A Confederacy of dunces
by John Kennedy Toole









A Confederacy of dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

Summary
Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, --selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life-- is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.

Awards
1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner
1981 PEN/Faulkner Award nominee

Characters
NameIgnatius Reilly
GenderMale
AttributesSelf-centered


Genre
Humor
    --Ribald
Southern fiction
Fiction

Topics
Street life
Eccentrics

Setting
New Orleans, Louisiana -- South (U.S.)





Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, --selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life-- is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.





John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans in 1937 and graduated from Tulane University. He earned a master's degree from Columbia University. While in high school, he wrote a humor column and a novel, The Neon Bible. He later taught at Hunter College in Manhattan, the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and St. Mary's Dominican College. His novel, Confederacy of Dunces, winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, was published years after he killed himself following its initial rejection by publishers. (Bowker Author Biography)





Narrator Barrett Whitener renders Toole's cast of caricatures with verve enough to satisfy admirers. Toole wrote this novel in Puerto Rico during a hitch in the U.S. Army. In 1966 it was rejected by Simon & Schuster. In 1969 Toole committed suicide. Toole's mother then tried to get it published. After seven years of rejection she showed it to novelist Walker Percy, under whose encouragement it was published by Louisiana State University Press. Many critics praised it as a comic masterpiece that memorably evokes the city of New Orleans and whose robust protagonist is a modern-day Falstaff, Don Quixote, or Gargantua. Toole's prose is energetic, and his talent, had it matured, may have produced a masterpiece. However, listeners who do not feel charmed or amused by a fat, flatulent, gluttonous, loud, lying, hypocritical, self-deceiving, self-centered blowhard who masturbates to memories of a dog and pretends to profundity when he is only full of beans are not likely to survive the first cassette. For fans.‘Peter Josyph, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.






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