A Confederacy of Dunces


A Confederacy of Dunces

I just finished reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole for the second time. The first time was 30 years ago and I think I appreciated it more this time around because I now realize just how visionary Toole was. The book was written in the 1960’s and the circumstances surrounding how the book came to be are bizarre. It is most unfortunate, but aside from a first novel written at the age of 16, A Confederacy of Dunces is the only book Toole ever wrote. Much like David Foster Wallace, Toole struggled with depression, and after years of trying and failing to get A Confederacy of Dunces published and having so totally invested himself in the work, he committed suicide. His mother then toiled for many unsuccessful years to get her son’s book published posthumously until finding Walker Percy, the American author, now deceased, who at the time was teaching at Loyola University. Percy reluctantly began to read the book, but what started as a guilt read ended in astonishment, and A Confederacy of Dunces found a champion, finally achieving publication in 1980.    Read the review here…

About Pam Lazos

writer, blogger, environmentally hopeful
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5 Responses to A Confederacy of Dunces

  1. Pingback: A Confederacy of Dunces | wee ditty

  2. I also read this about 30 years ago (but not again) and would probably appreciate it more now. I was drawn to the story of how the book came to be but a little disappointed that the hero wasn’t more likeable. I may take another look!


    • pjlazos says:

      Yes, I agree. He’s a difficult character, almost yin and yang with a protagonist and antagonist all wrapped up together. I definitely appreciated it more the second time around.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. An excellent review thanks, and I shall be seeking a copy out.


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