The Quagmire that is “A Confederacy of Dunces”

John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is a quagmire of a book. confederacyHailed by many as an “original work of comic genius”, it remains, for me, a narrative weighed down by an irritating and unrealized protagonist: “Ho hum,” Ignatius yawned, exhibiting the flabby of his pink tongue. “Levy Pants sounds as bad if not worse than the titles of the other organizations I have contacted.” (61)

The prose are enigmatic, offering moments of vivid description only then to inevitably succumb to being awkward and tediously formulaic.

“What’s going on here?” a woman asked from the padded cart reuse leatherette door of the bar. She was a statuesque woman nearing middle age, her fine body covered with a black leather overcoat that glistened with mist. (23)

On this, my second attempt to read the book, I made it only to page 121: In my innocence, I suspected that the obscene jazz issuing from the loudspeakers on the walls of the factory was at the root of the apathy which I was witnessing among the workers.

Trapped on a distant planet, I might try again.Screenshot (522)