Coleman Silk: 71 y/o retired Professor of Classics at Athena College, who was drummed out for purported rascist remarks. His wife died 2 years after this and he thinks that the trauma of it killed her. Recently he took up with Faunia Farley. He is self assured, independent, arrogant, and strong. Roth, writing in The New Yorker, said that the caracter was inspired Melvin Tumin, professor of sociology at Princeton for some thirty years. One day in the fall of 1985, while Mel, who was meticulous in all things large and small, was meticulously taking the roll in a sociology class, he noted that two of his students had as yet not attended a single class session or attempted to meet with him to explain their failure to appear, though it was by then the middle of the semester.Having finished taking the roll, Mel queried the class about these two students whom he had never met. “Does anyone know these people? Do they exist or are they spooks?”
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