John Kennedy Toole

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Open your Valve, Ignatius: A Confederacy of Dunces and the function of the valve

Ignatius Reilly of the late Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces is one of the most mercilessly disgusting, crude protagonists in literature in his words and his public display of impolite bodily functions such as belching. The mention of his pyloric valve is a special motif, sometimes inconveniencing the protagonist with its pain.

How does Toole use Ignatius’s digestive function and the function of the valve to convey how Ignatius preaches his blasphemous and pretentious ideas.

  • I think this can also be connected to other authors and works like The Marquis de Sade and Rabelais. Many of their characters use the same bodily functions in "public" for uses that have ranged from the political to the carnivalesque. – DClarke 9 years ago