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Professors and Craziness

February 18, 2010

The following is from Stephen King’s The Dark Half:

[C]ollege and university professors have much more flexible views on the subject of craziness than most other people, and sometimes they have no view of it at all, preferring to think of people as either dull (but sane), rather eccentric (but sane), or very eccentric (but still quite sane, old boy).

There’s definitely some truth to this!

Although I still insist on a difference between non-conformity and social awkwardness.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Vidya permalink
    February 18, 2010 6:34 pm

    I’ve read the quote over a few times, thinking about it. Do you take the implicit explanation to be that scholars believe there is an underlying logic to behaviours that might otherwise appear ‘crazy’? That would certainly accord well with the mainstream of opinion among my sociology colleagues, I think.

  2. Classical Liberal permalink
    February 18, 2010 8:04 pm

    Thought of a few professors I’ve had when I read this, and had a good laugh. I also wish I had time to read Stephen King… though I suppose we all have the same amount of time.

  3. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    February 19, 2010 11:30 am

    Vidya, I’m not sure. My initial reading is that King views professors as extremely eccentric themselves, and therefore willing to tolerate a wide range of eccentricities in others. But your reading strikes me as plausible as well.

    Or maybe it is that college professors are exposed to such a wide variety of behaviors that nothing is particularly out of the ordinary any more. That is, something seems “crazy” to normal folk when it is something they’ve not been previously exposed to, but college professors make a habit of out exposing themselves to unusual things.

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