The centrality of characterization

When people come together—let’s say they come to a little party or something—you always hear them discuss character. They will say this one has a bad character, this one has a good character, this one is a fool, this one is a miser. Gossip makes the conversation. They all analyze character. It seems that the analysis of character is the highest human entertainment. And literature does it, unlike gossip, without mentioning real names.

The writers who don’t discuss character but problems—social problems or any problems—take away from literature its very essence. They stop being entertaining. We, for some reason, always love to discuss and discover character. This is because each character is different and human character is the greatest of puzzles.

–Isaac Bashevis Singer

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