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Wuthering HeightsSome months ago we reviewed a new set of editions of Brontë novels published by Oxford University Press under the label Oxford's World Classics. The Wuthering Heights edition was not exactly new, as it was as a matter of fact a reissue of the 1995 one.
Edited by Ian Jack and Intro and notes by Helen Small
Oxford University Press (Oxford World's Classics)
384 pages | 196x129mm
978-0-19-954189-8 | Paperback | 08 October 2009
Afar the melancholy thunder moan'd,The Introduction approaches the text as an expression of Romanticism (in the tradition of Byron, Shelley, Scott) threaded in a web of scepticism that grounds the narrative and is, in part, responsible for the duality between the more down-to-earth and the sublime that lingers in the novel. That way a presumed quote from Shelley (big Romanticism in Helen Small's words) in the final phrase of the novel is compensated when said by Lockwood, probably the less Romantic of all characters in the novel. That way the Romantic access of madness (in the tradition of a belcantista scena della pazzia) of Catherine is counterbalanced by Doctor Kenneth's common sense advice. The Introduction also explores other well-known ideas typical of Emily Brontë as her identification of morally good with naturally good, her disregard for contemporary political correctness in her ways of showing emotions and/or extreme behaviours, etc.
Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the wild Winds flew round, sobbing in their dismay. (Stanza 14)