|JOHN KENNEDY TOOLE RESEARCH|
|by H. Vernon Leighton|
|A collection of resources on A Confederacy of Dunces|
|Table of Contents|
The below resources have been written on the topic of John Kennedy Toole's novel A Confederacy of Dunces.
Access:Leighton, H. Vernon. Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer. Version 2.1 (June 2, 2014).
This study investigates many literary works and authors who may have been possible influences on John Kennedy Toole when he wrote A Confederacy of Dunces. It reviews the contents of the John Kennedy Toole Papers held at Tulane University Special Collections Library. The study then analyzes themes common to both Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and Toole’s Confederacy. Originally published in July of 2010. This page also provides access to version 2.0 of the paper, from July of 2011, which is the version cited in the scholarly literature.Leighton, H. Vernon. "A Refutation of Robert Byrne: John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, Chaucer, and Boethius" Notes on Contemporary Literature 42.1 (January 2012), 11-12.
Abstract: Viewing the novel A Confederacy of Dunces filtered through the ideas of the Renaissance philosopher Marsilio Ficino adds layers of meaning to the text not discussed before. This perspective allows one to read A Confederacy of Dunces as a commentary on the scholarly dispute over the meaning of Humanism that was taking place at Columbia University in the 1950s when Toole was there as a graduate student. This presentation will discuss the investigative principle and methods that were used to discover the connection between Toole’s contemporary novel and Medieval and Renaissance studies.Leighton, H. Vernon. A Critical Annotated Bibliography of Obscure Scholarship on John Kennedy Toole and A Confederacy of Dunces Version 1.5 (June 1, 2012).
Abstract: The purpose of this bibliography is to summarize texts that might be difficult for the average scholar to obtain and to evaluate the quality of those obscure texts. Most of these are Master's theses or Ph.D. dissertations that have at least some portion devoted to a discussion of John Kennedy Toole or the novel A Confederacy of Dunces. The opinions are my own.Leighton, H. Vernon. It was the best of books, it was the worst of books . Dated July 25, 2007.
Abstract: My Amazon Review of A Confederacy of Dunces. It discusses Confederacy's relationship to Visual or Physical Comedy. This essay does not adhere to the standards of a scholarly paper. It outlines an explanation as to what in the nature of the book generates the humor, such as it is. It also tries to explain why many find the novel to be extremely funny, while others with a reasonable sense of humor do not find it humorous. It builds on some ideas that I explore more fully in the paper "Evidence of Influences on John Kennedy Toole's ..." (above). In particular, Ignatius as an Agent of Disorder is closely related to Ignatius as a physical comedian. This connection between disorder and physical comedy links the literary tradition of Ignatius under the sign of Saturn to Confederacy's relationship to film. I used this essay in 2007 to establish evidence that I was working on interpretations of Confederacy without revealing the content of my scholarly paper.Leighton, H. Vernon. Ideas for Papers or Term Papers on John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, the Occasional Series Version 1.19 (January 8, 2015).
Abstract: A collection of suggestions for possible themes for studies of A Confederacy of Dunces. Originally posted to my blog on John Kennedy Toole. These ideas had occurred to me as I was researching other studies on Toole.Leighton, H. Vernon. John Kennedy Toole's Papers: A cautionary tale of scholarly research, lecture script
Lecture for the Library Athenaeum, Winona State University, Winona, MN, delivered on March 17, 2010. Script available here on February 1, 2013.
Abstract: In the Summer of 2009, I visited Tulane University and studied the papers of John Kennedy Toole, the author of A Confederacy of Dunces. While I am working on an academic paper on this topic, I would like to present some of the findings. The papers, about which no scholar has published a description, prove incorrect at least two claims made in the scholarly literature on Toole.