Saturday, November 1, 2014

I am behind the times, Pugh revised his essay

Back in May, I listed as #5 in my rank ordering of John Kennedy Toole research an essay by Tison Pugh from 2006, see May 2014. Unbeknownst to me, Pugh had published in 2013 a book which contains a revised version of the essay.

The new citation is: Pugh, Tison. "'It's prolly fulla dirty stories': Queer Masculinity and Masturbatory Allegory in John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces." Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White Masculinity in Southern Literature. Louisiana State University Press, 2013.

I have glanced over the new essay to verify that it is in fact a revision, but I have not read it closely. The book as a whole makes an argument about southern culture and literature, and the amendations of the Toole essay seem to be focused on integrating it within Pugh's new, larger thesis. But a couple of details I did note: Pugh now states as a certain fact that Toole was gay, and instead of calling what Toole does in the novel "queering medievalism," in which queering isn't necessarily homoerotic, he now calls Confederacy pseudo-homosexuality. While the evidence does not disprove this position, I haven't seen undisputed positive proof for it either. Interesting that the book was published by Louisiana State U. Press, which also published Ignatius Rising, a book which was criticized by those close to Toole for questionable behavior by the authors and which also takes the position that Toole was gay.