Gymglish Users and Visitors Lounge

a Confederacy of Dunces

Hi, I bought a new book yesterday. I hesitated just because I didn't even know 'confederacy' and 'dunces', but with my smartphone, it's ok now :) . I'll be able to read it on the beach and keep you aware of the topic. At first sight, it's the life of a community in New-Orleans in the years 1960 (I wasn't born yet, :( ). It is said it 's funny but I've seen the writer committed suicide because nobody wanted to publish it :( .


  • The first thought that came to my mind when hearing about this writer who committed suicide because publishers refused to print his book was: How peculiar the world sometimes is. The one writer desperately wants his books published, and the other (Franz Kafka) didn't want his to be printed at all. He didn't want any of his pieces bequeathed to posterity. The latter would have never become the seminal, groundbreaking figure in literature he is today, had not his closest friend his works published after his death. On that note, both works became (more or less) famous only after their death. (Don't take anything of this too seriously)

    Anyway, keep us posted, Sophie.

    Maybe I can purchase and read this book as eBook on my eBook-Reader (Kxxxx), as soon as I have finished the books I'm reading currently.
  • That's funny :) the main character, Ignatius J. Reilly lives with his mother just like Icarus A. Quincy ;)
  • I've read the Wikipedia article about the author of 'Confederacy of Dunces', Johnn Kennedy Toole - and I was quite impressed. He had not an easy life, although he was extraordinary intelligent. And the characters in his novel are more or less based on real people he knew - and of course, to some degree on himself. After he came back from his military service in Puerto Rico, he lived with his mother again - to teach at a local college and in order to have enough time to write. He committed suicide because of increasing depressions and paranoia. Not an easy life.

    And there's another parallel with Icarus Quincy: Toole's mother was also a pretty formidable, pushy person. (??)
  • Thank you, Whacky :), it's very interesting to have informations about the author while reading the book. I was on the beach yesterday with husband and daughters and I've been able to read the first 2 chapters. I can nearly understand the story but I've got to find out the translation for new words in dictionaries on the net.
  • In the first chapter, Ignatius and his mother have some troubles with the local police. They stop at a bar ' the Night of Joy' (hot spot for scenes to come) and come back home to have a rest. Ignatius is then ( ch.2) working on a book he is writing. Bad news soon arrive from his mother : she needs money and convince her boy to look for a job.
  • This is not fair Alumnus, you are telling the story :(
  • I read "Confederacy of Dunces" few years ago. I'd liked it a lot.
  • I am pleased to read your post. I've just fisnished chapter 7, and enjoy the reading very much :) . What did you like most : the story ? the characters ? the style ? the mood ? altogether ? ;)
  • I think thefe of the auther is key to understanding the background of the plot in the novel. It has many similarities and Toole took a lot of inspirations from real people he knew.

    Toole himself was kind of a loner, a maverick, looking for his place in life, always with a strong longing for writing - but he also had to earn a living. The main male character seems to be partly a reflection of himself.

Please sign in to leave a comment.