Friday, June 27, 2003

Law Professor: A Life?

I have no talent for fiction -- except of the unwitting kind -- but I sometimes wonder if the life of a law professor warrants fictional treatment.

After extraordinarily brief reflection I invariably conclude that the answer is "no" -- unless, of course, a writer is capable of crafting a well-told tale that largely ignores the professorial (anti)hero's professional life.

How much drama can one expect to unearth in even the stormiest faculty meeting or in LEXIS research? (I am reminded of Bob Woodward's largely-futile attempt to find drama in the backroom wrangling of Supreme Court Justices. [Even the backrooms were in that case merely metaphorical -- since most of the spell-binding wrangling seems to have been done through memos and written notes, as I recall.])

But I may be wrong. (I am often wrong.) So, pray tell, what's your opinion? Should someone do a fictional expose [an accent over this last "e," please] of the life of a law professor?

My favorite (but nonfictional) anecdote -- a sad anecdote -- about the lives of famous academicians is the story of Nobel Prize-winning economist who died of a heart attack at the side of the Merritt Parkway shortly after learning that he had been awarded the (Nobel) Prize. This story is a reminder that practically all of us -- except, possibly, Donald Trump -- have to pull their socks on one at a time. (I presume that people such as Donald Trump can afford to hire other people to perform such tasks.)

I know, I know: Someone has already done it recently, someone has already written such a novel!

  • Well, ... er ..., ... actually ..., I don't know. So tell me: Who has written a novel recently about the trials (metaphorical) and tribulations (real) of a law professor in the United States? And is the novel any good?
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