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A Confederacy of Dunces (original 1980; edition 1980)
by John Kennedy Toole (Author), Walter Percy (Foreword)
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)
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hilarious ( )
Enjoyed it for a while but couldn't get into it in spite of it being a Pulitzer prize winner.. Oh well.. On to other stories that are more enjoyable .. at least for me!
What can I say, it is a classic. Loved it the first time I read it and still do.
Ignatius is the original manosphere blogger.
There is nothing interesting about this book besides from the humor. If it wasn't a pretty funny book, it probably never would've made a splash. The characters are basically all one-dimensional stereotypes, the social commentary is honestly confused at best, and there's less tension than you'd find on the back of a cereal box. I don't know. I didn't love it, but it was good enough that I at least finished it and enjoyed the ride. That's a very low bar, though, and one that this book barely manages to clear.
Virtually impossible to put down, once you get into the rhythm of the dialogue and start to hear the language with the right ear for the time and place. Ignatius Reilly is one of the great comic creations, but all the characters are perfectly formed. Their are basically 5 interlocking plots weaved into the narrative. 1) The enormous, pompous, grotesque Ignatius, overflowing with ideas, gas, fat and invective is forced to try to find work at the advanced age of 30, whilst engaging in long distance badinage with his friend Myrna Minkoff, who’s libertarian behaviour purports to shock but actually attracts him. A job as a hot dog vendor merely adds to his enormous girth, for easily discernible reasons 2) His long suffering, somewhat alcoholic mother falls into a friendship with Santa Battaglia who schemes to get her married off, and Ignatius sent to a psychiatric ward 3) The vissitudes of the Levy family, owners of Levy Pants, a downwardly mobile concern unwise enough to employ Ignatius for a short period 4) The Night of Joy a down at heel bar / cathouse that includes the funniest Blonde + Cockatoo strip act in literature and the ascerbic Burma Jones, forced to work at the Night to avoid charges of vagrancy and 5) Patrolman Mancuso forced by his vengeful Sergeant to patrol the French Quarter in ever more ridiculous costumes to try to entrap homosexuals.
Any one of these 5 plot threads could have been a novel of its own. Each plot thread intersect with each other as Ignatius attempts to find salvation.
One of the criticisms of the book that hindered its original publication is that the book “isn’t really about anything” and is little more than a panorama of early sixties New Orleans. There is some truth to this perhaps, but so perfect are the characters that it doesn’t matter. If you haven’t read it - and it took me a long while to get to it - please do so
John Kennedy Toole
La conjuration des imbéciles
traduit de l'américain par J.-P. Carasso, Laffont
«Drôle de livre, énorme dans la bouffonnerie et la satire, énorme comme son personnage principal, une sorte d'Ubu dévastateur qui lance des anathèmes sur un monde en décomposition.» (Lire, décembre 1981)
A pungent work of slapstick, satire and intellectual incongruities - yet flawed in places by its very virtues.
Ultimately, Ignatius is simply too grotesque and loony to be taken for a genius; the world he howls at seems less awful than he does. Pratfalls can pass beyond slapstick only if they echo, and most of the ones in this novel do not. They are terribly funny, though, and if a book's price is measured against the laughs it provokes, A Confederacy of Dunces is the bargain of the year.
This is the kind of book one wants to keep quoting from. I could, with keen pleasure, copy all of Jones's dialogue out and then get down to the other characters. Apart from being a fine funny novel (but also comic in the wider sense, like Gargantua or Ulysses), this is a classic compendium of Louisiana speech. What evidently fascinated Toole (a genuine scholar, MA Columbia and so on) about his own town was something that A.J. Liebling noted in his The Earl of Louisiana: the existence of a New Orleans city accent close to the old Al Smith tonality, 'extinct in Manhattan', living alongside a plantation dialect which cried out for accurate recording.
El protagonista de esta novela es uno de los personajes más memorables de la literatura norteamericana: Ignatus Reilly -una mezcla de Oliver Hardy delirante, Don Quijote adiposo y santo Tomás de Aquino, perverso, reunidos en una persona-, que a los treinta años aún vive con su estrafalaria madre, ocupado en escribir una extensa y demoledora denuncia contra nuestro siglo, tan carente de teología y geometría como de decencia y buen gusto, un alegado desquiciado contra una sociedad desquiciada. Por una inesperada necesidad de dinero, se ve 'catapultado en la fiebre de la existencia contemporánea', embarcándose en empleos y empresas de lo más disparatado.
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Wikipedia in English (2)
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.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.
Editions: 0141182865, 0141023465, 0141045647, 0241951593