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September 12th, 2009


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07:48 am - Wuthering Heights
I'm listening to (the novel) Wuthering Heights on audio at the moment, read by Michael Kitchen. I haven't read it since I was a teenager, and it's absolutely mental. I mean, brilliant, but completely outrageous. I can't believe people talk about Darcy, Rochester and Heathcliff as if they were similar types of hero. Heathcliff threatens to punch his wife in the face. Can you imagine Darcy doing that? He writes fake sexy love letters to a 15 year old girl to make her fall in love with a boy he knows is going to die. He's a total shit.

I kept thinking about Dude Watching with the Bronte Sisters. It's more obvious to me than when I was a kid that Emily B is writing out her fantasy. And that her fantasy is 'fuck the weak'. It would be repulsive coming from one of your Tory boys who are going to take over the country any day now, but from an impoverished nineteenth century spinster, physically weak herself, it is courageous and exhilarating I think. It's exhilarating because she is pushing her own vision so intensely. But it is surprising how extreme her vision is.

The other thing that I'd forgotten is that it's so outrageous that it's often quite funny. It might be Michael Kitchen's dead-pan delivery.

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:September 12th, 2009 08:41 am (UTC)
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I can't believe people talk about Darcy, Rochester and Heathcliff as if they were similar types of hero.

There are no other heroes like Heathcliff. There are no other heroines like Cathy. There are no other English novels like Wuthering Heights. The word awesome was invented to describe this novel.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 12th, 2009 09:36 am (UTC)
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It is awesome. I also think it's a better lesson for girls than most romantic novels - don't run off with a brooding Byronic hero, because they are utter shits.
[User Picture]
From:dfordoom
Date:September 12th, 2009 09:39 am (UTC)
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Brooding Byronic heroes are great to fantasise about, but you wouldn't really want one in your life.
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From:hafren
Date:September 12th, 2009 10:54 am (UTC)
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I find it very hard to play "marry, shag, push off a cliff" with Darcy, Rochester and Heathcliff because I wouldn't marry or shag any of them and both the second two, I want to push off the cliff. (Darcy could stay, but nowhere near me)
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:September 12th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
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On Yorkshire Moors, Brooding Byronic Hero pushes YOU over cliff.
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From:communicator
Date:September 12th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Easy: marry Darcy (biggest house) shag Rochester, push Heathcliff off his namesake.
[User Picture]
From:hafren
Date:September 12th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
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shag Rochester

Not for a big clock! He's loathsome.
[User Picture]
From:executrix
Date:September 12th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
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Isabella marries Heathcliff after their first date where *he hangs her puppy.* You'd think that would kind of say something.
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From:communicator
Date:September 12th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)
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Yes. I think she more or less forfeits the reader's sympathy. Up to then (having forgotten the plot) I was thinking 'Well, I was pretty stupid at 18 too'. I wasn't that stupid.
[User Picture]
From:hafren
Date:September 12th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
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but from an impoverished nineteenth century spinster, physically weak herself, it is courageous and exhilarating I think.

You might not think so if you were her dog... Formidable, eccentric Emily Brontë, who once savagely beat her fierce mastiff, Keeper, for sleeping on her bed, refused to sentimentalize the human-dog bond - evidently.
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 12th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm... I said 'physically weak' because she died of TB despite ridiculing the puling Linton for dying of TB. But, yes, I see your point.
[User Picture]
From:del_c
Date:September 12th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
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I kept thinking about Dude Watching with the Bronte Sisters.

I see she has a new panel



Edited at 2009-09-12 05:11 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:communicator
Date:September 12th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
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Poor Anne!
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From:pennski
Date:September 13th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Brilliant!

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