One of the least pleasant activities any
human can experience is the drudgery of reading Émile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin.
Zola’s exploration of naturalism—a bleak worldview wherein characters are placed in realistic situations and play out parts dictated more by their social environment than anything else—is grim.
For all the praise it has received—and it’s worthy of that praise—there are things I’m hearing at the multiplex that needle me. No one is expecting audiences to enjoy it. And while movies are largely about entertainment, I think one of the things we forget when watching movies is that they’re not all.
In Oscar Wilde’s “The Selfish Giant” there’s a mean old giant who won’t let children play in his garden. Then—and this is all from long-dormant memory—a permanent winter settles in on his garden. Then he lets the kids in to play. Then it’s eternal spring,.