The main character in the novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” is a horrible person! Ignatius Reilly is mean, egoistic, egocentric, lazy, bullying, scornful, harasser, overeating, fat – which per se isn’t a crime, but in this case, well contributes to the general picture of this… person. Though he also in some ways seems to be very intelligent – seen from another perspective… he’s just plain stupid.
It is a very humorous novel! No doubt about that! When I first read it, several years ago, I thought it was really funny. It’s also very well-written, and the story builds up – over and over again – until it just bursts.
Now, when rereading this book, I can’t as easily find the humor in it. There are still his mother and other people around him, that are both nice and doing their best and for certain, JKT has described them and their whereabouts so, that I really burst out in laughter. And the way JKT has built this story, caught all of the characters with there own personalities, and so on! It’s splendid!
It’s just that I now see more of the ill-nature in Ignatius – which he himself for certain isn’t aware of – and it makes me… well… maybe not want to read on?
I can see why this is considered very humorous, and getting the Pulitzer price and all. I can also see that Ignatius isn’t actually mean. He isn’t violent! He wouldn’t hurt anyone, and absolutely not physically. He’s just so IRRITATING!
And I just realized this has been on stage! (When? Where?)
And as movie! ? Gotta find out…
There is another main character that has about the same qualities. Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced Bouquet, in the TV-series from the nineties, “Keeping up appearances”. I don’t know about her intelligence, Ignatius wins that competition, but she is also egoistic egocentric, conniving, bullying. Like Ignatius, she isn’t actually mean, but people try to avoid her as much as they can, and many feel so sorry for her husband, Richard.
The neighbor Emmet, who is a musician and puts up musical events in the church, hides indoors not to be seen, and cries: She sings at me!!! Just to mention one of thousands of events. The best and funniest in this series are, in my opinion, the people around Hyacinth. Her sisters: Rose, Daisy and her husband Onslow, and Violet “She’s the one with the Mercedes, sauna and room for a pony”. It’s Emmet and his sister Elizabeth, The Vicar and his wife, churchgoing people, neighbors. And those they encounter during the way!
I think the series is funny, but I prefer speeding up the parts with Hyacinth, and instead enjoy the others more. Also “Confederacy with Dunces is funny – but also there, I jump over some of the parts with Ignatius, but enjoy the others more.
Both of them, are like a nave in a wheel. They make the events spin around them, the fun parts are in the wheel! Are the wheel!
But since there can’t be any spinning wheel without a nave, there can also not be any fun story without an Ignatius or a Hyacinth. Maybe just because we in a way, (at least in these cases) dislike them?
Wouldn’t want one of those personalities nearby, though. Just in a book or on a screen…