18 Jul

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign,  that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.”

 Johnathan Swift – ‘Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting’

In March of 1969, a simple man with a touch of lunacy and genius had had enough. On an isolated road outside Biloxi, Mississippi, he connected a garden hose to the exhaust pipe of his car, put the other end into the window, and slowly faded out of this parallel and into another. *

John Kennedy Toole scribed A Confederacy of Dunces which was published posthumously in 1980. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and was the second of only two books ever written by him. **

A Confederacy of Dunces is a commedia, but anyone who reads it, anyone with even the slightest glimpse of this author’s life will see the words for what they are: turmoil distracted by the very thoughts of the author himself. Ignatius Reilly, the main character in this book, in my opinion, is the mirror of his creator: an intelligent, misunderstood, pathetic and creative human.

This is a tragicomedy that will imbed itself in your bones. You will read it more than once. You won’t have a choice.

John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969)

A Confederacy of Dunces (commedia)

Grove Press 1980/soft cover 405 pages



* the death of John Kennedy Toole

** John Kennedy Toole’s first book, The Neon Bible, was written when he was 16. It also was published posthumously, in 1989. Another masterpiece.


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