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Gottlieb on Toole after Fifty Years

In Robert Gottlieb’s recently published memoir Avid Reader he briefly talks about the fraught relationship he had with Ken Toole. So in barely two pages devoted to Toole and in light of the critical and commercial status that Dunces has achieved worldwide, Gottlieb still dismisses Toole as sophomoric! Even with the benefit of the interim 50…


Catholic Storytelling

Great Catholic narratives grapple with suffering and doubt—experiences that transcend the faith and appeal to readers and viewers of different beliefs — The Atlantic a confederacy of duncesAnthony Burgess.CatholicismEvelyn WaughFlannery O’Connorgraham greeneJohn Kennedy Toolephilosophical literatureShūsaku EndōWalker Percy

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What makes something “Kafkaesque”?

You can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces — John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces [t]he bewildering mechanisms of power in stories such as The Trial also “point to something much more sinister”—the idea that arcane bureaucracies become self-perpetuating and…


Andy Capp

It now takes three (so credited) to come up with something that Reg Smythe on his own would have rejected as feeble. The Mirror should have let it be and just recycled 40 years worth of material. Here is the best article I’ve found on the Smythe/Capp story: Cigarettes and Alcohol: Andy Capp by Paul Slade. “[Smythe], does…