Social irresponsibility

May 23, 2003

A social sciences dean at Quebec City's Universite Laval has filed a formal complaint against one of his professors, André Drainville, after the latter published a book that has been interpreted as a thinly veiled attack on his colleagues. The Yellow Notebooks of Valérien Francoeur depicts a political science department whose staff includes a corporate lackey and a paedophile; the book ends with the killing of four professors by the title character (whose name is uncannily similar to that of Valery Fabrikant, a Montreal professor who murdered four colleagues in 1992).

Nineteen professors have backed the complaint and said the novel impugned their department. Laval's administrators said they would consider the complaint.

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