Sea Gull Library

Sea Gull Library #01 (Issue #02 pg 16)

Held Up, Sea Gull LibraryJimmy RiordanComment

In Held Up #02 I mentioned a possible web comic dealing with Sallisaw, OK:

16: In 2004 I drove from Oregon to New York, by way of New Orleans with the girl I was seeing at the time (lets call her K). We had made a similar drive, in reverse, the previous year. The copy of Romance of the Rabbit (the original English translation of Le Roman du Lievre) that inspired this entire project was in the trunk of my car for both trips (it was lost almost immediately after the drives completion). We camped right outside Sallisaw, OK on our way east. It was there that we first suspected she might be pregnant. An event that shaped much of who I am today. I initially intended to include a fictional episode based on this experience in this issue right where these notes are, but couldn’t make it work. If and when I do finish this episode I will include it on the blog and in the collected version of Book One.

Here it is:

sea gull 1I chose not to include much text/dialog in the story because I have found that my memory has become somewhat one sided. I can remember my feelings, some of what I said and did, but I cannot pretend to put myself in K's shoes.

After this scene K and I drove to New Orleans where she took a pregnancy test. She was in fact pregnant. We stayed one night in a motel and then I put her on an airplane back to the west coast. I drove nonstop from the airport to Queens, NY in a state of shock. On the drive I listened to the entirety of 'The Grapes Of Wrath" on tape, read aloud by Gary Sinise. I think the Joads were from near Sallisaw.

10 Year College Reunion

Sea Gull LibraryJimmy RiordanComment

Cut from this blogs Le Roman du Lievre page:

“[Roman du Lievre] is a love story that follows the winding path traveled by all the great loves of a person’s life, which grow to be loved not because of some inherent worthiness, but because of the the events that slowly, over time, sews them-stitch by stitch-into a soul.”

-Mary Lochner, “The Meta Meta Mind of Jimmy Riordan” (Anchorage Press)

Riordan’s romance with Le Roman du Lievre began in 2003, when he first read Romance of the Rabbit, the 1920 translation of  Frances Jammes novel. He was drawn to the book by its appearance alone. A small case bound book covered in a light fabric with a sea gull on it, the book sat amongst the large brown and green volumes of a college library. He read it, fell in love, stole the book, and after a series of moves, lost It. Over the next  years, he obsessed over the book, all searches for a new copy unsuccessful.

SeagullWhile I have been working on projects related to Le Roman du Lievre for more than 5 years now, it has actually been over a decade since I first encountered the text. My theft of Romance of the Rabbit marks the true beginning of the story.

In 2009 I posted the following apology:

In 2003, soon after he had first come across Romance of the Rabbit -Le Roman Du Lievre’s 1920s English Translation-on the stacks of his college library, James  Riordan committed one of the worst of possible crimes. He stole the Seagull Library edition of the book -at that time the book was out of print- from  the library.  It was the exact copy that had first attracted his attention with its delicate appearance. Less than a year later, during a period of  homelessness, Riordan lost the book himself.James Riordan would like to apologize for this act of theft and would also like to promise to one day replace the stolen book.

Now, on this thefts 10 year anniversary, I would like to do one better and gift a copy of the book back to the library. Along with this gift (pictured above) I will contribute a piece of work to the reunions Alumni Art Exhibit that charts that first year, after stealing the book up until its loss.