Wuthering Heights is #902 in the 2007 Edition of 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.
So, I watch Coronation Street. There’s a b-list plot about obsessive-compulsive shopkeeper Norris going on a Wuthering Heights themed holiday with girlfriend/stalker Mary. (A-list plots include a teenage lesbian relationship and a Great-grandmother falling in love with a gigilo. I love this show).
It got me thinking back to reading Wuthering Heights for the first time, many years before “The List” was around. I read it for Grade 12 IB English, and it was good timing – I’d just come out of my first super-dramatic relationship. And Wuthering Heights is ALL about the drama.
I mean, Cathy and Heathcliff don`t just break up like me and my then-boyfriend did. [SPOILER ALERT] She *dies* and haunts him! And he goes crazy! And then their kids fall in love and go crazy! Multi-generational drama at it`s finest. It helped my put my problems in perspective, that`s for sure.
Wuthering Heights stands up to repeated readings. It`s just so rich in imagery and character and symbolism and all that good stuff. Even though it`s dense, it`s also really accessible. It`s easy to picture those windswept, desolate moors and realize that they`re the perfect setting for Heathcliff, who is left with nothing after losing his Catherine and exacting his revenge on everyone around him.
What books can you read over and over again?
Heathcliff bringing the drama: “And I pray one prayer–I repeat it till my tongue stiffens–Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you–haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!’