Aug 31, 11
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by:
too many English teachers
people who champion the underdog
read count: 2
As a youth I was very resilient to classic literature. Why? The reasons I would now give are as follows:
1. It was written a long time ago and therefore in my yoof-mind ( which FYI was a tight nucleus of hormones surrounded by a swirling miasma of rage)it was the book equivalent of black and white TV -dated, not relevant and generally unappealing to the eyes.
2. My teachers raved about it. Nothing is guaranteed to make you bang your head against the blackboard more than a dishevelled English Literature teacher swooning, flailing and waxing lyrical about open shirted, brooding hero types.
3. Oldy-worldy verboseness. Obviously most of us here at Goodreads are now embroiled in a torrid love affair with wordiness in general. We all clatter away at our keyboards, directing our day to day verbosity at a medium which allows us an outlet for all the words we have broiling in a big word soup inside our heads (but which many people outside of this cosy niche in cyberspace are not interested in listening to), however Georgian verboseness or even Victorian period verboseness represented a sort of textual turgidity to me.
4. Belligerence. The world thinks these books are a heart breaking work of staggering genius. I therefore, will not.
Anyway, it's been a good few years since I left school, probably more than I care to admit and while I still retain elements of both the hormonal and belligerent aspects described above, I've finally made my peace with classic lit. Prior to reaching this zen like state of literary understanding, I'd always had a little corner of my book-soul reserved for the exception that is Wuthering Heights.
Wuthering Heights is good. It is even good when you're a teenager because it is a never-ending-cycle-of-bleak. A bit like being a teenager. It fed into my inner EMO, well at least that's my excuse.
Everything about this novel is bleak. Bleak, bleak, bleak. The moors, the house, the squalid, damp, mouldering self-destructive hatred of the people brought about by intense jealousy, sibling rivalry and the great social experiment which is nature versus nurture coupled with the bleak doomed to fail love of Cathy and Heathcliff.
The story examines the slow decay of a once prosperous family, which could be directly attributed to presence of the cuckoo in the nest (the family fortunes and relations begin to deteriorate following Heathcliff's arrival). Heathcliff is regarded as another romantic ultimate, much like Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice he has come to define a type of man. The unobtainable, dark and brooding figure - the sort that certain ladies see as a "challenge". Someone to be caught and domesticated but all the while admired for his good looks. Immortalised on the silver screen and by mad-as-a-box-of-frogs singer Kate Bush. A gothic soap opera on a grand scale and also a gentle reminder that its grim up north!