Thursday, March 13, 2008


How does a fictional character who decides to NOT kill his fictional professor = real life author deciding to kill his real life professor?


Can we please stop referring to "suicidal rampages" and "burning desires to kill his professor."


Robert said...

How do you square your assertions, that this is all fictional, and that you never intended to threaten a prof or student with these facts?

1. The "fictitious" professor in your essay had the same name as your real-life professor.

2. The "fictitious" professor and student were also in a writing class.

Steve Barber said...

1. I'm not on a first name basis with most of my professors.

2. Even if it was more explicit (for example, let's assume I said, "Steve Barber decided that he could not kill Professor Scalia." How can you take that as the RL Steve barber IS GOING TO kill RL Scalia?

That dog don't hunt.

Robert said...

Hi. Thanks for your responses -- I appreciate them. But your responses sound evasive:

You didn't directly explain the coincidence that the student and teacher are in a writing class, and the fictional teacher has the real-life teacher's name. In your answer "1", are you saying that the character's name, "Christopher", was completely coincidental? How did you choose the name?

I think your reply "2" is a little off the mark. I'm simply talking about your writing being both threatening and non-fictional.

Jones_the_King said...

The professor's first name being the last name of the fictional professor is probably accidental anyway. When I was at Wise I didn't know professor Scalia's first name was Christopher, I can't think of many professors first names period.

Their wasn't even any violence in the essay, only contemplation and the contemplation turns away from the idea of killing the professor.

Fictional character goes to University of Chicago, Writer goes to UVA-Wise. Fictional character is introverted, Writer is extroverted. Fictional character is a drug addict, Writer is not a drug addict. Fictional character has mental problems, Writer is cleared of any mental problems by mental institute. Fictional character had a Rugger p.90, Writer had a Springfield xd.45. Fictional character slept with gun under his pillow, Writer kept gun in his glove box.

Sounds like pretty fictional stuff to me.

Steve Barber said...

1. I categorically deny envisioning Professor Christopher as Professor Scalia. I had heard that was his first name, but I was not thinking about it at the time of posting. I'm a bit hesitant to make the claim that I was thinking of Warren Christopher because (I needed the professor to be a prick and that's the first thing I thought of--I am a poly sci major after all) I don't need a secret service complaint.

The story is very very clear that the person is not intending homicide, only suicide. I understand how it could be misinterpreted as a call for help, but not a death threat.

The sole reference to Virginia Tech is that the character is AFRAID of school shootings (thus the gun in his room: protection).

Steve Barber said...

Correction to last comment:

"I had heard that was his first name, but I was not thinking about it at the time of posting."


I had heard that was his first name, but I was not thinking about it at the time of writing the short story.

--sorry about that