Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dark Fiction

In the past, after school shootings, it has come to light that students wrote dark fiction, depicting drinking, drug use, killing, before they walked into a school and shot fellow students. In the wake of the Virginia Tech killings, The Wall Street Journal cites incidences where students have been expelled for creating dark writing or art and expressing non conformist leanings, to the extent that more than one college in Virginia has had a student detained for a weekend at a psych facility and even when psychiatrists deemed him not to be a threat, expelled him anyway. The detention was based upon the art and/or writing produced by the student.

Students write dark. Where would American literature be without Edgar Allen Poe? We can't view every non-conformist as a threat in a country founded upon the nonconformist approach. Are we going to lynch Stephen King? Get rid of the people who write about serial killers not to mention blood-thirsty vampires? We are trying to pidgeon-hole people to the point we make them afraid to express themselves at all. One student swears he will only write about butterflies and rainbows from now on. That kind of writing would eliminate George Bernard Shaw, Steinbeck, Hemingway and most of the other renowned writers of our time.

In the quest for safety, our country could stifle the very thing that has made this country great, freedom of speech.


Sara Saint John said...

Oh, this makes me mad! Writing provides a way to get RID of dark feelings, or at work through them. I've experienced many a catharsis offing a villain. Wait, I write dark fiction. Maybe I shouldn't admit I killed off a villain or two. They might put me away!

Carol said...

It's could get scary if we start being judged by our imagination, as if imagining a thing means we'll automatically do it.

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