My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You can credit the South Florida radio talk show The Love Doctors with my reading this book. “Doctor Rich” Dickerson would constantly bring up A Confederacy of Dunces as an influence in his life, so I figured I might as well dedicate some time flipping through the pages.
I’m glad I did.
I bring a unique perspective to this book as a self-proclaimed pop culture geek. It’s from that mindset that I realized that this book is (wholly by accident) about the genre convention stereotype: “the fanboy”. The main character, Ignatius Jacques Reilly exhibits the following qualities:
1. Socially awkward to the point of being overly social. You know the type.
2. He dresses outrageously and is never without his mismatched hunting cap (much like cosplayers out of costume.)
3. He gets into long winded nonsensical arguments with about random things via letters (very much akin to online “flame wars” on fan forums.)
4. He cites Batman comics as the only impactful literature of the time.
5. He still lives with his mom while in his thirties.
A Confederacy of Dunces is a satire that depicts the ridiculous antics of various folks in New Orleans on the 1960s. It is profounds in its biting commentary on people and essays have been written about the book and the deceased author (if you haven’t read the story behind him, DO IT) – yet none that I have found point out the obvious (at least to me) connection to current stereotypes in fandom culture.
If you’ve ever walked the around San Diego Comic Con or Dragon*Con, I suggest you take some time to read this and see how alive and well Ignatius is in today’s society.