‘I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you–especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.’
Frequently, when I’m going through a rough time, I turn to my well-worn copy of Jane Eyre. While known as one of the greatest gothic romances ever written, to me it is much more. It’s a book of survival. Specifically, the survival of trauma and the symptoms that come with it. When people ask me what trauma feels like, or what it’s like to have PTSD, or experience psychosis I often answer,…
My favourite thing is when people read classic romances for the first time and realise how different they are to the way popular culture represents them. Mr. Darcy isn’t some handsome, perfect hunk. He’s a socially awkward loser who writes embarrassingly long, eloquent letters to the girl he likes because he can’t speak two words to her face without colossally fucking up. Mr. Rochester is a creepy bigamous liar who keeps women in his attic. Heathcliff’s a terrifying fucking psychopath who abuses kids. JULIET WAS THIRTEEN.
J a n e E y r e( with Gugu Mbatha Raw as Jane Eyre, Idris Elba as Mr Rochester, Anthony Mackie as St John Rivers, Keke Palmer as Blanche Ingram and Viola Davis as Mrs Fairfax - casting by @gushington-central )
“Do you never laugh, Miss Eyre? Don’t trouble yourself to answer — I see you laugh rarely; but you can laugh very merrily: believe me, you are not naturally austere, any more than I am naturally vicious. The Lowood constraint still clings to you somewhat; controlling your features, muffling your voice, and restricting your limbs; and you fear in the presence of a man and a brother — or father, or master, or what you will — to smile too gaily, speak too freely, or move too quickly: but, in time, I think you will learn to be natural with me, as I find it impossible to be conventional with you; and then your looks and movements will have more vivacity and variety than they dare offer now. I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close-set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high.“