Tuesday, December 4, 2012
anna in the spotlight
You know I must. I can't let the release of Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightly go ignored because it is one of my all-time favorite novels. An interesting note is that once philosophy stopped being based on reality with the coming of the modern philosophers ( think "I think therefore I am"; that is, I only know I exist because of my ability to think. The problem? All of reality is then created by each individual, not reality studied by the individual so as to understand it and how one fits in.), the true philosophers turned to writing novels to explore reality. So we get great novelists like Tolstoy and Walker Percy (who I must admit is not one of my favorites. My husband loves him!). The digression is owed to a conversation between my husband and I a little while ago- so smart that man;)!
Why did I digress my friends? Because I think it is so vital to understand Tolstoy and what he is doing in Anna Karenina because otherwise, we get it so very wrong. Everyone thinks it is the ultimate love story. And yes, there is an element of attraction and passion between a man and a woman, written in the simplest and tasteful way possible, I might add. He doesn't want to distract us from the focus.
Anna is a woman torn by her upbringing and her lack of a fulfilling and mutually loving marriage. Going with a modernist approach, one would think she would find happiness once she is adored and starts over with her young officer, Vronsky. After all, she is creating her reality anew. But the reality is that she can't start over. She misses her son and she finds she cannot function as a mistress. They get tired of each other as unmarried lovers, and she looses all sense of self.
Is that the ultimate love story, friends? Is that what we all long for? Or is it rather the kind of real and forgiving love between Kitty and Levin? These characters are directly juxtaposed to Anna and Vronsky.
I haven't seen the movie and will wait until it comes out on video. Another digression, but I have so many today I might as well add this one. It is necessary to filter what we see, even as adults. I am not a Peeping Tom, and watching this movie unfiltered would sure make me feel like one. And what happens to Peeping Toms? Do we find them fulfilled and psychologically sound...? It is time to reconsider what is normal in movie-going these days, my friends!
Lots of digressions today! My recommendations is to read the book, at least 2 or 3 times. Tolstoy's mind has so much more to offer than what meets the eye.