"I could not bear the employment. I took my dingy volume by the scroop, and hurled it into the dog kennel, vowing I hated a good book.
Heathcliff kicked his to the same place.
Then there was a hubbub!"
Ha ha! That's the stuff!* Those are, of course, the immortal words of Catherine Linton-Heathcliff-Earnshaw, ten years old** and already out of her gourd. They were also written by Emily Brontë in Chapter 3 of Wuthering Heights, an inspirational book.
The internet is full of re-readings of Wuthering Heights - see Dorothy W. a few months ago for a high-level example, or Rohan Maitzen, who gets it all into one paragraph. "Not what I remember," that's the common refrain. It's not a romantic book, it turns out. Nor a sane one.
I see here that Anna Quindlen has a novel with a scene where a therapist prescribes Wuthering Heights to a teenager for therapeutic purposes. I had not realized that Quindlen had written a thriller about a psychiatrist who gaslights her clients - I had always thought she was so nice. I myself find Wuthering Heights therapeutic, but that's because I think maniacal laughter is healthy.
I have never seen a movie of Wuthering Heights, and I did not read it while an impressionable teen, so I will have to confess that the novel was just as I remembered it: funny, horrifying, original, clumsy in places, sublime in others.
This week I'll celebrate a slightly late first anniversary of Wuthering Expectations by wallowing around in the Wuthering half. I don't have anything in particular to say about the book, but that won't stop me from enjoying a good roll in it, like the bulldog Skulker*** when he has found a particularly fragrant and enticing dead thing on the moor.
P.S. I extend a special welcome to the omniscient Brontëblog, who will somehow make their way here by means of their mysterious internet voodoo.
* More books are abused - kicked around, thrown in fires - in Wuthering Heights than in almost any book I can think of this side of Swift's The Battle of the Books.
** More or less. I didn't keep track that carefully, although Emily Brontë did.
*** Note that it's the "normal" Lintons who have a bulldog named Skulker trained to bite little girls - "and look how Skulker has bitten her -- how her foot bleeds!" This is from Edgar and Catherine's "meet cute" scene - she's bit by a dog, he stands there and points at her.