"A GREAT SLOB OF A MAN IN VIOLENT REVOLT AGAINST THE ENTIRE 20TH CENTURY": FIRST EDITION OF A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR'S MOTHER IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION
TOOLE, John Kennedy. A Confederacy of Dunces. Baton Rouge and London: LSU Press, 1980. Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $12,500.
First edition of this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, one of only 2500 copies printed, inscribed by the author's mother in the year of publication, "Nov. 2, 1980. Appreciation and Regards from John Kennedy Toole's mother, Thelma Ducoing Toole."
"This novel has a sad history behind it. The author sent it to every publisher in America, all of whom rejected it. After the final rejection (by Knopf) Toole committed suicide. He was only 32. His mother gave the manuscript to Walker Percy, who secured its publication by Louisiana State University Press, and it was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. Its virtues have now been universally recognized" (Anthony Burgess, 99 Novels, 125). Toole's mother—broadly portrayed in the novel as Miss Trixie, Ignatius P. Reilly's mother—was intensely involved in her son's life and equally intensely promoted the recognition of his genius after the publication of the book, once proclaiming "I walk in the world for my son." First state of the dust jacket, without the Chicago Sun-Times blurb on the rear panel.