Professor’s article marks the 30th anniversary of ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’

Aug 17, 2010 | General News, Liberal Arts

Dr. Robert Rudnicki, an associate professor and coordinator of graduate studies in English, published an essay on John Kennedy Toole’s novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” in the Mississippi Quarterly, a prominent scholarly journal of Southern literature and culture. The essay was written to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Toole’s famous 1980 novel set in New Orleans. In “Euphues and the Anatomy of Influence: John Lyly, Harold Bloom, James Olney and the Construction of John Kennedy Toole’s Ignatius,” Rudnicki uses Tulane University’s archives to demonstrate that despite Toole’s celebrated imitations of Louisiana dialects and depictions of French Quarter mayhem, many English literary figures shaped the novel, including Shakespeare. “A Confederacy of Dunces” won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1981, has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has long been considered a cult classic as well as an important work in the field of modern Southern literature.