I’m sure you know the awkward stage I’m in. I’ve just finished my book, I want to keep reading, but I don’t know what to read!
Starting a book is like when you first get into a relationship. You like the idea of them, but you don’t really know them, so you don’t know if you’ll like the reality, and you’re scared that you will commit so much of your time for it just to end badly.
There should so be something like match.com for avid readers!
But until then, I thought I’d ask you wonderful bloggers what your favourite classic novel is!
Mine has to be ‘Wuthering Heights’. I love the raw, passionate emotions and the complexity of the characters within it; it’s just beautiful in its own way.
These are the ones I’ve read:
- ‘Wuthering Heights’
- ‘Jane Eyre’
- ‘Pride and Prejudice’
- ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’
- ‘Animal Farm’
- ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’
- ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
- ‘Lord of the Flies’
- ‘The Great Gatsby’
What are your favourites?
One of my favourite poems is ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ by Robert Browning. I love Browning’s dramatic monologues in general; his exploration of the mind of murderers is fascinating! I think on some level we are all morbidly curious about how murderers justify their actions since they seem so fundamentally wrong to us, and Browning is exceptionally talented at simultaneously giving the murderer’s justification while also condemning them.
‘Porphyria’s Lover,’ though, is slightly different to some of his others in that the narrator of the poem does not offer any real explanation for the murder of Porphyria. It’s as if the narrator does not feel that any explanation is needed; Porphyria, it seems, holds power over him (whether socially or in the relationship) and it is logical for him to regain that power, despite the fact that he clearly loves her deeply. And it is this juxtaposition of love and murder which makes me love this poem so much. The narrator’s love for Porphyria is so apparent, it’s almost a romantic story – it’s as if his world shuts down without his love; he is nothing without her. Yet this love leads him inexplicably to murder.
Cue the inevitable discussion of disease which comes with this poem. Clearly the narrator is mentally ill, and the name of his lover and the fact that this is the first word we read of this poem (the title) links the story right from the start to ideas about disease and illness. (Porphyria is a type of genetic disease.) Is love his disease? Is love the disease?
The poem elicits so many questions, and gives so few answers. It’s such a beautiful story while at the same time being just a starting point for so many other stories.
There’s literally so much more I have to say on this poem, and hopefully one day I will, but genuinely if I write everything it would take forever to write and to read!