When people ask us, what our favorite category of profiles is, we always answer, Fictional Characters. From Gargamel to Mr. Potato Head... good times. Good times.
But some of our readers question the validity of such discussions. Shouldn't we stick to those who are real and whose Jewishness is provable? Why are we dragging on about crazy cannibals and plastic potatoes?
To these people, we reply: Would you believe that the New York Times, only the most venerable and respected of all newspapers, recently spent a whole feature article debating the Jewishness of a fictional character?
That character was Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman". Arthur Miller didn't implicitly state that he was Jewish, but left enough clues. With the play's recent revival, the Times decided to go on a hunt, questioning critics, playwrights, and directors.
So we read the article, and patted ourselves on the back, and loaded up the queue with more and more fictional characters. We were quite disappointed, however, with the Times' answer about Loman's Jewishness. It wasn't exactly conclusive.
Our answer? Duh.