Shelter in Place: Day 40

Hello All,

Laur here again. Just hanging out. Tomorrow I’ll head to the grocery store.

Today I started working on a felt octopus (pictures to come), made a strange pseudo-lasagna and also some surprisingly delicious peanut butter rice pudding.

I’m trying very hard not to pack too much too quickly. I have this tendency to just want everything to be done. I don’t like waiting around. In college, there were several times when I would be there at the end of the year suddenly with a bare dorm room weeks before the end of term. Oops.

So, I am fighting that urge by distracting myself as much as possible.

Part of that includes reading “Wuthering Heights”. Boy. What a book. I am approximately halfway done and needing to take it in small chunks.

The best and maybe only word I can use to describe “Wuthering Heights” is brutal. It’s not just the ubiquitous violence, it is the choice to have the story told third hand (through Nellie Dean and then through Mr. Lockwood). Having it told to us at such a distance removes the possibility for remorse, regret or redemption. We never see the interiority of either Catherine or Heathcliff (or Joseph… I guess.. but BOY do I not care about Joseph).

It is very interesting to read “Wuthering Heights” on the tail of finishing “Jane Eyre”. I see the family resemblance – the similarities in thought – but whereas “Jane Eyre” offers a softening and rectifying and concludes in an optimistic if somewhat bleak end state, I cannot for the life of me imagine anything good happening to our “heroes” in WH. In fact, we know from the outset that Catherine dies before the narrative present. We know that Heathcliff ends up in his surly and misanthropic state. We see the awfulness of the end before we get to see the awfulness of the story itself.

In some ways, I see “Wuthering Heights” as an attempt at personal exorcism – writing down the demons to break some of their power. I have tried it myself. And I do think creating narratives is a way of working through trauma, so that’s for the best. I only wish that Emily Bronte and anyone in her position had access to treatment. As it is, I’m glad she had the power of the written words.

Could be projecting too much. Who really knows.

That’s all for today,

LAF

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