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“We run narratives about other people in our real lives, we make characters out of them, necessarily, because it helps us to guess what they might do next. Intention is very much bound up with the notion of character, the sort of person who would do this or that. It’s all part of the way in which we instinctively judge other people’s behavior and see ourselves reflected back in their own view of us. The nineteenth century formalized this for us, and the creation of character and the mapping out of other minds and the innovation to the reader to step into our condition.”

– Ian McEwan


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