“The thing novel, the Roman shows, has come in along with the Fellini or VanDerBeek movie. The movie without the story line is a movie more subtly responsive to modulations of complex environments and human needs. It’s what many people find very baffling—and you see Dr Zhivago as no story line to speak of, but that’s not because of the influence of TV. It’s simply because Russians never needed a story line, they were always a corporate, collective sense. They sensed the meaning of vast environmental changes, and corporate changes. And so, in War and Peace and in Dr Zhivago you have this sense of MASS, collective energy, reshaping whole populations. And so a narrative, a mere narrative story line from a personal point of view of an author, doesn’t tend to exist.”

— Marshall McLuhan