Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Character Actor

Arnold Stang

Character is the moral side of disposition. One can be quiet or loquacious. A shy person may be afraid of people or merely circumspect  Bravado may itself be a form of concealment with the noise acting as a diversion like a flare that invading forces send to fool the enemy. These dispositions become fully distilled into other affects. Some people are spontaneous while others take a wait and see approach. From the societal point of view reticence is often viewed as a form of thoughtfulness whereas a person who shows his or her hand too soon can be viewed as fickle. It's when these traits get attached to actions that they definite “character.” For instance, a person may be poker-faced, sphinx-like and hard to read, but transmogrified into unscrupulousness such an individual’s behavior and actions are described as Machiavellian. On the other side of the fence, there are the plain dealers who wear their emotions on their sleeves. If you’re buying a used car, that’s the kind of salesman you want in your corner. Mohammed Ali’s style was alternately Machiavellian and in-your-face, but sometimes his forthrightness was ironically the deterrent. Rope-a- dope was a ruse like D-Day, but when Ali taunted George Foreman he made him blow his cool. Looks are not everything, but morphology may be indicative of character; for instance, if someone is built like a brick shithouse, they may act like one. Generally bad character is associated with the kind of subterfuge that leads to lying. You may describe a beloved colleague as honest as the day is long. However taken literally you might not want to trust what he or she says during the winter.

Read "The Interpretation of Vladimir Nabokov's Dreams" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

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