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John Kennedy Toole quotes (showing 1-30 of 170)

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today's employer is seeking. ”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“...I doubt very seriously whether anyone will hire me.'

What do you mean, babe? You a fine boy with a good education.'

Employers sense in me a denial of their values.' He rolled over onto his back. 'They fear me. I suspect that they can see that I am forced to function in a century I loathe. This was true even when I worked for the New Orleans Public Library.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Is my paranoia getting completely out of hand, or are you mongoloids really talking about me?”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“I mingle with my peers or no one, and since I have no peers, I mingle with no one.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“The day before me is fraught with God knows what horrors.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
tags: fear
“It smells terrible in here.'

Well, what do you expect? The human body, when confined, produces certain odors which we tend to forget in this age of deodorants and other perversions. Actually, I find the atmosphere of this room rather comforting. Schiller needed the scent of apples rotting in his desk in order to write. I, too, have my needs. You may remember that Mark Twain preferred to lie supinely in bed while composing those rather dated and boring efforts which contemporary scholars try to prove meaningful. Veneration of Mark Twain is one of the roots of our current intellectual stalemate.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“I refuse to "look up." Optimism nauseates me. It is perverse. Since man's fall, his proper position in the universe has been one of misery.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“When Fortuna spins you downward, go out to a movie and get more out of life.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Stop!' I cried imploringly to my god-like mind.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“My life is a rather grim one. One day I shall perhaps describe it to you in great detail.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate façade there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Boethius?"
"Who? Oh, heavens no. I never even read newspapers."
"Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand the crises of our age," Ignatius said solemnly. "Begin with the late Romans, including Boethius, of course. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medieval. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is mostly dangerous propaganda. Now that I think of it, you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians, too. For the contemporary period, you should study some selected comic books."
"You're fantastic."
"I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he's found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“I avoid that bleak first hour of the working day during which my still sluggish senses and body make every chore a penance. I find that in arriving later, the work which I do perform is of a much higher quality.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“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
“I suspect that I am the result of particularly weak conception on the part of my father. His sperm was probably emitted in a rather offhand manner.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“A firm rule must be imposed upon our nation before it destroys itself. The United States needs some theology and geometry, some taste and decency. I suspect that we are teetering on the edge of the abyss.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“It's not your fate to be well treated," Ignatius cried. "You're an overt masochist. Nice treatment will confuse and destroy you.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“...When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occassional cheese dip.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Oh, Fortuna, you capricious sprite!”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
tags: humor
“Like a bitch in heat, I seem to attract a coterie of policemen and sanitation officials. ”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“So we see that even when Fortuna spins us downward, the wheel sometimes halts for a moment and we find ourselves in a good, small cycle within the larger bad cycle. The universe, of course, is based upon the principle of the circle within the circle. At the moment, I am in an inner circle. Of course, smaller circles within this circle are also possible.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“with the breakdown of the medieval system, the gods of chaos, lunacy, and bad taste gained ascendancy.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“Between notes, he had contemplated means of destroying Myrna Minkoff but had reached no satisfactory conclusion. His most promising scheme had involved getting a book on munitions from the library, constructing a bomb, and mailing it in plain paper to Myrna. Then he remembered that his library card had been revoked.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
tags: humor
“Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel,' Ignatius belched, 'Do not crush me beneath your spokes. Raise me on high, divinity.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
tags: humor
“The only excursion of my life outside of New Orleans took me through the vortex to the whirlpool of despair: Baton Rouge. . . . New Orleans is, on the other hand, a comfortable metropolis which has a certain apathy and stagnation which I find inoffensive.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“employers sense in me a denial of their values...they fear me. i suspect that they can see that i am forced to function in a century which i loathe.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
“My mother is currently associating with some undesirables who are attempting to transform her into an athlete of sorts, deprave specimens of mankind who regularly bowl their way to oblivion.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

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