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Walker Percy Wednesday – 11

So thoroughly in fact did he identify with his group companions of the moment, so adept did he become at role-taking, as the social scientists call it, that he all but disappeared into the group. As everyone knows, New York is noted for the number and variety of the groups with which one might associate, so…

A Confederacy of Dunces: extracts (50)

“The sisters loved Ignatius. He was such a darling child. He used to win all them little holy pictures for knowing his catechism.” “Them sisters shoulda knocked his head in.” “When he useta come home with all them little holy pictures,” Mrs. Reilly sniffed, “I sure never thought then he’d end up selling weenies in…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 10

But it was worse than this in his case. It was more than being a Southerner. For some years he had had a nervous condition and as a consequence he did not know how to live his life. As a child he had had “spells,” occurrences which were nameless and not to be thought of,…

A Confederacy of Dunces: extracts (49)

“Goofin off? Shit. Goofin off ain cleanin up this mother-fuckin cathouse. They somebody in here sweepin and moppin up all the shit your po, stupor customer drippin on the flo. I feel sorry for them po peoples comin in here thinkin they gonna have theirself some fun, probly gettin knockout drop in they drink, catchin…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 9

As for the present young man, the last of the line, he did not know what to think. So he became a watcher and a listener and a wanderer. He could not get enough of watching. Once when he was a boy, a man next door had gone crazy and had sat out in his…

A Confederacy of Dunces: extracts (48)

Ignatius looked sternly at the young boy who had placed himself in the wagon’s path. His valve protested against the pimples, the surly face that seemed to hang from the long well-luricated hair, the cigarette behind the ear, the aquamarine jacket, the delicate boots, the tight trousers that bulged offensively in the crotch in violation…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 8

Being of both a scientific and a superstitious turn of mind and therefore always on the lookout for chance happenings which lead to great discoveries, he had to have a last look—much as a man will open a telephone book and read the name at his thumb . . . It did not take him…

A Confederacy of Dunces: extracts (47)

She described to Ignatius the courage of Patrolman Mancuso, who against heavy odds, was fighting to retain his job, who wanted to work, who was making the best of his torture and exile in the bathroom at the bus station. Patrolman Mancuso’s situation reminded Ignatius of the situation of Boethius, when he was imprisoned by…

Walker Percy Wednesday – 7

As for my search, I have not the inclination to say much on the subject. For one thing, I have not the authority, as the great Danish philosopher declared, to speak of such matters in any way other than the edifying. For another thing, it is not open to me even to be edifying, since…