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Classics resurrected: Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontez was a British author and the younger sister of Charlotte Bronte ("Jane Eyre"). "Wuthering Heights" was her only novel, and is considered the fullest expression of her deeply individual and poetic vision. The novel is full of romantic influences: the main character, Heathcliff, being a very Byronic character, though he lacks the self-pitying which is prominent in many Byronic characters.

The novel expresses deep criticisms of social conventions, particularly those surrounding issues of gender. Her book clearly shows that the ideal of women as delicate beings who avoid physical or mental activity and pursue fashions and flirtations was repugnant to her. She also had strong feelings about "class" issues, because from her book, we can see that the character of Ellen who is educated but of low class is more respectable than that of Lockwood, who is of high class.

First published in 1847, Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" ranks high on the list of major works of English literature. A brooding tale of passion and revenge set in the Yorkshire moors, the novel has inspired no fewer than four film versions in modern times. Early critics did not like the work, citing its excess of passion and its coarseness. A second edition was published in 1850, two years after the author's death. Sympathetically prefaced by her sister Charlotte, it met with greater success, and the novel has continued to grow in stature ever since.

In the novel a pair of narrators, Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean, relate the story of the foundling Heathcliff's arrival at Wuthering Heights, and the close-knit bond he forms with his benefactor's daughter, Catherine Earnshaw. One in spirit, they are nonetheless social unequals, and the saga of frustrated yearning and destruction that follows Catherine's refusal to marry Heathcliff is unique in the English canon. The novel is admired not least for the power of its imagery, its complex structure, and its ambiguity, the very elements that confounded its first critics. Emily Bronte spent her short life mostly at home, and apart from her own fertile imagination, she drew her inspiration from the local landscapethe surrounding moorlands and the regional architecture of the Yorkshire areaas well as her personal experience of religion, of folklore, and of illness and death. Dealing with themes of nature, cruelty, social position, and indestructibility of the spirit, <>Wuthering Heights<> has surpassed the more successful Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in academic and popular circles.

Wuthering Heights is wonderful. I strongly recommend it to anyone wanting a good read. Although it is a love story, it contains much angst and sadness that trap the reader into hating the once loved Heathcliff, till the redeemable ending. It is not pretty. Some of it is downright maddening to read, not because of the exquisite diction, but the sheer feelings for the characters. I sort of relate it to a somewhat shady version of Romeo and Juliet, except that Romeo didn't kill himself, he drove his despair onto others. This is Emily Bronte's only real novel, from what I know, and I like it much better than any of her sister's work.

However, the reviews the novel received after being published (under the name of "Ellis Bell"), were mostly negative. Reviewers implied that the author of such a novel must be insane, obsessed with cruelty and barbaric. For this reason, Emily was always eager to maintain the secrecy under which the novel was published. Soon after her death, however, her sister, Charlotte, felt obliged to write a preface for the novel, defending her sister's character. Her apology for her sister's work should be read with the realization that their characters are totally different, and so her interpretation cannot be trusted.

With its freedom from social convention and its unparalleled emotional intensity, "Wuthering Heights" is a highly original and deeply tragic piece of work.

By Rohini Alamgir



Pat looks up at the sky through the slim cleavage of the curtains pulled over the large French windows. The clouds are having a meeting, she thinks, and it is well after sunset. Sudden gashes of wind makes her shiver and instigates goose bumps and she worries for Sean. He ought to have been home at least half an hour back. She worries that the apprehended storm would kick off as predicted by the weatherman, who seems to be wrong ninety percent of the times but this was one of the ten percent times when he is right. Whenever Pat gets nervous, she starts picking her nails. She notices two of her fingernails need immediate attention; they seem to have been growing in an awkward, out-of-shape way. No wonder her grasp seems to be weak these days and she had been dropping things on and off all through last week! She thought it was anaemia or weakness! I should've listened to Liz and got the manicure done the other day, she thinks, fussing over her nails, scrutinising them in every possible way and quite forgetting her worries about Sean's return. Then the door downstairs creaks. Just about time, Pat thinks. I've got to tell Sean to oil the hinges. I hate that creaking sound, it gets on my nerves, she contemplates.

"Hello! I'm home!" Sean hollers. Now the house would again be filled with sounds, various sorts of sounds: loud bangs whenever Sean enters a room, the TV volume turned high so that he can hear the football commentary from the other end of the room, and of course, his booming voice. Pat seems to have gotten used to Sean's voice by now, but when she moved in here for the first time, it used to frighten the daylights out of her. But one gets used to things, especially things that are long lasting.

Sean places his case with a loud thud on the table near the coat hanger by the door, kicks off his shoes and turns on the TV. That's what he does all the time, Pat thinks. I worry so much about his getting back home and he doesn't even realise it. High time he gives me a good, genuine apology. Sean turns up the volume and trots off to the kitchen, humming some new Eminem track he's been watching on TV. He doesn't even know the words, nor does he have the ability to rap a single line, Pat mocks. Yet, like any other kind of his sex, he never gives up trying! Sean would now open the fridge, brings out the peanut butter, jam and bread and make himself a sandwich, Pat guesses. Then he would take his sandwich to the TV and watch the headlines on the News and start off with his beloved game!

Pat now slowly sneaks out of the bedroom, her face clearly depicting her feigned scorn, and she tiptoes down the stairs. About time, Pat thinks, that Sean would be taking off his shirt and socks and nest on the sofa with his half-eaten sandwich like a lousy, couch potato. As she is midway down the stairs, she cranes her neck and takes a peek at what's going on downstairs. She was right. It's so easy to predict human behaviour, especially the male kind! She smiles to herself and crosses Sean quietly and makes her way to the kitchen. She fusses with the lowest cupboard; it's always so hard to open. Sean should change the lock on it, she reckons.

After trying for ten long minutes, she gives up and kicks the cupboard door, and suddenly a just-opened carton of milk empties itself entirely on her. Frightened, she shrieks. That idiot Sean again, leaving the milk carton open and on the edge of the cupboard though this incident has happened so many times in the past! She looks at her body, all soaked in milk, and curses Sean for spoiling her entire preparation, damn! She bathed and washed and dried and perfumed herself, to end up like this! And she looks so obese when she's this wet! Darn!

Perhaps Pat shrieked a bit too loud. Sean turns the volume down, and from the sounds from the kitchen, he guesses it had been Pat. "Pat? Is that you?" Sean asks dubiously. He walks into the kitchen and finds his beloved cat all drenched in milk looking up at him, shooting an offended glare. He walks over to Pat, smiling, picks her up and says, "You naughty cat!"

By Rafa

True Stories

A Drop of Blue
While America waits for election time, researchers are busy digging out the pedigree of the two prominent candidates - Democrat John Kerry and Republican President George W. Bush. If their claims are true then both candidates can actually be distantly related and they may even have common relatives in the land of Robin Hood.

Kerry descends from all the royal houses of Europe through his mother, Rosemary Forbes. His ancestry can be (apparently) traced to the royal houses of Albania, England, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Byzantine, Persia and France. Whew! In fact, his blood may actually be a little bluer than President Bush's. Rosemary Forbes was descended from an extended family that included many baronets. Her lineage can be traced to Henry II, the king of England and father of Richard the Lionheart, who was leader of the third Crusade in 1189 AD.

On the other hands George W. Bush is distantly related to Queen Elizabeth II, twenty British dukes and many European princes. The U.S. based MyFamily.com, which published British census records from 1841 to 1901 on the Internet, found that Bush, Princess Diana and Winston Churchill are distantly related and can trace their ancestry to the 15th century English squire Henry Spencer of Badby, Northamptonshire, who lived between 1420-1478.

Ordinary Americans who write "color" instead of "colour" and drive on the "wrong" side of the road now have to face the truth: their leaders are related to the British nobility far more closely than they think.
(Source: Abqtrib News)

Free Willie Strikes Back!
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, Nova Scotia. - A humpback whale has forced the shutdown of a hydroelectric plant after swimming through the underground gates that connect the tidal power facility with the Bay of Fundy.

Nova Scotia Power officials said Tuesday that the whale got into the Annapolis Tidal Power Plant's head pond on Monday while apparently following a school of herring that swam through gates that were opened at high tide.

Officials were concerned the whale could get caught in a turbine, so the plant was shut down. They said it will remain closed until the whale leaves.

Emily Boucher, a tour guide at the plant's visitor centre, said she noticed the whale Monday afternoon.

"I looked out and … there was a big spout of water and a big fin," Boucher said. "He was splashing around and diving and he really put on a show for us."

Fisheries officers are now trying to figure out how to coax the whale back through the two 10-metre wide gates and back into the bay. Boaters have been asked to stay away from the area.

"The whale made some attempts to go back to the gates, but the presence of boaters may have been a distraction," Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Margaret Murphy said.

Fisheries department spokesman Jerry Conway said the six-metre humpback does not appear to be in any immediate danger.
(Source: CBC News)

Catwoman's Latest Hangout
What do you do when you have a date with a foxy, furry, four-legged creature with a taste for tuna? Dress up in a tux? Lick your hair shiny? No! Well, you could if you wanted to but the place to go is not just some downtown restaurant. Instead try out this totally FELINE place - Manhattan's newest dining establishment, the Meow Mix Cafe, is especially designed for cats and their human owners.

Simba, an 8-month-old kitten, was joined by about two dozen other tabbies, Persians and Burmese for a feast at Tuesday's grand opening of the cafe, which is owned by the Meow Mix Company, a New Jersey-based cat food maker. Everything starting from the décor to the menu has been carefully made to cater to feline taste buds.
Now Bangladeshi cat lovers what say you?

(Source: Yahoo)

Compiled by Shoaib

BD Bytes

Nawab Faizunnessa Choudhurani
She was the only female Nawab…

Nawab Faizunnessa Choudhurani was born and became the zamindar of the Paschimgaon village in the district of Comilla. She was an advocate of female education and a renowned social worker. Her father, Ahmed Ali Chowdhury was the zamindar of the Homnabad Paschimgaon estate.

In spite of belonging to a conservative Muslim family, she became quite proficient in both Bangla and Sanskrit, in a time and community where female enlightenment was practically unheard of. Moreover, it was nigh impossible for a Muslim woman to learn Sanskrit. Her strong will, however, helped her overcome all obstacles. In 1860, she married second cousin the zamindar Muhammad Gazi. She was his second wife. The marriage did not last.

After her mother's death in 1883, she inherited her property and became the zamindar of Paschimgaon. After taking the reins, she immersed herself in social work. In 1873, she established a high school for girls, and later, the Nawab Faizunnessa College. In 1893, she set up a charitable dispensary, which later became Faizunnessa Zanana Hospital in Comilla.

She patronized many newspapers and periodicals such as Bandhab, Dhaka Prakash, Sudhakar, etc. During her lifetime, she invested a large proportion of her landed property to set up a scholarship fund for underprivileged students.

In appreciation of her social work, Queen Victoria wanted to award her the title of 'Begum'. Faizunnessa refused, stating that her subjects already referred to her by that name. She then went on to become the first and only female Nawab in the year 1889.

The Nawab performed hajj in 1894. She passed away shortly afterwards, in 1903, and was buried in her family graveyard in her own village.

By Durdana Ghias







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