(Image from Thing Link)
Brig Newspaper has launched its own book club, where students and staff are given the title of a new book every month and can have their reviews published on Brig’s website.
By joining the book club, it gives you a great opportunity to read fictional pieces and escape from all the pressure of constant academic reading. And the best part is, there are no meetings you need to attend or deadlines you need to worry out.
You can read the book in your own time and at your own pace. There is no obligation to send in a review, but if you want to, then you can send it in when you are ready and it can be as analytical and as lengthy as you wish.
The arts section will strive to provide a diverse range of literature within the book club and alternate each month between various styles, genres and periods. If you have any suggestions of books to include in the club, then send in an email with the book title and why you think it would be a good choice.
If you want to submit a review, or ask a question, then please contact Caroline at: email@example.com
If you would like to send in a review of a different book of your own choice, then please send it to the same email address.
(Image from Simon and Schuster UK)
The second book in this academic year’s series is Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
Published in 1847, this novel has won its place as piece of timeless classical Victorian literature. However, believe it or not, it wasn’t always so well received. For many years after its publication, Wuthering Heights was viewed as being overly sinister and vulgar in its characters, themes and abusive plot.
It even led Charlotte Brontë-Emily’s sister and the author of Jane Eyre-to comment, “Whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff, I do not know. I scarcely think it is.”
The novel which opens in 1801, but moves between the present time and flashbacks, is set in the harsh, wild and utterly untamed Yorkshire moors.
The story follows the relationship between two passionate figures-Catherine (Cathy) and Heathcliff. It all began when Heathcliff was brought into the Earnshaw family home called Wuthering Heights as a young and abandoned boy.
Very quickly, he and Cathy develop an unbreakable bond; a joining of stormy souls. The two children who adored the beauty of nature, spent all their time together exploring the moors and as the years pass on, they become like two halves of one heart.
But one day, Cathy and Heathcliff go to play a trick on the nearby Linton household. To them, the Linton children are weak and overindulged in their ostentatious home. But when the plan goes wrong, Cathy is forced to stay behind and soon finds herself falling in love with the young man of the house and becoming accustomed to the wealth and luxury their world offers.
As tensions rise between Cathy and Heathcliff and deep rooted hatred boils over in the Earnshaw household, Healthcliff runs away and is thought gone forever. In his absence, Cathy marries Edgar Linton and sets up her new life away from Wuthering Heights.
Then three years later, Heathcliff returns and makes it clear that he intends to stay and assert his presence. But with all the chaos that his homecoming causes, terrible things happen.
Left in the wake of his terror, Heathcliff must live with the consequences of his actions. Lost in a state of rage and depression, he endlessly inflicts abuses on those around him and bring agony to two generations of Earnshaws and Lintons.
So why is Wuthering Heights considered such an important literary accomplishment today? Well to begin with, it is a beautiful example of late eighteenth century Gothic romance.
Yes, it may feature many of the clichéd elements known to the heaps of Gothic literature written around the same time, such as: an obsession with the supernatural, dark imagery, mystery, ancient forms of nature conflicting with modern society, the decay of traditional family values, the instability of class and the exploration of passionate but unhealthy relationships.
However, despite its general themes being anything but original, it’s play on them is so eccentric and explosive, that the novel is rendered entirely singular. So much so, that 169 year after its publication, people are still finding new depths to it and discovering fresh layers in its innovation.
Due to its complex language, structure, imagery and characterisation, Wuthering Heights is a Gothic novel unlike any other.
So, Brig invites you to read the only novel Emily Brontë ever published, but a novel that is so rich in content, that one was more than enough.