Time longa dan rope.
—Old Jamaican proverb

2 thoughts on “About the Carnival

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  1. Does the Mistral begin somewhere near you?

    I’m envious of the fact that you can speak of carnivals whilst us poor folks up here in the cold damp outer Hibernias of this world are obliged to suffer cold wintry blasts, long nights, overcast days, and the like!

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    1. We’re in the path of the tramontane, which sweeps down from the Pyrenees and can be every bit as nasty as the Mistral. We once spent January in the Camargue to escape a cold Pyreneean winter and the Mistral blasted us for the whole month. So, the tramontane can be strong but not quite at Mistal level.

      As for carnivals, well, the Carnival we most identify with is the one in New Orleans, where we used to live. Have you ever seen the TV series Treme? If you have, then you’ve got a good picture of what Carnival means to us. But a carnival can also be a traveling show, like a circus, so there’s that set of metaphors in mind. Carnival Time in NOLA means getting through the worst weather of the year in good spirits. Our bank in NO, by the way, was Hibernia Bank: huge Irish population in NO with its own quarter, The Irish Channel, which is where we lived. Our favorite bar in the Channel was Parasol’s, which had a huge map of Ireland & other Old Sod stuff. Marching clubs on St. Patrick’s day and a parade . . . Another good reference for our take on all this is John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces. I guess our idea of Carnival is more in the spirit of Ignatius Reilly! So when those wintry blasts & overcast days get you down, get you a king cake, cook up a pot of gumbo, put Professor Longhair & Fats Domino on the victrola . . . and it’s Carnival Time!

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