I planned to talk about how I wish I could say it is the romance that draws me obsessively to this novel, and in a way it is, but ultimately I know it is something much darker than that. For me this novel’s draw is its darkness, it’s the depth and light absorbing pit of Heathcliff’s devotion to his plans, no matter who they harm or what they require, throughout the years to achieve his ends. I can only imagine what this reveals about my personality and my own decisions in life.
As much as I am drawn to Pride and Prejudice (and Jane Austen in general) for its whimsy and lightness, I can’t help but appreciate and truly resonate with the depths of despair and the tortuousness all three Brontë sisters write about. And I don’t know why, it’s not like I’ve had a tragic love story. I mean sure I’ve had my fair share of unrequited love stories (more often than not), but I know that I’ll get over them and eventually find someone who loves me for me and I love them for them and we just click, but for some reason these darker novels resound with me on a deeper level. It’s as if they touch a part of me that I know is there but am too afraid to even consider bringing to the surface out of fear or terror of what I might actually feel if I let myself.
For September the hosts have created a fascinating connective tool for this month: “We want you to mingle. Go to our member list and select a fellow classics clubber you’d like to feature on your blog. This can be someone who is active within the Classics Club, someone quiet who inspires with his/her posts, someone new to the club or scarce whom you’d like the club to meet. S/he can be a friend of yours, or someone you’ve never met. Tell readers why you value this club member. Highlight at least one post from his/her blog.”
However, I am going to cheat and go for one of the easier answers: Heather at Between the Covers! Although she might want to murder me because she’s in the process of transitioning her blog to wordpress.org from wordpress.com and there are a few technical issues at the moment. And I mean it’s sort of cheating as I’m pretty sure she is one of the hosts of the club, but oh well!
Unlike Dickens, I could read Wilkie Collins ALL DAY. There are those of you out there that will find this shocking, but it’s the truth. This is the first novel I’ve read by Collins and I am VERY glad I added it to my Classics Club list! In addition it counted as a bonus book for my Tea & Books reading challenge coming in at just over 750 pages (according to Goodreads).
If you’ve followed this blog for a while you are aware, and often horrified, of my intense dislike of Dickens’ works (or at least the few I read). It’s not even that I don’t like his stories, characters or style, it’s that I don’t like the lengths of his ‘novels.’ As Dickens works were serialized I think he dragged out too many things and didn’t make them as action packed or as concise as they could’ve been. Whereas Dickens really could have used an editor, Collins took advantage of the serialization (IN DICKENS’ MAGAZINE!) and created an amazing work of fiction.
For September the hosts of The Classics Club have another member question: “Rereading a favourite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?”
I’m not sure if there is a specific classic I’ve re-read that tells me a story about me. I feel that any book I re-read more than once says a lot about who I am. I’ve probably re-read the Harry Potter series the most frequently, closely followed by Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle. When it comes to Classics I’ve re-read Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice numerous times. I commented on someone’s blog that a lot of it has to do with the physical copy of the book as well. I’ve been carrying around the same copy of Pride and Prejudice for years and although I’ve lost my first copy of Wuthering Heights I’ve replaced it with two beautiful older editions here and here.
For August the hosts of The Classics Club have another member question: “Do you read forwards/notes that precede many Classics? Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?”
As I’m sure you’re aware, if you’ve already answered this question, I do read the forwards and notes for Classics. In the past I did not read them, mostly because they only provided an unwanted delay before I could get to the story, but as part of The Classics Club I decided to make an effort to read the texts in a bit more educational way rather than just for the great stories that they are.