Friday, May 14, 2010

The Wuthering folk reach impressive Heights in the world of self-pity. But I like the book anyway.

Wuthering Heights is a beautiful book, uniquely narrated and rich in gothic character. Well done, Emily. I read it in high school, and I am reading it again. As much as I enjoy the atmosphere of the novel, however, I have to say that the characters make me want to throw things. They are self-absorbed to the point of silliness, and I can't help but roll my eyes. A lot.

While Miss Linton moped about the park and garden, always silent, and almost always in tears; and her brother shut himself up among books that he never opened; wearying, I guessed, with a continual vague expectation that Catherine, repenting her conduct, would come of her own accord to ask pardon, and seek a reconciliation; and she fasted pertinaciously, under the idea, probably, that at every meal, Edgar was ready to choke for her absence, and pride alone held him from running to cast himself at her feet; I went about my household duties, convinced that the Grange had but one sensible soul in its walls, and that was lodged in my body. (Wuthering Heights, Chapter XII)

Yes, Nelly Dean, you are right. They are all quite ridiculous.

If you can get past the absurd personalities, though, it is easy to lose yourself in the landscape. I've never seen the English moors (aside from those portrayed in the film), but when my nose is in this book, I can smell the heather.

Both of these photographs were taken in Utah, and I am well-aware that the landscape of the American Southwest is a just a wee bit different than that which Catherine and Heathcliff roamed, but I think the lonely, stormy atmosphere is still appropriate.

I started a landscape painting last month, and I think its continuation will be greatly influenced by this book. Maybe, someday, you will see it! The Jane Eyre project is nearing completion, so there's a chance I'll pull these projects together.... in this lifetime...

Until then, I leave you with the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights by Monty Python. If you are finding Miss Emily's novel to be trying at best, this will surely add some levity.

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