Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Confederacy of Dunces: Some Useful Links

Greetings, Colleagues—

I encourage all of you to (re)read John Kennedy Toole's rollicking novel, A Confederacy of Dunces. Here is an extract from the Introduction to Joel Fletcher's recent book Ken & Thelma.

According to Wikipedia Thelma Toole is described as educated and "highly cultured" (unlike Irene Reilly), but quite controlling. Toole's father, Ken, was less of a force in his son's life, but hardly absent, either (unlike the barely mentioned Mr. Reilly, he of the "weak seed").

Note, too, that Ignatius is apparently based in good part on his former professor, Bob Byrne, but jumps off as well from Toole's own experiences (e.g., short-lived jobs in a men's clothing factory and vending tamales).

Finally, some pix. (And thanks to Glenn for all these links!)

Cheers, Steve

1 comment:

Tim said...

Thanks, Glenn and Steve, for the links (below). I'm still hoping for comments from the numerous (code word "gallant few") who managed to attend the discussion. In particular I'm curious what was said about the gay identity of the author and his main character … or whether it even matters. Ignatius Reilly may be "gay" or not but I doubt from the novel that John Kennedy Toole was, or at least had any familiarity with the gay scene. I base that on what I take to be the startlingly weak banter of Dorian Green and friends during the climactic Rally for Peace through Sodomy. Quean talk at bars is rarely original—liturgies are never supposed to be—but there's usually some smartness fossilized in the trite repartée. Had Toole ever been in a bar? Had he ever read Oscar Wilde?