The perverted (and I suspect quite dangerous) mind of Clyde has devised still another means of belittling my rather invincible being. At first I thought that I might have found a surrogate father in the czar of sausage, the mogul of meat. But his resentment and jealousy of me are increasing daily; no doubt they will ultimately overwhelm him and destroy his mind. The grandeur of my physique, the complexity of my worldview, the decency and taste implicit in my carriage, the grace with which I function in the mire of today’s world – all of these at once confuse and astound Clyde.
So writes Ignatius Reilly, hero of A Confederacy Of Dunces, in his trusty Journal, one of the main devices employed by the novel’s author, John Kennedy Toole. I’ve recently rediscovered this incredible book as Gemma’s currently reading my copy and I’ve purloined an audiobook version to listen to on my journey to and from work.
‘Dunces’, for those who haven’t yet read it, is one of the finest comic novels ever written. Telling the story of Reilly and his one man struggle against modernity (and his valve), the book’s set in New Orleans in the 1960s and features a range of outlandish and hilarious characters, though none more outlandish or hilarious than Ignatius himself. If you’ve never read it, go and buy a copy tomorrow, stop reading whatever you were reading before, and devour this masterpiece. If you’ve already read it, read it again.
3 thoughts on “Things I love: A Confederacy Of Dunces”
I loved this book, especially since New Orleans is my birthplace. RIP JKT.
Hey! Wow, thank you for all the great and encouraging remkars. I’m glad you liked the blog. You should definitely start one if you’re at all interested in writing not only do you get more writing experience (and you have the freedom to play with format and style) but the fact of the matter is you are putting your writing and your name out there and people will be reading it too, which is great actually (not too scary!). Plus, it looks good on a resume because it shows you care enough to write outside of assignments. Definitely try it out if you’ve been considering it!And yeah, his life was very sad and moving. It’s so interesting to read about someone’s history and then something they wrote You should definitely read Dunces, its very good.And thanks again for the nice comment! Good luck with Foucault, I loved History of Sexuality once I understood it. (I do have a post about that book somewhere.)Ann
Great book, one that sucks you in and at the end you wish there was more.