Friday, September 28, 2012

My Wuthering Heights Journey #3

Arielle's Wuthering Heights Journey, Part 3 of 3.

Look! It's Cathy and Heathcliff!

I finished Wuthering Heights last night! Hurrah!
I quite liked the ending.
It turns out, a good majority of the novel is about the younger Cathy - Catherine Earnshaw's daughter, whose name is also Catherine.
The book is definitely Gothic - loads of dreams, talk of ghosts, and a fair bit of violence too.
I made the mistake of watching the 2011 film adaptation by Andrea Arnold. It's not in theatres in Australia yet (it'll be released in October I think). They had younger versions and older versions of Cathy and Heathcliff, which I thought was unnecessary. Highly unnecessary. They were the only two characters who had different actors play a three year older version of themselves. And they didn't even look remotely similar.
Oh, and the film had loads of animal cruelty. It was quite disturbing.
And it didn't have enough dialogue. Which was definitely to its detriment. You can't convey the authenticity of Bronte's characters with the amount of dialogue Arnold's adaptation had. It was a poorly written film. Albeit, I didn't watch the last 20 mins. I assume a lot more happens in those last 20 mins, because the first three quarters of the film were drawn out way too long and tediously.
The cinematography was wonderful though.

Anyway back to the book. Like I was telling you last time, I was basically just waiting for the rest of the characters to die. Hindley Earnshaw, then Edgar Linton, then Linton Heathcliff, and lastly Heathcliff himself died. I feel like all the women die from the ordeal of childbirth  and all the male characters die from a cold/flu (I don't know what the different between a cold and a flu is). Oh, except Isabella, who died of some boring sickness like all the men.
I didn't really tell you much about the new Cathy. She was the only character that I remotely liked. She loved her papa (Edgar Linton) very dearly, and fell in love her with cousin Linton (Heathcliff's son by Isabella), who turned out to be a jerk and a coward, and then he died and Cathy fell in love with her other cousin Hareton Earnshaw (her mother's brother's son, whom Heathcliff sort of raised as his son and he regarded Heathcliff as his father - weird).
I totally shipped Cathy and Hareton, they're cute together.

Heathcliff kind of got his revenge; he wasn't completely satisfied because Cathy and Hareton started enjoying their lives after becoming friends (Heathcliff's whole aim was to torture the lives of Hindley Earnshaw and Edgar Linton until they and their children died - I think). Then Heathcliff thought, 'What is the point of destroying these two kids?' and must have figured it wouldn't give him joy to kill them; his life had no more purpose and he committed suicide by starving himself and letting his body grow cold and sick. Oh well!
Cathy and Hareton live happily ever after at Wuthering Heights, with Nelly as their housekeeper.

Nelly didn't turn out to be as bad as I thought.

new on my bookshelf: madeleine l'engle!

I don't quite remember exactly what it was that made me want to buy the rest of the Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle. I think it was a blog post by another book blogger.
Anyway, I read the first book of this series - A Wrinkle in Time, last year I think it was, and loved it, but didn't really have any inclination to go out and get the rest.
But I have them now!

A Wind in the Door came in the mail a couple days before the rest, and I immediately jumped straight into it.  Poor Charles Wallace is ill!

After my current Wuthering Heights Journey series is over (which will be soon), the next post will probably be a "my thoughts on.." for A Wind in the Door.

You can find my (gushing) review of A Wrinkle in Time (The Time Quintet, #1) here

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Wuthering Heights Journey #2

Arielle's Wuthering Heights Journey Part 2 of ?

More rambling ensues! 
Read on for more nonsensical, scattered thoughts about my journey reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Here's the first leg. And once again, beware: there are a lot of spoilers in this post.

If I was confused in my last post, I am a thousand times more confused now. I'm currently reading Chapter 17 (there are 34 chapters in total, by the way), and a lot has happened since the last time we spoke. But before I tell you some of the weird things that have happened, you should know something about the characters of this book.
Everyone is crazy.
Literally everyone! Hindley's become this crabby old hermit abiding in Wuthering Heights. Nelly doesn't seem to have any redeemable traits in her character and lacks compassion altogether. It's a shame she's the one telling most of the story. In the last post we've already discovered how crazy Cathy and Heathcliff were. But now I definitely know that Edgar and Isabella Linton are crazy too. And don't even get me started on the servant, Joseph. I can't understand what he says. Let me demonstrate a snippet of his dialogue. 
"Aw sud more likker look for th' horse... Bud, aw can look for norther horse, nur man uf a neeght loike this - as black as t'chimbley! und Hathecliff's noan t' chap tuh coom ut maw whistle..."
Unfortunately he's not as minor a character as I hoped. So there's quite a bit of this gibberish to sift through. To be honest, I can't even muster up the effort to understand what Joseph (or Hareton, who talks similarly) says. I just skim through to the next bit that's written in actual English.
Despite the unattractiveness of almost every character in Wuthering Heights and the fact that their ghastly dispositions don't exactly make for a joyous read, I don't care little enough about them to be compeltely uninterested in their story. Or maybe I'm only interested because they're all mad, and the chaos of their insanity breeds incessant entertainment. Yep, that's probably why.

I have to mention this whole thing with Isabella Linton. She was quite a dull person in the beginning, but she's getting a bit more lively now! She is a complete idiot though. One of the stupidest characters I've come across in all of literature. 
So after Cathy and Edgar are married, they live together at the Linton's which is the Grange. Isabella lives there with them too because it's her home. Then after three years, Heathcliff has come back (he lives at Wuthering Heights again) and visits Cathy regularly. Suddenly Isabella is in love with Heathcliff! They don't even speak to each other. Heathcliff tells Cathy he thinks Isabella's a twit, and will never marry her. 
Well, guess what. Isabella Linton and Heathcliff run away and get married.
But the main point of relaying all of this is to outline the infuriating foolishness of Isabella. On the night they run away together, Heathcliff takes Isabella's dog and hangs him on a tree. Isabella obviously wasn't the most impressed at that point, but no alarm bells seemed to go off in her head that she might be marrying a MAD person. It's quite laughable because Cathy warned her exactly of Heathcliff's poisonous character. 

This is getting long so I'm going to end this. There are some suss things happening between Hindley and Heathcliff, and then there's the whole secret of how Heathcliff spent those three years away and how he became wealthy. Cathy's dead now; the drama has somewhat calmed down a little, so those two things are what I'm looking forward to finding out, while I wait for more characters to die off.
Here's a nice photo to ease your eyes after reading all of my nonsense! 
See you again in a day or two. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cathy and Heathcliff, you crazy kids! (My Wuthering Heights Journey #1)

Arielle's Wuthering Heights Journey, Part 1 of ?


This week is my study week, and I'm taking this time to read Wuthering Heights and to re-read Frankenstein for class. I'm approximately one third of the way through Wuthering Heights at this very moment. I decided to write this post in order to document my thought process through my reading journey of Wuthering Heights. So at the outset I must warn you that things might get strange. Also, because I haven't finished reading the book, I definitely do not pretend to have full understanding of the characters, events, or generally anything that's happening so far. But hopefully this might be interesting enough to either a) entice those who haven't thought of reading Wuthering Heights to give it a go; or b) entertain those who've read it already if only in the slightest degree (maybe they had thought these same things too!). Note: there will be spoilers.


Here's my copy of Wuthering Heights.

I bought it about 3 years ago but never mustered up enough determination to read it. Other than that one time back then when I failed dismally (i.e., in the first few pages). I started reading it again yesterday; this time finding it much easier to digest. I actually woke up this morning eager to read more of it. 
My edition by Cameron House publishing has got this really helpful list of characters at the front of the book. And it's illustrated!! Reading the little bios of each character helped me get into the story A LOT. 


OK, so currently I'm in Chapter 10 or thereabouts, and I need to comment on some really weird things that have happened so far in the story. From the word go, I found Heathcliff, as a fictional character who is also a human being, to be rather dubious. Dodgy, to say the least. He sort of just enters the story from nowhere. For someone who passionately loves (Catherine, that is), his heart seems quite demonstratively hard. Or broken. Sometimes even non-existent. I'm yet to form a solid opinion about him. But for now all I can say is he is super dubious. On the other hand, if I was in love with as mental a person as Catherine Earnshaw, I would be quite messed up in the head too.
One thing I don't understand yet is why Heathcliff ran away (literally) for three whole years after he heard Cathy say that she can't marry him? Grow a pair of balls, gypsy boy. And on top of that, he only heard that because he was eavesdropping on a private conversation and what he heard was out of context. The main thing I don't understand about it is why he didn't bother to win Catherine back and stop her from marrying LOSER LINTON. But no. He left, and his absence only made it easier for Cathy to marry the wrong person. 

Next thing I want to address is the Crazy Cathy ordeal in Chapter 8. This is what happens, more or less.
Cathy invites Edgar Linton over to her house to hang out or something.
Nelly, the housekeeper, is not allowed to leave Cathy alone when meeting with visitors (as per Hindley's instruction). 
So Nelly is cleaning and shizz, being nice and subtle about staying in the room with Cathy when Edgar Linton enters. 
Cathy tries to get Nelly to leave, but she makes up excuses not to. 
Cathy gets really angry, and PINCHES Nelly on the arm, really painfully.
Nelly cries out, saying Cathy has no right to treat her that way.
Cathy immediately denies pinching Nelly.
A row between them is going on now, and Cathy ends up slapping Nelly across the face.
Edgar stands there, watching the whole thing play out.
The baby who was sitting in the corner of the room starts crying because Nelly is crying. 
Cathy goes over to the baby, grabs his shoulders and shakes him.
Edgar decides it's time to do something and goes over to Cathy...
Cathy slaps him across the face too. 
He tries to leave but Cathy starts weeping and begs him to stay. 
Linton stays.
Then he proposes.

Yes. You  read correctly. Let's just mull that one over for a little while. 

My next post in the JOURNEY will probably be up in a day or two.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

new on my bookshelf

image source: making magique

New books! 
Some of them I ordered online, some of them were sent to me, and some of them are new library books!
Apologies though, because this little book haul is coming to you a few weeks late. :( On the plus side, I can give a bit more feedback!

My cello is in the background, hahaha!

1. Best Russian Short Stories (compiled by Thomas Seltzer)
I borrowed this book from the library and returned it a few days ago, but good thing I took photos of the inside otherwise I'd have forgotten what to say about it! These are short stories from popular Russian writers including Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky and quite a few others. I didn't read all of them, because some of them were quite long and I like short stories to be short - really short. My favourites were One Autumn Night by Maxim Gorky and The Christmas Tree and the Wedding by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Monday, September 3, 2012

my thoughts on: the perks of being a wallflower by stephen chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
published 1999, goodreads page.

I don't know how to begin talking about this book. 
I think I'll start off this post in dot points. 
  • I loved it from beginning to end.
  • The writing is incredible. I was blown away by how compelling it is. 
  • The book is written in epistolary form - the main character, Charlie, writing letter after letter to this person he doesn't know and has never met, yet addresses as "Friend". 
  • Charlie is like no other character I have ever had the pleasure of being introduced to. 
  • The story is beautiful in a way one rarely can find in contemporary literature. So beautiful.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower makes me exceedingly proud to say that I'm a fan of YA. 

For me, it was kinda like the book took a hold of me, like it reached out and grabbed onto my heart with a steel grip. Then you get to all those moments with Charlie, I don't know how to describe them other than by saying "those moments", and then I felt like my heart was just been SQUEEZED, or like it was digging its fingers in. Coz it kinda hurt really bad sometimes. Or a lot of times. But it was a gentle, beautiful sort of pain. I really felt for Charlie is what I think I'm trying to say. 
This was a really sad story. But funny. And hopeful. And when joy came, it came with full, unyielding force. 
It was really something to behold.

I can't remember if I mentioned this to you before, but when I read a book that I own and come across something that strikes me as poignant, something I want to remember, something I want to return to - I'll dog-ear the page, no questions asked.
For The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I couldn't do that. 
Can you guess why?

I couldn't do that because then every single page in the novel would be dog-eared.