When I read
Emily Bronte was born 193 years ago today, and as is indicative of any real genius, the time that has passed between her publication and the present is barely felt when reading her work.
, Emily’s only novel, is so rich that it provides something new every time a reader picks it up. Often labeled as a love story, it certainly is a tale of soul mates, but not in a Wuthering Heights , great romance sort of way. The unbreakable connection between Cathy and Heathcliff is undoubtedly an integral piece of the puzzle (and provides some of the greatest lines in literary history), but it is only one piece. Hollywood is a story of revenge, of ghosts, of fierce passion, of true natures, of going against those true natures, and perhaps more than anything, it's a story about actions and consequences. Not a single character’s decisions or deeds go unanswered, and every act – be it an act of love, cruelty, betrayal or benevolence – in some way alters every other character’s makeup and each event that follows. With a narrative so multi-layered, it’s no wonder that the book has remained wildly popular for over a century and a half. Wuthering Heights
I love when I can gush with my fellow Bronte fans about the thrill I feel when Cathy proclaims, “Nelly, I am Heathcliff!” or the heartbreak of the utter humanity Heathcliff shows when he refuses to leave her deathbed, even as Edgar approaches. I could talk for hours about why Heathcliff is the way he is, how he could have been were it not for Hindley, how important his relationship with Hareton is in revealing the complexities of his character. Even if I talk about it, book in hand, it doesn’t feel like I’m discussing fiction. Just hearing that name – Heathcliff – actually does something to my heart, reminding me of why I love literature so much.
Simply put, great books stay with you, and
is the greatest of the great. Most of the people I know fall into one of two categories – those who love the book, and those who have never read it. If you’re a member of the latter group and you love a good novel, do yourself a favor – throw out whatever notion it is that’s holding you back and dive headfirst into the wonderful, stormy, so-well-written-you-can-actually-feel-the-snow-on-the-windowpanes world of the Heights. And if you have read it and love it – well, what are we waiting for? Let’s gab about it! And while we’re at it, let’s thank Emily Bronte for providing us with an endless source of discussion, because let’s face it, that Heathcliff gives us a lot to talk about. Wuthering Heights
Sigh. Heathcliff. My heart is doing that “I love books” thing again.