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2 days ago
A classic that, on rereading, disappointed: "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë. I had thought it was deep and full of painful unrequited love, but on rereading I think it's a bunch of very drippy people who accept being bullied for no very good reason.Also on the Newsweek website an excerpt of Jasper Fforde's forthcoming book with the return of Thursday Next can be read: First Among Sequels.
But deep down, the same old prejudice prevails. War matters; love does not. Women are destined to be undervalued as long as we write about love. To be generous, let's say the prejudice is unconscious. If Jane Austen were writing today, she'd probably meet the same fate and wind up in the chick lit section. Charlotte Brontë would be in romance, along with her sister Emily.We beg to differ. Both novels have many, many layers and points of view and both have generated such a wealth of scholarly material that - if we were to judge on that ground alone - it would only go to show how many aspects there are to them. Remember what Mr Fforde has to say about Wuthering Heights. Ah, labels - what a bore.
But before we wring our hands over the Daily Mail and its ilk, it is worth remembering William Thackeray’s comments on Charlotte Bronte, written upon the publication of Villette, in 1853. Thackeray wrote that, for all her success as a novelist, what Charlotte Brontë really wanted was “some Tomkins or another” to sweep her off her feet. “But you see she is a little bit of a creature without a pennyworth of good looks, 30 years old I should think, buried in the country, and eating up her own heart there, and no Tomkins will come.”What he didn't say here is what he often showed when she was around: that he - big, tall, imposing man that he was - was afraid of this 'little bit of a creature without a pennyworth of good looks' as reported by their contemporaries. We think he was playing the macho here ;)