Friday, 26 June 2015

My difficult relationship with Wuthering Heights

So, recently, I was out with a colleague for some drinks, and we got around to talking about books, and how the nature of literary writing has changed over time, considering the intricacies and dense prose of classics such as Middlemarch or Moby-Dick.

And I confessed that I had, on a number of occasions, attempted to start reading Wuthering Heights, and failed. Maybe it was because I'd been reading too much contemporary popular fiction, or way in which it was written, or the introduction of such a strange and slightly confusing assortment of characters, but I've never made it past the first few chapters. It's a terrible guilty shame of mine, which makes me feel like a failure as both a librarian and an educated member of English-speaking society.

(Curiously, I had similar difficulties with the first few pages of The Great Gatsby, and the way that it sets the geography of Long Island and historical context, before we start getting into the characters.)

But I am resolved to succeed with Wuthering Heights. So I've decided to get some help.

Now, I know that film adaptations are almost never as good as the book, but I figured that this would be a good way of quickly getting my head around the setting and the main characters.  Given my former housemate's obsession with Tom Hardy (and isn't everybody these days, right?), I opted for the 2009 mini-series. And boom - I'm hooked.

Grunge was born long before the 1990s...
And really, who wouldn't be. So romance. Such brooding. Wow.

But. Here's the catch. I'm only allowing myself to go so far - and I've stopped at the moment that Heathcliff rides off to seek his fortune and presumably win back Catherine's love, after which point I'm sure it'll all be fine, right? Right?

Now I've got my motivation actually read the freaking book to find out what happens next!