I have just finished Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. This book is so contrary to the type of thing I normally read, that I find my enjoyment of the story quite difficult to believe. The archaic language and dark melodrama are so over-the-top, that it reminds me of a Blackadder script. And yet, despite the superficial hilarity of it all, the text is compelling and insidiously draws the reader in. It is predictable in the sense that you know from the outset it’s going to conclude badly and consequently, it takes on the aspect of true Tragedy. However, the route to the weird and sticky end is anything but obvious, so morbid fascination won’t allow you to let go.
I happened across this gem while trolling my Mother’s bookcase. I was trying to track down a quote and mistakenly thought it was one of the numerous Shakespeares that infest her collection. My first thought was, “Isn’t this one supposed to be utterly dreadful? Let’s see just how bad it is. Chapter one…” Two hours later, my mother asked me whether I had found what I was looking for. “Huh?”, was my whispered response as I returned from the bleak, windswept moors with a bump and remembered to close my mouth.
Sometimes it is an absolute joy to be a pessimist. When you have low expectations and these are proven completely and spectacularly wrong, it is a sublime experience.