John Kennedy Toole

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John Kennedy Toole (December 17, 1937March 26, 1969) was an American novelist best known for his posthumously published comic novel A Confederacy of Dunces, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.


A Confederacy of Dunces (1980, posthumous)[edit]

Quotations are cited from the 1981 Grove Press reprint.

  • "Is it the part of the police department to harass me when this city is a flagrant vice capital of the civilized world?" Ignatius bellowed over the crowd in front of the store. "This city is famous for its gamblers, prostitutes, exhibitionists, anti-Christs, alcoholics, sodomites, drug addicts, fetishists, onanists, pornographers, frauds, jades, litterbugs, and lesbians, all of whom are only too well protected by graft."
    • Ch. 1, p. 21
  • ""With the breakdown of the Medieval system, the gods of Chaos, Lunacy, and Bad Taste gained ascendancy."
    • Ch. 2, opening line
  • When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life.
  • The human desire for food and sex is relatively equal. If there are armed rapes, why should there not be armed hot dog thefts?
    • Ch. 7, p. 184
  • You can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces.
    • Ch. 9, p. 226

The Neon Bible[edit]

  • "The war had been on for quite a while now when Poppa got his notice from the draft. He didn't have to go, but he more or less enlisted. Mother and I and Aunt Mae went down to the train to see him off, and when he left he kissed Mother and he cried, and I'd never seen a man cry before. The train pulled away, and we stood there and watched it go, and Mother kept looking long after it had passed around the hill.
    • Ch. 4, opening paragraph.

External links[edit]

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