How did we not know until today that Kate Bush and Emily Brontë share a birthday? This calls for a national holiday.
My first year of college, I took a two-semester-long course on British romanticism, and we were assigned Wuthering Heights over winter break. Leaving it until nearly the last minute, I read the book on the plane back to school, breathlessly I might add. No one should ever say with a straight face that Wuthering Heights is a perfect book, but at that time it was as close to perfect as anything had ever been for me. Any book that features a man getting into his beloved’s grave has got to appeal, I don’t care who you are. As a companion to the book, my professor asked us to read Anne Carson’s “The Glass Essay,” which remains one of my favorite poems. Read it right now, if you have the time. It almost made me a classics major.
You’d think it would be hard to beat Carson, but those few weeks spent discussing Wuthering Heights held another incredibly important experience for me. One of the students in the class — his name, adorably, was CJ — had been working on a project, like we all were, and his was a study of the influence Wuthering Heights had had on popular culture. The professor asked him to present something related to that, so CJ brought in a shitty boombox, passed out a lyrics sheet, and played “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush for the class. Reader, my life has never been the same. You guys know that 18-year-old Kate hadn’t even read the book when she wrote this song? And that she apparently wrote it within a few hours late at night? And that this song, this improbable song, went to #1 in the UK? What a world we live in, everyone. What a world.