Talk:A Confederacy of Dunces

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The Pyloric Valve[edit]

This page is clearly the victim of some Mongoloid plot to undermine the medical severity of chronic bloating. A contemptuous valve is a dire malady.

I demand that someone rewrite this page so that it makes reference to Ignatius' pyloric valve at least one time, though more mentions are preferable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.233.207.225 (talk) 05:21, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Tragicomedy?[edit]

Why is this book tragic (i.e. tragicomedy)? I think this book is the classic comedy, with everything working out for the good guys, and Ignatius escaping before Charity comes to get him. Mauvila 11:00, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Parallel universe?[edit]

Um, "parallel universe?" - Cobra libre 00:08, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps I should elaborate. Mentioning that A Confederacy of Dunces may take place in a parallel universe doesn't seem appropriate for the topic, and it doesn't seem appropriate in an encyclopedia article generally. Dunces, while perhaps not what one would label a realist novel, isn't science fiction or fantastic fiction, either. Mentioning parallel universes, then, seems a bit outlandish. So to speak.
I would suggest replacing:
Various small details in the novel show that A Confederacy of Dunces is set in a New Orleans that is different from the actual one, suggesting to some a setting in a parallel universe.
With something like:
Readers familiar with the New Orleans setting of A Confederacy of Dunces may notice that the city described in the novel differs in some ways from the actual one. This may be due to carelessness on O'Toole's part, or may be the result of deliberate artistic intention.
- Cobra libre 23:34, Dec 10, 2004 (UTC)
Hm. The world of CoD is clearly deliberately different from the actual New Orleans of the 1960s. To use an example mentioned, New Orleanians are well familiar with the fact that just down river is St. Bernard Parish. That in CoD it is "St. Odo of Cluny Parish" IMO can't be attributed to carelessness nor is there any plot reason for it. It is subtle, yes, but the message to readers familiar with New Orleans is clearly that Ignatius lives in a New Orleans that is very much like the real one yet unmistably not the same. Perhaps it is part of Toole's sence of humor, giving a wink to local readers. If you don't like the phrase "parallel universe" I'm quite willing to consider other ways of wording it, but this is a real point. Anyway, the article can use lots more expansion (that's one of too many things on my list to get around to). Cheers, -- Infrogmation 01:16, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't doubt that O'Toole deliberately introduced changes to his New Orleans, but I wanted to remain neutral on the matter, which is why I worded my suggested text as I did. Regardless, while it's interesting that the book's New Orleans differs from the real-world New Orleans, without some indication that these differences are significant to understanding the book, those differences don't strike me as too unusual. (It may be notable trivia that's worth including in the article, of course, because it's of interest to New Orleanians and enthusiasts for the book.)
In fiction and other narrative arts, it's quite common to introduce changes to real-world settings (think of all the relabeled commercial products that you've seen in movies and television) — indeed, one could claim that the mere fact that fictional characters and fictional occurrences are introduced to real-life settings is a demonstration of this. This is typical and possibly even conventional of storytelling, and there seems to me to be no need to introduce a notion of "parallel universes" to explain this. For example, we don't say that Chekhov's stories took place in a parallel Russia simply because that lady with a dog that he was writing about never existed. So, if all fiction takes liberties with reality, then to claim that Dunces occurs in a parallel universe is to say that all fiction occurs in parallel universes, and if that's the case, then it's not even worth mentioning, because what you mean by fictional parallel universes is taken to be understood by all readers of fiction. In other words, when I open the book of Chekhov and read about the lady with a dog, I already know that it doesn't take place in what I would call the "real" Russia.
Another issue to consider is that when many readers see this article and read the passage that mentions "parallel universes," they are going to stop taking it seriously, because the idea of parallel universes is popularly considered a fantastic notion that is incongruous with the subject material of the book. Again, this could be avoided, since it isn't necessary to claim that the book takes place in a parallel universe simply because its New Orleans differs slightly from the actual New Orleans; you can simply say that it differs, list the differences, and leave it at that. Best regards, -- Cobra libre 18:01, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
OK. Really my biggest objection to your suggested rewrite was the suggestion that the differences were due to carelessness by the author. I'm fine with your first sentence "Readers familiar with the New Orleans setting of A Confederacy of Dunces may notice that the city described in the novel differs in some ways from the actual one." How about leaving at that, or other suggestions? Cheers, -- Infrogmation 18:37, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I see. Yes, that sounds good to me. I like the restructuring of the article that you've begun. Best, -- Cobra libre 04:12, Dec 12, 2004 (UTC)

Classic comedy[edit]

I agree with Mauvila that this book is certainly very close to the Aristotelian definition of comedy. That is people who are beneath the audience are placed in a weird situation that is eventually brought back to something resembling normality. As for the alternate reality theories, the true beauty of this book comes from the self delusional reality that Ignatious lives in. Though he is often used as a narrator(through his writings), he proves himself to be a very unreliable one. Even the third person narration sometimes uses Ignatius-like phrasing. Perhaps, this accounts for the lack of realistic description of the locales. I feel it was certainly intended and that it would also only be picked up on by locals or someone very familiar with New Orleans. I believe it adds to the surrealism that exists throughout all facets of the book and perhaps even helps with suspension of disbelief. It would certainly be hard to swallow that all these dysfuntional characters could exist in one molten pot of hilarity outside of fiction. Therefore, avoiding real places through key points in the book prevent the reader from grounding themselves back in reality. -User:Wrwelch15

My edition of the book makes that exact point about Confederacy being a comedy in the classical sence in its introduction (written by Walter Percy himself). -℘yrop (talk) 04:46, Dec 30, 2004 (UTC)
Would everybody agree that we should change "tragicomedy" to comedy? Mauvila 08:25, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)
"Tragicomedy" was put in by an early editor of the article. I've always been ambivilent about that myself. Changing it is fine by me. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 20:01, 30 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"St. Odo of Cluny Parish"[edit]

I'm not so sure the intent was to have St. Bernard Parish depicted as "St. Odo of Cluny." Santa Battaglia is clearly someone from New Orleans' Ninth Ward; at the time the novel was set, the Ninth Ward was home to many working-class ethnic whites who were by and far Catholic. The Archdiocese of New Orleans placed a number of churches in the area to guide the flock. Sts. Peter and Paul Parish (as in the ecumenical sense--not as in county) is in that area.

My opinion is that Toole implied that St. Odo of Cluny Parish was actually a church parish, as many Catholics in New Orleans refer to their church parish as "where they grew up."

Further, Toole could have been sticking to Ignatius' medieval mindset by renaming Sts. Peter and Paul (or another of the parishes down there) to St. Odo's.

The depiction of the neighborhood soundls like the Ninth Ward too. Duplexes built on top of another, a small sidewalk (banquette) between the curb and the houses and the fact that they walked to the 'picture show' on St. Claude Ave. suggests that Santa lived in the Ninth Ward.

Interesting! As I remember it the dialogue of the book was consistant with how that generation of New Orleanians refered to going down to "the Parish" meaning St. Bernard, but I'll have to look over those passages again with your alternative explanation in mind. Cheers, -- Infrogmation 01:36, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)


(FWIW, I grew up in NO and my family has lived there for several generations.)

I don't think there's any question that "St. Odo of Cluny" (note, it seems to be "St. Ode of Cluny" everywhere in the text) refers to a church parish and not a "county Parish". Quotes from the Penguin edition:

p.151, Chapter Seven, Section 3:

Santa: "... If you can live down here in St. Ode of Cluny Parish..."
Mrs. Reilly: "I know what it is, sugar. Remember I lived down there on Dauphine when I was a girl."

I think the reference to Dauphine is almost definitely meant to be to the Ninth Ward. (In theory, it could be the Quarter, but I think it's clear from the book that the Reilly's don't, and never did, live in the Quarter.) You can see from this link that technically Dauphine St. does extend a block and a half into St. Bernard Parish, but it's almost entirely contained in Orleans Parish.

p. 166, Chapter Eight, Section 3:

Santa: "You'd better believe they's a candle burning for you over at St. Ode's."

That's clearly a church.

Deville 01:22, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

statues[edit]

somebody fix the statues thing,they moved the big bronze one after katrina, right now at the sonesta theres only the fish (behind that bronze one, visble in the photograph), and it's actually behind glass inside the building. i dont need to cite this because i live in this hellhole, and i see it every day with my own eyes.

I changed the part about the statue. I stayed in the Chateau Sonesta in August 2007, and the statue was no longer there. Pelkabo 01:31, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

It certainly was not moved after Katrina, as the edit implied; here's a photo of it in February 06: Image:IgnatiusUnderHolmesClockFeb06.jpg. I have therefore reverted the edit for the time being. I'll find out the status of the statue and intended permanence of location within the week. I'll try making a call now. -- Infrogmation 02:23, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
OK. The hotel consigiere says that the statue was damaged last month (he was unclear on how), and it is being repaired and will be restored to the location under the clock soon. -- Infrogmation 02:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I went looking for that statue and it wasn't there! Very disappointed, someone make a note! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 64.61.117.178 (talk) 18:23, August 23, 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I can vouch it was back by early October 07. -- Infrogmation (talk) 21:13, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
So, the entry should have been changed. Had I relied on Wikipedia for information before my trip there this weekend, I wouldn't have even looked for the statute. I edited the entry yesterday to show that the statute is back, and yes, it's on Canal Street. But I left the "Iberville" reference because the entrance to the Chateau Sonesta is at 800 Iberville. The statute is at the "Canal Street entrance" but one can't actually enter the hotel there, because it's under construction -- the hotel's going to build a bar at that entrance. If someone wants to clarify that in the entry, be my guest; I don't have time for this. This is why encyclopedias need a very small number of editors - for style uniformity. 20 November 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.192.31.130 (talk) 15:14, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
The statue of Ignatius is on Canal Street in the spot mentioned at the start of the book, so that relevent fact is mentioned in the article. That the entrance to the Chateau Sonesta Hotel is on Iberville Street is not relevent to this article. That sort of thing should be mentioned if we ever have a Chateau Sonesta Hotel article. -- Infrogmation (talk) 16:58, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Category Change[edit]

While looking through the category: Comedy Novels, I noticed a huge oversite. Confederacy of Dunces is missing!!!! I am a rather newb wikian and didn't know how to add things to categories. If someone wanted to change that and right an injustice to the world, it would be great. Also if someone could send me a message telling me how or pointing me to which of the Help wikis would have how to change that, I would appreciate it.

For the record, I am of the opinion that comedy should be used initially and somehow tragicomedy should be worked in later.Qballony 07:35, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Good point, especially since the author is listed in the main "Comic novel" article. Added. Jonrock 06:36, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Conclusion (?!)[edit]

There's no reason that I can see to have a section outlining the plot of just the last 50 pages of the book in detail. Plot summary is one thing; intentional spoiling is another. It's also not very coherent, since the plot of the first 400 pages is absent, save for the spoilers in "characters". I'm going to remove this. If people have a pressing reason for keeping it, it can be restored. Bombyx 03:06, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Adding Slate Article info to the FILM section[edit]

I tried to add some explanatory information about the current attempts to adapt CONFED OF DUNCES into a film. This information, which both clarifies and expands upon information in the current section, is the most recent and the most comprehensive on the subject, detailing the project as it currently stands (the author spoke with the main producer of the film). The article also provides insights into the book's history, the film history (including a more detailed reference to Stephen Fry's attempt to write a version, which is currently in the wiki entry now but refers to a blog posting, not a journalistic article) and the so-called "curse." I had added information and several quotes from this article, as I believe it is the most thorough and accurate article on the film to date. I also added a link to the article, within the section, as a footnote.

User INFROGMATION deleted my addition and said we didn't need it if we linked to the slate piece on the bottom (he did add the link to the slate piece, but it is undated and, to my mind, not nearly as useful where it is now).

I would like to revert back to my original addition...or open it up to be edited/added to....But i do think it deserves a place in the section. The author is a well known journalist and he has a wiki page, which I also linked to, as I believe proper sourcing helps to establish the authority of an article.

here is my proposed addition:

In December of 2006 journalist and author Peter Hyman wrote a detailed piece for Slate.com called "Conspiracy of Dunces," exploring the many failed efforts to bring the novel to the big screen and clarifying some misconceptions. [1] The piece discusses a production slated for release in 2007, but goes on to report that the project has been orphaned within Paramount Pictures, the latest of many hitches in what the reporter calls a "litany of woe that has conspired to keep the film from being made." The article concludes by suggesting that, "at this point, if a film ever does get made, it will more likely tell the meta-story of Kramer's attempts to make the movie, interspersed with bits of the book and author Toole's real-life saga—similar to the way Charlie Kaufman dealt with The Orchid Thief." —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.22.243.108 (talk) 14:21, 22 December 2006 (UTC).

The link to the Salon article was already in this article before you added it a second time. If you think noting the date of the Slate article is particularly important, add it to the description in the external links. The Slate article is a useful external link to have, but I don't think we need an entire pargraph devoted to a description of it-- especially since your version above includes a speculative suggestion from the reviewer. If there is any significant additional hard data about film productions, I suggest you integrate that into the section about proposed films, rather than posting a detailed review of the Slate piece. -- Infrogmation 23:02, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I just read the Slate piece. An unsuccessful search for more information about the Louisiana State Film Commissioner who was murdered shortly after Belushi was cast in the lead role turned up a more recent commissioner, Mark Smith, who pled guilty to bribery in 2007 and is currently serving time. (Maybe the supposed ACOD curse is actually a Louisiana State Film Commission jinx!) http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/former_louisiana_film_official.html 24.128.188.152 (talk) 17:55, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Stripper, Counterculture nitpicks[edit]

A couple of minor points:

"Darlene is the "Night Of Joy's" goodhearted but none-too-bright stripper" - this is not correct. She is NOT a stripper, but is instead a "B-girl", paid a commission to get bar patrons to buy watered-down drinks. She ASPIRES to be a stripper, an "exotic", but does not actually succeed in becoming one during the scope of the novel - although it's clearly implied that she at least gets one stripper job offer by the novel's end.

"Dorian Greene is a flamboyant French Quarter homosexual who puts on elaborate parties for the counterculture." No, Greene's parties are for the homosexual subculture, which is quite different from the counterculture. The American counterculture at the time of the novel was the beatnik culture, and the movement which is most strongly identified with the term "counterculture" was the hippie culture - which was not to come into existence until several years after the novel was written. PMaranci 02:22, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I think you're correct. Feel free to reword those points. -- Infrogmation 02:42, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Influences[edit]

Can someone explain the purpose of listing of B-List celebrities who praise the book in the "Influences" section? I think the influences section would normally cover other writers who may have been influenced by the style, tone, plot, or some other aspect of the novel. I guess I just don't understand why it's notable that Artie Lange, Tucker Max, Mischa Barton et al enjoyed the book. It's great that they did, but so what? Ronnymexico 21:02, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. I think this section could be transferred to 'Trivia', and 'Influences' should talk about the critical and literary influences of the book.Jamal (talk) 04:20, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Totally worthless information that is distracting and completely irrelevant. If anything, it has the practical effect of FRIGHTENING OFF potential readers. I read on TMZ.com that Mischa Barton was having a bad week... maybe Omarcheeseboro can send her a copy of the book to her mental hospital! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.2.209.134 (talk) 07:33, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

1962[edit]

Near the end of the book, Ignatius begins mentioning how "his favorite actress" has a movie coming out shortly and that he is desperate to see it in the theater on opening day. While he never says the name of the actress or the name of the movie, the book does mention some plot points as he watches it. He says the movie is about a woman and her libertine boss who wishes to seduce her. She agrees to go with him on a trip to Bermuda but then breaks out in a rash upon arriving. The movie he is describing is "That Touch Of Mink" starring Doris Day and Cary Grant. According to IMDB, the movie was released June 14, 1962. Thus, we can safely assume that Confederacy Of Dunces takes place from late spring to early summer of 1962.

comic book guy from The Simpsons[edit]

Is Ignatius the inspiration for "the comicbook guy" from the Simpsons? They're extremely similar in their speech and demeanour, although the comicbook guy can obviously hold a job. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.238.88.55 (talk) 19:07, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

No, Comic book guy was inspired by a real-life comic book guy. WP source is here. Binksternet (talk) 19:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Burma Jones Not a "Major" Character??[edit]

It seems odd to me to see Jones listed among the "Other Characters." Most of the characters lumped into the "other" category are two-dimensional sketches. Not only is Jones one of the best developed characters, but more importantly, large parts of the story are told from his viewpoint! I see the character functioning as an 'entry point' for the reader, and I think the author made him the only really likable character for that reason. He's the everyman observer in the story, right in the fray but sane enough to see things more clearly than the other characters.

In other words, I think you should consider moving him into the Major Characters section and fleshing out your discussion of him.

Rubyvroom (talk) 04:59, 7 June 2008 (UTC)rubyvroom

Quite right, IMO. There might have been more on Jones in an earlier version; might be worth checking the history to see if there was some over-zealous editing. Either way, expanding on Jones is quite appropriate. -- Infrogmation (talk) 05:39, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
    I also agree. Jones is the second-most important character in the book. He needs to be elevated to "Major" Jeffreystringer (talk) 17:38, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Mrs. Reilly's Drinking[edit]

The character bio for Irene Reilly currently says, "She is fond of drinking cheap wine and is occasionally tipsy, although Ignatius describes her as a raving, abusive drunk."

That seems inaccurate to me. On p. 229, "After Santa had left, Mrs. Reilly filled her glass with bourbon and added a jigger of Seven-Up." p. 230, "Mrs. Reilly slopped a greal deal of whiskey into her glass and sat down, crushing a bag of potato chips." p. 234, "Mrs. Reilly went over to the old console radio and poured herself a glass of Early Times." 236, "Mrs. Reilly sniffed, filling two glasses to the rim with whiskey." These drinks are all consumed consecutively in the space of her first date with Claude Robichaux. Virtually no scene from Mrs. Reilly's point of view, nowever, does not feature her drinking.

Her drinking is alluded to by characters other than Ignatius as well. p. 422, Miss Annie to Gus Levy, "I don't see her drunk much lately, but for a while there she was going pretty good. One day I look out in the back yard and she had herself all tangled up in a wet sheet hanging off the line." p. 423, Miss Annie to Gus Levy, "That's when him and his momma first started all that fighting. To tell you the truth, I think that's when she started drinking."

Add to that the hiding of wine in the oven---typically a strong indicator of a problem---and it's fairly clear that although Ignatius is exaggerating, Mrs. Reilly is, at the very least, a heavy drinker, and quite possibly a functional alcoholic. Would there be any objection to editing her bio to indicate a drinking problem, rather than occasional tipsiness?69.205.163.28 (talk) 09:25, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

And an afterthought. In looking for instances of Mrs. Reilly's drinking habits, I somehow neglected the car crash. Given how watered down the Night of Joy's drinks are, it would take an impressive quantity of them to render Mrs. Reilly---who can still function after four full jelly glasses (probably 8-10 ounces) of whiskey---so insensible as to be that unable to operate the Plymouth.69.205.163.28 (talk) 09:33, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
48 hours without comment, so I've made the edit.69.205.163.28 (talk) 15:10, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

"Influence"[edit]

I removed the following and bring it here for discussion:

People who have cited A Confederacy of Dunces as their favorite book of fiction include Poppy Z. Brite,[1] Tucker Max,[2] Bill Hicks, Slash, Mischa Barton, Faris Rotter, Augusten Burroughs, Artie Lange, Merlin Mann[3], Stephan Pastis and Ron Bennington.

Not only are most of these people insignificant in the literary world—Slash? Mischa Barton?—the references provided (a LiveJournal page and a twitter feed) are not even close to meeting our standards. This was removed last month by an anonymous user, but reinserted by an editor who claimed it is important to discuss the book's influence. Yes, it is important to discuss the book's influence, but a list of minor celebrities who have praised the book does not come close to doing that. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 17:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the references, per wp:rs, "Never use self-published books, zines, websites, webforums, blogs and tweets as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the biographical material." --Omarcheeseboro (talk) 22:44, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and? This is not biographical material. It would be one thing if this were the Mischa Barton article, than we could publish her tweets, or what have you. The larger point is that this information is trivial. An influence section should be about the influence of the book, not the opinion of some minor celebrity. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 04:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the "biographical material" part can be interpreted to include a subject's feelings on a book (pretty much anything about the subject), and the type of article where the cited content goes is not important. Also, I understand your interpretation as well.
Regardless I do now agree in removing the "influence" section, as that implies a literary and/or academic meaning, which the content certainly didn't provide. That said, each of the subjects listed are notable enough for their own articles, and I do believe it could merit inclusion as perhaps a section entitled "In Popular culture". I'll leave that up to someone else. Thanks.--Omarcheeseboro (talk) 12:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Author please edit?[edit]

The article shouldn't read "Many locals and writers think that it is the best and most accurate depiction of the city in a work of fiction" and then reference an interview with Poppy Z Bright where she mentions she likes the book. Don't get me wrong, I'm 40 years old and born and raised in New Orleans and I love the book, but this is Wikipedia, lets stick to facts and use references as you should. If anything this sentence could read as: New Orleans author Poppy Z Bright called the novel "the only book I've read that gets the city 100% right". Sedna1000 (talk) 07:23, 6 April 2011 (UTC)sedna1000

This is a good suggestion. I'm curious, is there a reason why you are not making the edit? --CutOffTies (talk) 11:01, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Bestiality?[edit]

I read the book and enjoyed it some years ago but was put off slightly by what seemed to me to be a reference to an interspecies sexual connection between Ignatius and his dog. I don't know if anyone else has come across that in the book or interpreted what was said in that way and was wondering. I am sure many others have read it more than once-I do plan to eventually read it again as I did find certain bits of it rather funny and endearing. Just wondering if anyone else "saw" that or if I just read it wrong at the time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.50.89.156 (talk) 03:24, 21 October 2013 (UTC)

The book contains a short passage implying that Ignatius's fantasies while masturbating include thoughts of his dog (who had died years earlier). I'd say that's a step removed from saying that they actually engaged in bestiality. It is a curious passage the meaning of which might be debated. Perhaps it is meant as an illustration of Ignatius' mental condition having twisted his sexual impulses to the point that he is not even able to fantasize about having a normal relationship. Perhaps it was more of a throw-away "sick joke" by the author that wouldn't have made it into the final print addition had the author lived to supervise it. It certainly seems to be something the author intended to deliberately startle or shock the reader. -- Infrogmation (talk) 12:48, 21 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for answering-I need to read the book again. I hadn't really thought about the possibility that he would've possibly altered the manuscript had he been alive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.50.89.156 (talk) 01:48, 22 October 2013 (UTC)