Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Charles Citrine

Charles Citrine, a successful and acclaimed American author in his mid-fifties, living in Chicago. He has won the Pulitzer Prize and has been awarded the Legion of Honor, yet his career has become stale and he is reassessing his potential and his human relationships, past and present. He combines a subtle intellect and a strong sense of comic incongruity with a tolerant, mellow personality. Basically good-humored, he is attracted to eccentric and flashy characters, some of whom exist only in his capacious memory. Highly cultured and interested in metaphysics, he explores the philosophy of Rudolph Steiner.

Denise Citrine

Denise Citrine, Citrine’s former wife, the daughter of a federal judge and a graduate of Vassar. She is attractive, upper class, socially ambitious, and at times overbearing. She keeps Citrine’s life in turmoil through endless litigation but really desires to have him back because of his fame and culture.

Von Humboldt Fleisher

Von Humboldt Fleisher, a deceased avant-garde American poet whose career peaked in the 1930’s. He was handsome, large of build, fair, and learned. A fascinating conversationalist, he attracted followers and became Citrine’s mentor. A self-diagnosed manic depressive, he became subject to alcoholism and mental illness in his later years and died in poverty and obscurity. He left Citrine an unpublished manuscript.

Kathleen Fleisher Tigler

Kathleen Fleisher Tigler, Humboldt’s former wife. She is large, fair-skinned, and attractive. A person of warmth and mature understanding, she helps Citrine secure Humboldt’s legacy. Her favorite pastime, reading, indicates...

(The entire section is 707 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Von Humboldt Fleisher, the titular hero of the novel, Humboldt's Gift, is a Romantic poet. Brilliant and charismatic, he is unable to...

(The entire section is 271 words.)