I've always been attracted to how Trollope described his work: "'the little daily lacerations on the human spirit." I suppose this sounds depressing to people. Surely we like to read about the triumphs of the human spirit, perhaps the frailties... but the lacerations?
But what are lacerations, really? What we must endure and strengthen ourselves against. But what is plot but endurance, pushing through...and what is character but the choice whether we conquer or cower when faced with such lashings?