It is exactly what I was talking about a few posts ago.
“THERE IT IS. Right there on the novel’s first page. Right there in the first line, staring the reader in the face. A lie.
Nothing against Tolstoy. I’m an admirer. I simply happen to believe he’s responsible for the most widely quoted whopper in world literature.
“Happy families are all like; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
Literary types swoon over that line, which opens Anna Karenina. But have they considered the philosophy they’re embracing?
If Tolstoy is to be taken at his word, a person must be unhappy in order to be interesting. If this is true, then certain other things follow. Happy people have no stories you might possibly want to hear. In order to be happy, you must whitewash your personality; steamroll your curiosities, your irritations, your honesty and indignation. You must shed idiosyncratic dreams and march in lock-step with the hordes of the content. Happiness, according to this witticism of Tolstoy’s, is not a plant with spikes and gnarled roots; it is a daisy in a field of a thousand daisies. It is for lovers of kitsch and those with subpar intelligence.”