‘Not a country at all’: landscape and Wuthering Heights

Thornham, Sue (2016) ‘Not a country at all’: landscape and Wuthering Heights. Journal of British Cinema and Television, 13 (1). pp. 214-231. ISSN 1743-4521

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Abstract

This article explores the issue of women’s representational genealogies through an analysis of Andrea Arnold’s 2011 Wuthering Heights. Beginning with 1970s feminist arguments for a specifically female literary tradition, it argues that running through both these early attempts to construct an alternative female literary tradition and later work in feminist philosophy, cultural geography and film history is a concern with questions of ‘alternative landscapes’: of how to represent, and how to encounter, space differently. Adopting Mary Jacobus’ notion of intertextual ‘correspondence’ between women’s texts, and taking Arnold’s film as its case study, it seeks to trace some of the intertextual movements – the reframings, deframings and spatial reorderings – that link Andrea Arnold’s film to Emily Brontë’s original novel. Focusing on two elements of her treatment of landscape – her use of ‘unframed’ landscape and her focus on visceral textural detail – it points to correspondences in other women’s writing, photography and film-making. It argues that these intensely tactile close-up sequences which puncture an apparently realist narrative constitute an insistent presence beneath, or within, the ordered framing which is our more usual mode of viewing landscape. As the novel Wuthering Heights is unmade in Arnold’s adaptation and its framings ruptured, it is through this disturbance of hierarchies of time, space and landscape that we can trace the correspondences of an alternative genealogy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: adaptation; feminist; genealogies; landscape; space; texture
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Depositing User: Sue Thornham
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2015 13:06
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 05:49
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58842

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