Books, Prairie Post

The ‘vulgar depravity’ of Wuthering Heights

The Atlantic has posted some exceedingly biting reviews of classical tomes. Many of the reviews (written at the turn of the century) rival those of your modern day trolls. For example:

“On Wuthering Heights: “How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.” — Graham’s Lady’s Magazine, 1848″

And this, on James Joyce’s Ulysses: ” In Ulysses he has ruled out all the elementary decencies of life and dwells appreciatively on things that sniggering louts of schoolboys guffaw about. In addition to this stupid glorification of mere filth, the book suffers from being written in the manner of a demented George Meredith.”

With everyone now being a critic and all, bloggers and online journalists can take solace in the fact that even the greats got some bad press occasionally.

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