A Confederacy of Dunces

Bedroom Education & Terabithia

Posted on March 13, 2007. Filed under: A Confederacy of Dunces, Books I love, Bridge to Terabithia |

I have spent the last few days holed up in my room, suffering from a sickness so severe that I won’t even attempt to describe the toll it has taken on my physical being and fragile psyche. But my affliction has ended and I am now back in high spirits, no small thanks in part to my tiny but excellent library.

I was turned on to A Confederacy of Dunces a few weeks ago – I am not sure what the nature of the conversation was that brought up this masterpiece but ultimately the description alone drove me to the closest Barnes & Nobles where I eagerly snatched it off the shelf and immediately whipped it around to read the various quotes from noted publications. “An astonishingly original and assured comic spree”, “A corker, an epic comedy, a rumbling, roaring avalanche of a book”. Well! What had I gotten myself into!

These past few days I have been torn between a swirling abyss of pain and seizure inducing comedic fits of laughter brought on by this pulitzer prize winning gem of a book.  It is unfortunate that the author committed suicide before seeing all his genius endeavors to fruition but thankfully for us all, his mother ensured that his creative handiwork would live on forever in the minds of all those who were lucky enough to fall in love with a gargantuan, repugnant, marvelous friend in the prolific anti hero Ignatius J. Reilly.

Late this afternoon I felt strong enough to flat iron my hair and venture out for some fresh air. I ended up yet again at the Union Square Barnes & Nobles, where I picked up a copy of Killer Film’s founder/Producer Christine Vachon’s latest memoir, “A Killer Life”. This book is a follow up to her independent producing handbook “Shooting to Kill”, which was partially the reason why I chose to move to NYC instead of Los Angeles.  I have mentioned my six month internship with Killer Films in the past, so it goes without saying that while I was there I made it my priority to read the unfinished draft of “A Killer Life”, and I am looking forward to seeing what sort of changes/liberties were taken in the final rewrite.

I found myself slipping another book into my basket as well, an amusingly titled guide to contemporary Parisian culture called “Talk to the Snail”. I snorted with delight when I saw this little book mixed in with a stack of graphic design books, and couldn’t resist taking it home with me. I have already scanned a few pages and find it insightful, practical, and deliciously un-PC. It’s contents will serve me well when I leave for Paris sometime later this summer. I was supposed to go in April but unfortunately my financial situation is something of a disaster and as depressing as it feels, it’s better for me to wait until I am not in danger of returning only to become a stylish vagrant.

There are few things in life that make me happier than a stack of books neatly resting near my pillow, patiently awaiting to be held open, spine pressed against my stomach. No matter where I live, the places I go, this habit of mine makes me feel like there are parts of me that no one can rob. That even if I were to describe in the most intimate detail, it would only reveal a fraction of the intensely personal experience a person has with their beloved books.

Brief Review of Terabithia

Only go see this movie if you wish to summarily watch your childhood in fast motion, and then experience it being raped out of you. No amount of magical bumblebees or smiling trolls in a cliche I-saw-Neverending-Story-and-decided-to-make-something-slightly- shittier-cliche of an ending were able to mend my broken heart. I don’t want to give away  the horrid abomination of a plot twist that caused me to almost regress into the fetal position, but trust me when I say do not waste your good wages on theater tickets. And in the name of all that is precious, don’t take a young child to see this movie or let one see it EVER. It should be rated R, so that discerning parents have the option to spare their children the horror of having their innocence yanked out from under them under the guise of magical lands and innocent pre-teen angst. They will never forgive you for ruining their childhood, although to be honest it’s been a long time since I’ve encountered an actual innocent. I blame several sources including the internet. Innocence nowadays is a rare treasure.

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