[DWJ] Swithering Depths (was Titles (was London Meet))

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Jun 13 08:44:11 EDT 2006

Juliette Curtis wrote:

>I have flung Wuthering Heights across the room several times, usually
>around page 50. That's where the cook says something like "The site
>enjoys excellent diurnal ventilation." Why couldn't she say "It gets
>windy up here"? Honestly, that is the worst piece of writing I have ever
>failed to read, even worse than tDVC, which is saying something. There
>is hardly a word in it with less than four syllables. "Diurnal
>ventilation" for crying out loud. Emily Bronte wrote like a third-rate
>provincial governess, which is more-or-less what she was. Or ought to
>have been. Other people have told me the plot is excellent, and it might
>be but I can't get past her truly appalling style of writing.

I once had to read it all the way through *and* write an essay on it.

There's a plot?  Where's the plot?  I suppose there's a sort of narrative
thread of sorts, but it has holes in it one could drive a coach-and-four
through and leave plenty of room either side, like, how did Heathcliff get
all that dough in his absence, and what happened to the village that had
enough population to fill a church and a graveyard but isn't there for
anyone to go and take refuge in when refuge is needed, and what's the point
of the ghost at the window and *whose ghost is it anyway*, and what apart
from sheer nastiness is anyone's motivation?  (The question of why any
reader would develope a crush on a seriously deranged serial child-abuser
and necrophiliac, or think him Wromantic, is not a fault in the book, I
suppose, it's just a source of bafflement to me.)

A seriously bad book.  I don't regret having read it, but only because
having read it means I can say that it's melodramatic ill-written tosh from
a position of knowlege rather than just of prejudice.  The writing style
put me off from the start, though; the way the thing is constructed is just
another point against it, as are the characters (who behave like escaped
inmates a lunatic asylum, most in general).  The fascination, if there is
any, lies in trying to work out why on earth anyone ever considered the
thing Great Literature.


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