Friday, November 21, 2008

Wuthering Heights

Until I read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté I had not read any of the Bronté sisters' books. Somehow that era of classics had just not appealed to me.  However Wendy prevailed upon me to read ít and I have just finished it.  It is another first too:  the first time I've read a novel borrowed from a public library.

I had always thought that this was a story of great emotional love.  As I got into it (I have to admit that, at first particularly, I found it very hard to follow) I felt more and more that it was a story of obsessive all-consuming hatred and revenge.  Such 'love' as there was appeared to me to be obsessive desire rather than true love.  This is a novel about male domination and female powerlessness, abandonment, betrayal, jealousy, obsession and revenge.  Of true love I find little.  I accept that I am a still, small voice.

But who am I to comment on such a novel when, apparently, more essays and analysis and speculation has been written about this novel than any other.   I do wonder, though, how somone of the tender age and upbringing of E B could have the knowledge and imagination that which she obviously had in order to write such prose and convey emotions or actions of such fearful ferocity.

This is not a novel for the faint hearted.  I shall, at some time, revisit it.  It will be interesting to see if, next time I read it, I perceive it in a different light.  To be sure I will certainly enjoy the splendid prose.

I did rather enjoy one critic who had evidently been infected by the food and starvation imagery of the novel who wrote "There is an old saying that those who eat toasted cheese at night will dream of Lucifer".  The author of Wuthering Heights has evidently eaten toasted cheese.

1 comment:

  1. What a fascinating review! I have never read any Bronte and though I tried one a year or so back (can't recall which) I didn't get into it. On the basis of this, I might just try again but I think I'll make sure it's not at a time I need cheering up.