Conservatism as titillation

5 12 2018


You can talk about John Kennedy Toole’s novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, from many angles, but here I wish to focus on the main character Ignatius J. Reilly’s views on modernity and how they are manifested in the narrative. As a brief introduction, Reilly is portrayed as a nee’r-do-well living in early 1960’s New Orleans who has failed to launch at the age of 30. He seems unable to hold down a job and protects himself from the world through his eccentric dress and constant excuses for failure. With more education than common sense, Reilly’s criticisms of his time are constant: entertainment is decadent, the Church is rife with heresy, sex is an ever-present abomination, etc. Instead of withdrawing into a cloister or at least walking away from the city, Reilly continues to plop himself right into the fray of things he despises. Like the proverbial gawker at a car crash, he simply can’t look away from that which he pretends to despise. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Joseph’s Altars – New Orleans, 2010

20 03 2010

From St. Dominic’s Church down the street from our New Orleans home, where we found a charming comment to a St. Joseph’s prayer (once posted on this blog):

Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail, so be sure you really want what you ask.

Read the rest of this entry »

St. Roch Cemetery

17 03 2010

There is a legend associated with the tradition of the nine churches and the St. Roch Cemetery. It was said that unmarried young women who made the nine churches on Good Friday and left a donation at each church would find a husband by the end of the year. For best results, the ninth church should be the chapel of the St. Roch Cemetery. The young women would pick a four-leaf clover growing in the cemetery, a plant different from other four-leaf clovers in that there were red spots on the leaves. The story behind those four-leaf clovers is romantic, Gothic, and tragic. Once upon a time, a bride-to-be was widowed before her wedding. Despondent and devastated, she committed suicide on the grave of her betrothed. Her blood fell on the graveyard’s four-leaf-clover patch, forever marking the leaves with the splatters of her exsanguination. Blood; death; Good Friday: it’s a good story.

-Earl J. Higgins, The Joy of Y’at Catholicism