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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wuthering

I kinda sorta knew what it meant before Googling it, even though it has been years and years since I've read the novel that made the word famous. (I still Googled just to make sure I wouldn't make an ass of myself by claiming it meant something it didn't.) Wuthering (onomatopoeia much?) means a blustery wind of the sort that might blow across the same Yorkshire moors notorious for obsessing a whole household of literary women who in all truth possessed rather ghoulish imaginations.
     Now that I think about it, I've learned most of my favorite words from books. While in this case the word is virtually synonymous with the book (I've never heard wuthering used in casual conversation) I usually get a vague sense of meaning while I'm reading and confirm the definition later, finding my intuition to be spot on. Even though the author comes out and tells readers what wuthering means (on page two), we would've figured it out by context if given half the chance.
     That's what people did before Google, by the way. Information recall is way better that way, which explains why modern people have such horrible retention. Back in the day, we deciphered new words by piecing together patterns of usage, thus establishing new pathways for neurotransmitters. (You'll notice these have become rusty as of late with apps that pop up definitions without anyone having to do any work.) I'd argue that when you make out definitions yourself by reading sentences that include the unfamiliar word tossed in among more common ones, you're more likely to use the word correctly in the future. Anyway, back then the lame people looked up words in dictionaries, which was kind of like Google, but required more effort. The true bottom dwellers often asked their parents, who said, "How the hell should I know what that means? Stop reading those useless books and go get a freaking job at J.C. Penney's so I don't have to feed and clothe you until I'm eighty."
    I enjoyed Wuthering Heights, thanks to the beautiful language, lush landscape descriptions and the thrill of subjecting myself to the atmospheric equivalent of a literary pressure cooker. I hated the love triangle, probably because I'm a firm believer that if you love a man (or a woman), you should tell him so and arrange to be around him often, like with marriage or--you know--something else. Otherwise, you're pretty much guaranteed to be miserable. Those two set themselves up to be utter train wrecks, and I have very little sympathy for them. They're worse than a reality show, really and anyone who gets any enjoyment out of seeing their ultimate ruin (sorry for giving away the end) should be ashamed of themselves. Yet people do.
     You might think I'm being a jerk about it, but Catherine and Heathcliff tainted love for me (not in the Soft Cell way), and that's not cool.
     For a fleeting time when I was young, I envied Catherine and Heathcliff their dysfunctional brand of "love", which in all honesty parallels a drug addicition. I thought it was romantic to pine away after someone unattainable. To welcome death so I could haunt my true love till the end of time. Luckily I came to my senses before I could do too much damage to my life, or else I, too, would be creeping along the moors, clutching my wrap about my shoulders, listening to wuthering coming at me from all corners. (Are there corners on the moors? I'm thinking not, unless they've since come up with something like that eight corner pizza available at Jetts.)
     The tenant is the best catch, IMHO. I totally dig him--although I can't recall his name. (Lockwood, that's it! Checked again!) Arguably the best listener of all times, he's the one who gets my vote of sympathy. Imagine bumbling into that tinderbox of emotion. Horrible luck. If I were him, I would've immediately moved elsewhere. No doubt about it. One of the best things about Wuthering Heights is the first word of the title. I'm off to wuther about.
   

5 comments:

  1. I loved Wuthering Heights as a teen. I agree with you about the love triangle, but I always felt Heathcliff was damaged enough to justify it being that dysfunctional. This book holds the distinction of being the only one by a woman in that era I really like. I am not a fan of the proper society stories (I like the Dumas adventures or Dickens social commentaries but not Jane Eyre, who I never understood, or any of Austen's heroines)--I like the dark ones...

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    1. I'm reading it again, and this time I'm liking Heathcliff a little better than when I was a dewy-eyed teen.

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    2. But I still think Catherine's a snot.

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  2. VERBUM SAT SAPIENTI: As a writer of the sassy, savvy, schizophenia we all go through in this lifelong demise, I just wanna help U.S. git past the whorizontal more!ass! we're in (Latin: words to the wise)...

    "This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find corpulent eloquence" (paraphrased). Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

    I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET any moe curly, 3stooges, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girl passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

    "Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3

    Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

    Go git'm, girl. You're incredible. See you Upstairs. I won't be joining'm in the nasty Abyss where Isis prowls
    eklektikmantra.blogspot.com

    -YOUTHwitheTRUTH
    -------------------------------
    PS Need some uncommon, unique, uncivilized names? Lemme gonna gitcha started, brudda:

    Oak Woods, Franky Sparks, Athena Noble, Autumn Rose, Faith Bishop, Dolly Martin, Willow Rhodes, Cocoa Major, Roman Stone, Bullwark Burnhart, Magnus Wilde, Kardiak Arrest, Will Wright, Goldy Silvers, Penelope Summers, Sophie Sharp, Violet Snow, Lizzy Roach, BoxxaRoxx, Aunty Dotey, Romero Stark, Zacharia Neptoon, Mercurio Morrissey, Fritz & Felix Franz, Victor Payne, Isabella Silverstein, Mercedes Kennedy, Redding Rust, Phoenix Woolsy, Sauer Wolf, Yankee Cooky, b9greyish...

    God blessa youse
    -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

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