Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My research cited by other texts

Here are a few texts that cite my JKT research.

MacLauchlin, Cory. (2012). Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces. New York: Da Capo Press. This book cites Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer version 2.0.

Marsh, Leslie. (2013). "Review of: Butterfly in the Typewriter," Journal of Mind and Behavior, v. 34(3-4): 285-298. This article cites both Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer version 2.0, and my "Dialectic of American Humanism" article.

Lickhardt, Maren. (2014). "Zeitgenossische Pikareske als Kulturkritik," Zeitschrift fur Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik v. 44, 92-118. This article cites Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer version 2.0.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Best of John Kennedy Toole Scholarship #13: Zaenker Hrotsvit

As I said in June 2013, I would like to offer an annotated bibliography, one citation at a time, of the best of the scholarship on Toole's Confederacy that is findable via MLA Bibliography (as opposed to obscure). Here is item number thirteen:

Citation: Zaenker, Karl A. “Hrotsvit and the Moderns: Her Impact on John Kennedy Toole and Peter Hacks.” In Hrotsvit of Gandersheim: Rara Avis in Saxonia? Edited by Katharina M. Wilson. Ann Arbor: Marc, 1987, 275-285.

Annotation: Zaenker argues that Ignatius represents the opposite of Hrotsvit’s ascetic ideals. His cloister is a place of masturbation and orgies of junk food. Ignatius’s pamphlet defending Hrotsvit indicates that Toole knew about the Aschbach controversy of the nineteenth century, which claimed that she did not exist. However, the typical Hrotsvit plot is “the holy man descending into the den of iniquity and saving a fallen woman from prostitution” (278), and Confederacy ends with a parody of it. Zaenker concludes that Ignatius’s world is without transcendence, and the parody indicates that the secularization of that world is complete (279). Ignatius’s medievalism is a result of his psychosis. Zaenker's essay ignores Ignatius’s scapegoat role and his Neoplatonism in drag, but it is basically a good article that adds to the list of authors whom Toole references.

Friday, April 1, 2016

John Kennedy Toole Research website now responsive

Thanks to the hard work of Allyson Wehrs, code crafter extraordinaire, my John Kennedy Toole Research website is now responsive for mobile devices. It looks marvelous, simply marvelous.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Google Scholar now links to "Evidence of Influences," 2.0 on Researchgate

In mid-February, Google Scholar finally linked to the Researchgate version of my paper Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer version 2.0. On February 6, the link to the paper (on course1.winona.edu) was still dead, but by February 13, the Researchgate link was up and running. Thanks, Google Scholar.

Findability of texts is a curious problem on the Internet. On February 2, right after I had taken down my course1 copy of Evidences 2.0, a couple of users found my website via search engines, evidently hunting for the 2.0 version of the paper. These users apparently experienced the dead link in Google Scholar and were hunting for the text on the open Internet. Oddly, users could find the webpage for the Researchgate copy of the paper through regular Google, but not through Google Scholar.

The fact that users were looking for the paper when they would have directly downloaded it before confirmed for me why I moved the paper: Back when the only copy of the paper was on the course1 server, I could not tell how many times it was downloaded because I did not have access to the log statistics. Now I have usage statistics.

Researchgate statistics: On January 26, 2016, Evidence had 19 reads on RG, and on February 29, it had 33 reads.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Deleting Evidence of Influences, 2.0, from my website

Today, I am deleting the copy of Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer version 2.0 from my course1 website, despite the fact that it is cited by the scholarly literature (even literature that I myself did not write). I am disappointed in my own website, because our administrators have not given me access to the log information that would allow me to know how many times the paper has been downloaded. I will continue to maintain the copy on ResearchGate, which is at: Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer.

This strategy is a bit risky, because Google Scholar has not yet picked up the link to the ResearchGate copy, and I strongly suspect that Google Scholar generates a majority of the traffic to the paper.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Confederacy of Dunces and the movie Elf

I was watching the movie Elf this past week, and I had an idea. This idea is, IMHO, not worthy of being part of my occasional series of Ideas for Papers or Term Papers on Confederacy of Dunce, but it is good enough for a blog post during the holiday season.

Both Ignatius Reilly of Confederacy of Dunces and Buddy from Elf are immature, slapstick heroes whose disruptive behavior upsets a dysfunctional social order, allowing a comic happy ending.

Thesis: Compare Ignatius from Confederacy of Dunces to Buddy in the movie Elf.

My Initial Thoughts:

There is a huge difference between both those two characters and their narratives. Buddy is a more sympathetic man who is honest in his attraction to women and who, in the end, inspires faith in others and gets the girl. His actions help get his father to decide to quit his high-paid job where he was dishonest, start his own company, and spend more time caring for his family.

Ignatius, by contrast, is more of a pompous rogue and a trickster. He is childish, rather than child-like. Even at the end of the book, he thinks he is using Myrna as a vehicle for escape rather than genuinely forming a new relationship. Confederacy also has a more sustained and sharp criticism of modern consumer culture. Some of Ignatius's observations about the society around him hit the mark, while Elf promotes consumerism. But Ignatius's own position is ludicrous, thereby allowing a critique of Renaissance humanistic ideas as well.

Bottom line: The plots have some comic similarities, but Confederacy is more complex both in its ideas and in its ending.

Post Script

Google Scholar still has not added the Research Gate link to this paper: Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer. Get to it, people.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Moving Evidence of influences to Researchgate

It has annoyed me ever since I posted my paper Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer that I could not count how many users downloaded the PDF from my university's website. I didn't have access to the data. In the meantime, I have an account on Researchgate, and it has been bugging me to upload papers. It also tracks how many times they are "read" or downloaded. Perfect. Also, if Winona State ever cut off my ability to host web content, the paper would still be available, and Google Scholar links to Researchgate copies of papers. So here is the new link to the paper: Evidence of influences on John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces," including Geoffrey Chaucer (2.0). As soon as Google Scholar links to it, I think I will take down the copy that is on my own university website.