It’s also worth remembering that plenty of readers still agree with Gottlieb. I’ve read quite a bit of criticism of the book since we started it on the reading group. I’ve lost count of the number of times that people have complained that the book doesn’t add up to much and that Ignatius J Reilly doesn’t develop as a character. There are many excellent editors and readers out there who would make the same decisions as Gottlieb. In fact, Gottlieb himself was recently brave enough to say that were he to re-read the revised manuscript of A Confederacy of Dunces, he would say the same again .
Second scenario: This one is more likely to happen. HBO kills “Confederate” before it can be shown. This would compromise how HBO created an alternative to TV mediocrity with series that challenged tired old formulas, such as “The Sopranos ” and “Sex in the City .” Viewers turned to HBO in the first place because they could not see these sorts of innovative quality programs that push social boundaries on network television. HBO may satisfy a social justice mob in the short term. But long-term, its brand will be harmed.