Emily’s Secret

     "If this coffin wasn’t so bloody cramped, I would roll right over, I would. I would let Mr. Goldwyn see what I think of his 1939 cinematic adaptation of my 1847 prized work of art, Wuthering Heights. There is no use of being proper since I’m dead. He tore my theme to shreds just so he could please some petty commoners and make a few more shillings. To the devil with him and his moving picture show."

     "I do love Mr. Wyler, though, for he tried valiantly to preserve the theme that I so intended–albeit vainly. I shall stop rattling on with this outlash and deliver my point. The point is that my novel Wuthering Heights was not intended as a love story. Sure the love between Heathcliff and Catherine is a wonderful story indeed; however, it is meant to be a veil and dance above the foundation of truth. Mr. Goldwyn’s nearsightedness left my life's work as a "normal" story to me, for he could not sense the universal truth of the Moors. Oh what a shame it is. Woe is me."

     "The solid foundation of Wuthering Heights is the eternity of the Earth. The Earth is forever relative to a human. The Moors, the rolling hills of eternity, are a character. No, they are the characters in my story. That is what I believe causes the beauty to flow from my novel’s spout."

     "The love of Heathcliff for Catherine is meant to be seen as a developing obsession. The obsession becomes so strong that it indirectly murders Catherine and pushes Heathcliff off into a mad oblivion where he consequently falls to his own death. No doubt the shove came from his own hand. Nevertheless, after they are gone, the Moors remain as they were a thousand years before they came. My theme was more along the lines of… oh how do they say it now? Oh yes, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff,’ or ‘life is short, have fun’ or ‘don’t worry, be happy.’ They are all the same universal theme. The secret of life. That is, life on Earth is not eternal, make it he best you can with what you’ve got. For the Earth will be here a long time after you’re gone. That was my theme. That is what Wuthering Heights was all about."

     "I get a good belly laugh at the people these days so concerned about The Earth! These people need to stop fibbing and say that they are worried about themselves. The Earth has been here for Five billion years-Five Billion! And we are a 120,000 year speck of dust on its lifeline. To the Earth we are just an insignificant little flea that it will brush off whenever it damn well pleases. The seas will roll for a thousand years after you are gone and for a thousand after your last descendant. And so will the hills of the Moors.

     Mr. Melville did a brilliant job in painting this same picture. He floated to my coffin a hundred years ago and told me he understood my work. His book screams: "Don’t be an Ahab! Life is for the living!’ Ahab’s obsession with Moby Dick was the same as Heathcliff’s for Catherine. Wuthering Heights shouts: ‘Don’t be a Heathcliff!’ Do you understand? If you do, shout it now! Shout ‘Don’t worry! Be Happy!’ Tell the world! The devil wants you to be miserable on earth. The devil is inside you and can take control very easily. If the devil were somewhere else, why the hell would I be in this cursed coffin?"

     "Samuel Goldwyn corrupted my work. William Wyler tried to save it. That is the reason he refused to do the ghost scene at the end. It was rubbish, and it did not fit. Unfortunately. Mr. Goldwyn was blind to the secret of life, and he is obsessed with movies. I hope the devil in his mind wreaks havoc upon his sanity so that he may one day be portrayed on the silver screen as a loony in a movie even shallower than his--Ah the Irony!

Matthew Dycus

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