Friday, March 23, 2012

John Kennedy Toole: The Omega Point

I spent the afternoon watching a fantastic documentary about the author of one of my favorite books: A Confederacy of Dunces. The film is entitled John Kennedy Toole: The Omega Point. Through interviews with Toole's friends and colleagues, as well as footage from interviews/performances from Toole's mother, it paints a background for Toole's creative yet disappointing life. I learned many interesting things, such as the book was written in Puerto Rico, and that only a couple of people attended Toole's funeral because of the shame his suicide brought his family. He's buried close to my house. The film also has some philosophical aspects, as you can see from the "Omega Point" in the title. One of the best has to do with a mysterious third manuscript that was found in Toole's car when he died. It was in the Biloxi police headquarters but got washed out into the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Betsy.

Thankfully, film maker Joe Sanford has the film online for free:

Finally, Sanford ends with the following quotation, one of the best I've heard about New Orleans:

"The older I get, the more I realize, that living here isn't a conscious choice anyway. It's the first joyful step on an elegantly worn staircase to oblivion."


  1. Wow, that quote. Damn.

  2. You might enjoy the book Ignatius Rising by Nevils and Hardy. It's a well researched biography of Toole, though its prose style lacks what we typically expect in modern biographies.