A Confederacy of Fixtures

It’s somewhat amusing to see that John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, a novel that was on Stanford’s Summer Reading List for incoming freshmen when I was getting ready to enter college, is still a fixture—this year it’s on the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List. (Oddly, Stanford doesn’t seem to have its reading list—if it’s still doing reading lists and hasn’t fallen behind Berkeley in that category too—online.)

I didn’t particularly like the novel when I read it back then, partly because it was so cynical. Maybe it’s time to revisit it.

It’s also gratifying to see Samuel Pepys’ diary on the list, though of all the books, including selections by Neal Stephenson and Will Self, I would wager that it’s the least likely to be read.