The writer’s characters must stand before us with a wonderful clarity, such continuous clarity that nothing they do strikes us as improbable behavior for just that character, even when the character’s action is, as sometimes happens, something that came as a surprise to the writer himself. We must understand, and the writer before us must understand, more than we know about the character; otherwise neither the writer nor the reader after him could feel confident of the character’s behavior when the character acts freely.

I understand women” … There’s no man alive who can honestly say those words and mean them. It just isn’t possible, so there’s no use trying. But that doesn’t mean you can’t love them anyway. And it doesn’t mean that you should ever stop doing your best to let them know how important they are to you!

Much can be gained be contrasting a theory with its alternatives, even ones that look too extreme to be true. You can really understand something when you know what it is not.

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