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Seminar 7:
The Cuckoo's tale, or, where do we belong?


Wuthering Heights is sometimes spoken of as a "mystical" novel. It is certainly a very strange one. For although plenty of nineteenth-century stories draw on a supernaturally coloured language (representing human lives through talk of "God", "devil", "angel", "paradise", "damnation", and so on), few are able to sustain the weight of such ideas. But Wuthering Heights brings us to ask if Catherine Earnshaw's assertions can be dismissed simply as overblown rhetoric.

Nelly, I am Heathcliff ... if all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger.

What are we to make of such claims? What kind of moral and spiritual force might the book have, 150 years after its publication? Emily Bronte, whose writing shocked and alarmed its first readers, has over the years been domesticated as the author of a "passionate" love-story. Perhaps it is time to consider her book in a wider, more challenging context.

DateWednesday 20 June
Time7.30 - 9.30 pm
VenueSt Peter's, Eastern Hill, Melbourne
Cost$15 (includes light refreshment)

Conductor: Dr Robin Grove,
Senior Lecturer in English Literature,
University of Melbourne,
co-editor of The Critical Review



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