Heathcliffe, my Heathcliffe!
I said in “Books and Authors I Love #1” that I would share something which had a massive impact on me when I first encountered it. And, to be absolutely honest, it still does. There’s something about the power of Heacliffe’s words here, and throughout Wuthering Heights, that leaves my blood hot and my bones cold every time. But, to be honest, I could have picked any number of quotations from this novel – I am in love with with book, and it’s wonderfully erotic, passionate leading man! (So much so, that I pinched another quotation for the blog post title…)
Wuthering Heights is a story of lust and desire, of obsession, all bound tightly inside a love that, at its best is the purest love one could hope to find anywhere, and at its worst utterly destructive. But it binds Cathy and Heathcliffe so tightly that it is capable of transcending their real world, their developing social differences and their relationships with others, haunting them when they are apart, and only coming to rest when their own intrinsic desires are met beyond this life, and the world no longer gets in the way.
For a book that was never classed as erotica, it has a huge erotic pull for me. Maybe it’s the gothic nature of the story, or the demonesque qualities of Heathcliffe himself, or even the power dynamics that unfold here, but most of all, I think it’s the power of the feelings and desires that are so strong as to transcend, not just time and space in the narrative, but of that in the writer-reader relationship. Lust, desire, obsession, and love – they were felt as much in the 1990s by me, when I first read the book, as they were by the Victorians in the time Emily Bronte penned her work. And they’re no different now.
This is my favourite “love/lust/passion” read of all time. Something very, very different next time, though…