Sixty years of A Confederacy of Dunces' Ignatius J. Reilly

Originally published at: Sixty years of A Confederacy of Dunces' Ignatius J. Reilly | Boing Boing


At the moment, I’ve got the Barrett Whitener-read audiobook in my Libby shelf. My library apps are connected to my local library but you might try browsing for a membership through one of the bigger public library systems that allow remote membership. Hoopla and Libby are just two apps, there must be more.

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Not every book should be made into a movie. Stephen King has proven that true numerous times over the years. Far too much of the dialogue in Dunces happens inside the characters heads and would require torturous exposition in a screenplay in order to make any sense whatsoever.

There’s no chance that a studio/producer/director can pull off the exquisite balance of farce and seriousness that Toole managed to create in the book. I also can’t image any actor being able to bring a character like Ignatius to life without totally fucking it up. In short, best just to let it be and not ruin it.


The long-running BBC Radio Four “A Book at Bedtime” series had a 15-part adaptation (each running to 15 minutes) back in 1982.

Not sure if it’s out there anywhere online.

Yes, BBC Radio Four knows when your bedtime is.


Reading this book upgraded my appreciation of my next visit to New Orleans, and the residents’ sense of pragmatic yet sideways humor.

:heart: Ignatius and his entirely oblivious existence.


I think Stephen King has proved the exact opposite: sometimes we should forget the book and just remember it inspired a better film.


I just finished reading Butterfly in the Typewriter, a biography of Toole. Highly recommended. The author makes a compelling case that Toole slipped into paranoid schizophrenia.

I’m reading Toole’s first novel, The Neon Bible, now. Not as great as Confederacy but still interesting.


I loved the book Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in New Orleans. It’s a non-fiction work about the New Orleans characters and features that inspired Confederacy.


The Neon Bible is great. Like you said, very different, but he wrote it when he was sixteen. I only wish I had an ounce of that kind of talent now, never mind at the age of sixteen.


A fantastic book! The MC 900 Ft. Jesus track “New Year’s Eve” always reminded me of Ignatius New Year's Eve - YouTube

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I read them both when I was young, under the influence of American friends as they would have been unknown in Europe, and I enjoyed Neon Bible more. Maybe there were just too many things that I had no point of reference to in Confederacy? I did read Neon Bible when I was living by a church with neon signs on it…


Oh, absolutely.

So tragic to have lost him.


Reading the list of potential actors to play this role, I screeched to a halt at the utter, perfect, ideal embodiment: Zach Galifinakis. He exudes the exact sort of delusional hauteur the character breathes. A man-baby with everything to say and infinite excuses for his laziness. If it can be made into a film, that’s the actor that can do it.


… except of course he’s too old now

The right guy to play a thirty-year-old character in a new movie (or series) will always be somebody we think of as “a kid” in his previous work :thinking:

Another reason why this really can’t exist as a movie: In my head, the overly verbose inner dialog (50s style) is entirely done by Gilbert Gottfried.

… well there’s this

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