Continuing on most irritatingly with a previous meme…
The modern naturalist is incapable of writing Anna Karenina (issues of technical ability aside). By naturalist, I do not mean nudist, though I suppose naturalists might be nudists as well, just as they might be jam-makers or owners of dogs named Fred. By naturalist, I mean someone who only believes in material being.
To cut to the chase before the fat lady sings, I’m referring to people who do not believe in absolutes. Good and evil, right and wrong that exist external to mankind. That sort of thing.
The naturalist is incapable of writing Anna Karenina because such a story lives and dies on the concepts of sin, redemption, consequence, moral choice. In fact, all the great literature of the past is based on moral choice. David Copperfield? Check. The Count of Monte Cristo? Of course. Thomas Hardy’s books? Naturally (but not in the modern sense). The Odyssey? Yes.
This quickly begs the question: what kind of story can be written by the modern naturalist if they’re not faking it (it=moral choice and consequence)? Stories without spines. Stories that essentially mean nothing. Stories that appeal to the animal nature, a nature that refuses to contemplate moral consequence.
So what does that mean?
By the way, the guy playing Vronsky in the new Anna Karenina looks like a wispy weed. He might be a good actor, I don’t know, but he does not look the part. He sort of looks like the kind of guy who got routinely duct-taped into his locker by the football team in high school.