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“A poet, a solitary”: Emily Brontë — Queerness, quietness, and solitude

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journal contribution
posted on 04.09.2018, 13:53 by Claire O'CallaghanClaire O'Callaghan
Emily Brontë is often remembered for her extreme reserve and was clearly an atypical woman for her time. Although she was a figure who struggled within the conventional social fabric, rarely does empathy find a place in writings about her. This paper revisits some of the popular and dominant conceptions of Emily’s reserve and seeks to find a more productive—even compassionate—way of understanding her preference for solitude. Emily’s writings—especially her poems, provide such an opportunity to do so. While recognizing the negative and undoubtedly painful expressions of emotion in Emily’s oeuvre, the analysis argues that more positive insights into Emily’s desire for solitude can equally be found in her writing. Accordingly, drawing on queer theoretical sources, the paper posits a revised reading of this “difficult” Brontë that seeks to open alternative possibilities for understanding Emily’s introverted nature.

History

Department

  • English and Drama

Published in

Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature

Volume

134

Issue

Winter 2018

Pages

204 - 217

Citation

O'CALLAGHAN, C., 2018. “A poet, a solitary”: Emily Brontë — Queerness, quietness, and solitude. Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature, 134, pp.204-217.

Publisher

The Ohio State University Press

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

11/05/2018

Publication date

2018-11-29

Notes

This paper was published in the journal Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1353/vct.2018.0019.

ISSN

2475-6741

Language

en