Hyper-characterisation


One of the things that stands out about Thomas’ writing, besides it being dreadful, is appalling characterisation. In an interview with the eZine WTF, he was asked why he writes about animals acting human.


“I find it far easier,” said Thomas, when someone could be bothered listening to him, “to write about animal characters rather than people, primarily because I don’t understand the latter. The great thing about having animals in novels is that they can be credible because fiction doesn’t have the reader visualising the cast as much as in other media.”


Reading leaves an impression of character through suggestion, rather than visually. In as much, anthropomorphism permits reading about ourselves in an unusual way. By having human qualities as a framework, rather than a whole, eccentricities that might be considered incredulous can become the norm. 


A cast of eccentrics can only be seen as such against a backdrop of normality. Without such contrast, eccentricity becomes implausible and, more importantly, unrelatable. But with anthropomorphism, eccentricity can be the norm because the entire cast is peculiar, especially when the backdrop is recognisably normal. Indeed, anthropomorphic society, convention, politics and behaviour can be utterly ludicrous, which becomes acceptable when eccentricity is the norm. In as much, unpredictability becomes the new certainty, and absurdism abounds. Anthropomorphism permits a sort of hyper-characterisation: perceiving ourselves and our world—and the absurdities of both—with a saturated hue and an unconventional perspective. “I also like it,” said Thomas, “because there are food fights and lots of references to bodily fluids.”


When Thomas was then asked whether he’d taken his medication, he replied he hadn’t, because it made his ears grow inwards.