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|[an error occurred while processing this directive]|Author: [JOHN KENNEDY TOOLE] MACLAUCHLIN, CORY Title: Butterfly in the Typewriter The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of "A Confederacy of Dunces"
Description: Da Capo, Boston MA, 2012. Octavo; hardcover; 319pp. Mild wear. Dustwrapper a little worn at edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Remainder. New. In the introduction to his exhaustive biography of New Orleans literary legend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, Cory MacLauchlin considers the question of whether John Kennedy Toole is a modernist or a Southern writer. Without realizing it, he unconsciously replicates the question that haunted Mr. Toole, as an author and a person, for his entire life. He defied easy categorization. Perhaps if he'd fit neatly into a type, he would have achieved fame even while he still drew breath. As those who know anything about the odyssey to publication that Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces understood, the book never came close to being published while the author was alive. It took a herculean effort on the part of Toole's mother to get the book into the hands of noted New Orleans legend Walker Percy and the Louisiana State University Press. Despite a great temptation, the author opted in his biography to 'neither diagnose nor cast [Toole] in the mold of the tortured artist,' but to take the author on his own terms.The book sets its initial scene at the height of the Cold War: 1963, a year when Toole was stationed in the U.S. Army at a Puerto Rico outpost, geographically distanced from and unburdened of the pressures he had in the Crescent City. An only child of a domineering mother and an infirm father, Toole spent most of his adult life attempting to make his own way even as his parents required his support. The significance of Puerto Rico, then, was that the island was, to borrow a phrase from Virginia Woolf, a 'room of his own' for Toole, where he could explore the flights of fancy that made A Confederacy of Dunces perhaps the most epic comic novel of the 20th century, with stylistic debts to Miguel de Cervantes and Evelyn Waugh. Butterfly in the Typewriter is required reading for anyone interested in this enigmatic literary figure; indeed, in Southern literature in general.
Price: AUD 24.20 = appr. US$ 16.74 Seller: Lamdha Books
- Book number: 75540