University buys ‘Confederacy of Dunces’ manuscript

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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – Three photos of John Kennedy Toole as a teenager and a photocopied manuscript of his novel “A Confederacy of Dunces” with handwritten corrections now belong to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where Toole taught briefly.

The pictures show Toole in Mississippi with his friend Cary Laird, who was given the manuscript by Toole's mother.

The university said Wednesday that the UL Lafayette Foundation bought the items at Sotheby's auction house. The company's website shows a total price of $31,250.

Toole taught English at Lafayette from 1959 to 1960. The university plans to use the artifacts for study, research, exhibition and a symposium next year.

Biographer Cory MacLauchlin tells The Advocate he thinks the manuscript may have been typed after Toole's death, when his mother was trying to get the book published.

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