Saturday, April 1, 2017
Recently I ran across a folk song written by a poet named Frances Myra Minkoff. She is best known for co-writing songs with Fred Hellerman of the Weavers, which was a folk group based in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. One of her anti-war songs was recorded by Harry Belafonte in 1963. So she was an active in New York about the time that John Kennedy Toole was studying at Columbia. In Confederacy of Dunces, Myrna Minkoff is a clueless, dogmatic leftist who carries a guitar and inflicts folk songs on listeners. I know nothing about Fran Minkoff's personality, so I cannot speculate on whether Ken Toole borrowed anything from her but her name and her penchance for counterculture folk lyrics, but I am willing to bet that the name of his character is adapted from her name.