Friday, July 16, 2010

Battle of the Brontes: It's ON!

At last night's book group meeting, we decided to take a hiatus from Don Quixote. Some of us will keep reading and report back to the rest of the group about whether or not we, as a group, might want to read the Second Part. Let's face it, episodic plots are challenging for modern readers.

In the meantime, we were casting about for our next book. In the summer we usually do classics, and one of the members said that he'd like to do something by a woman writer since his current writing project involves some female POV. Someone mentioned Wuthering Heights. And then we got in a little Bronte debate--Jane Eyre vs. Wuthering Heights, and then I recommended a Battle of the Brontes*. (I was inspired by a recent post by the Steel Magnolia about her progress with WH.)

I, myself, love love love Jane Eyre, but I have never read Wuthering Heights. I have tried once of twice, but I haven't gotten into it. But now is my chance.

It turns out that most of the book group members are very familiar with one or the other, but not both. As a result, for the next meeting, we'll each read whichever one we haven't read or haven't read in a long time. Then, we will have a comparative discussion.

I must admit that I'm going in with extreme bias.

*It seems fitting that in the above portrait, they look ready to fight. (Photo source:


heu mihi said...

Jane Eyre. No question.

I took a break from it to teach Wuthering Heights in Brit Lit II two years ago, and was SO HAPPY to get back to Jane last year--I just don't know what to do with Wuthering. Seriously. I don't truly care about the main characters. While I get its importance and what's interesting about it, I don't find it particularly engaging in itself.

(WV = "tryin"; seems apt.)

The Steel Magnolia said...

Yippee skippee! I'm so glad to be an inspiration! (It happens so rarely . . . .)
Have fun! I already know what team I'm on!

The Thirty-Something Bride said...

So you know how much I want to be a part of this particular book discussion, RIGHT? Because you know that I might slightly obsessed with the Bronte's, RIGHT?

My personal battle is the Brontes versus Jane Austen. I can't choose, so don't make me.

But as for WH - not a fave. I just can't get my arms around such an ANGRY kind of love between Cathy and Heathcliff. But I guess if I lived on the moors, I'd be pissed too.

Anonymous said...

I love both books and can't choose between them. Enjoy WH and try not to think of Kate Bush too much : Catheee ..... check it out on you tube!

Anonymous said...

Link to Kate Bush Wuthering Heights

Good Enough Woman said...

HM, Maybe I'll seek some direct input from you after I read it. I just started it. The despair! The anger! *sigh*

Steel, Yep! Your influence reaches wide and far!

TSB, Have you read a lot of the Bronte books? I haven't. And while I might choose Austen--in general--over the Brontes because of the awesomeness of her entire oeuvre (sp?), I might pick Jane Eyre above any individual Austen book.

StudentMum, You are the first I've known who loves both! I might wait on that link so I don't get pictures in my head. Should I wait?

Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment said...

I'm enjoying your new look! (I'm all about bright colors, whether green or orange.) Like you, I love Jane Eyre, but have yet to read Wuthering Heights. Like you, I started WH once or twice, but it really didn't grab me. It's on my list, so I hope I'll get there one day. I'm curious to see what you think of it.

By the way, I usually write a parenting blog, but I've just refreshed an older blog of mine about books, and I'm hoping to update more regularly:

Check it out if you get a chance. I wonder if you and I would have similar taste in books. (I'm betting we would.)

Bavardess said...

What a great debate! I think I'm sort of the opposite to most of you other commenters. For me, it's Wuthering Heights all the way! I love the drama of WH and the way that love is so elementally entwined with hate, spite and revenge. I can also really relate to the almost visceral connections made with a landscape that is unremittingly harsh, but also beautiful. For me, the moors are probably one of the three most important 'characters' in that book. But I really really disliked Jane Eyre. Both the character, and the novel as a whole.

Can I just ask, though, that if it comes down to fisticuffs between Healthcliff and Rochester, can they both please be shirtless??

English Adjunct said...

I hate to say it, but I have never read Jane Eyre. I've read Wuthering Heights a few times and have really enjoyed it, especially in its strangeness, but I wouldn't say that I love it.

Curious to see how you feel about it!

Anonymous said...

Love it! Can't wait to hear what you think!

I prefer JE over WH but I'm not sure why. Maybe it's Rochester, about whom I feel some empathy. Heathcliff is a wee bit too snarly for my liking...

Caz said...

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think. I'm not sure what to make of it just yet - have only read the first few chapters. Still trying to get my head round the idea of sleeping in a 'cupboard' like bed in Victorian England with a candle and all!

Caz said...

I'm looking forward to hearing what you think. I'm not sure what to make of it just yet - have only read the first few chapters. Still trying to get my head round the idea of sleeping in a 'cupboard' like bed in Victorian England with a candle and all!