Awkward Abroad: Wuthering Heights

My host family has a close family friend, Delphine, who can speak pretty good English. On the second night she came over for dinner, she was very kind and talked to me about French literature because to all French people, I am studying literature since it’s easier to explain than “English.”

Except I couldn’t ask her when she was trying to tell me about this English book she was reading. I’m still not sure whether she meant it was an English book she was reading in French or English. I’m assuming it was in French, based off of what the conversation (in French) went like:

Delphine: It’s called Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: It’s called what?

Delphine: Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: I’m sorry, but could you repeat that, again?

Delphine: Les Hauts de Hurlevent.

Alissa: Okay. I have no idea what that translates to. “Haut” is “high,” or
up” … right?

[Delphine speaks a little English, so I did ask if it meant “high” or “up” in English. But I also gestured it too].

Delphine: I forget what the English title is …

Alissa: Me too! Haha.

Delphine: But it’s an English novel … written in the Victorian Era, I think? It is a romance novel.

Alissa: I’m really sorry, but there are a lot of those.

Delphine: Don’t worry. It’s no big deal.

Alissa: No, this makes me angry! I need to know! What is the book about? What are the character names?

Delphine: Um … uh … Eat … Eatcliff?

Alissa: WUTHERING HEIGHTS!! OH MY GOD!! YOU ARE READING WUTHERING HEIGHTS!! WITH HEATHCLIFF AND CATHERINE!! THE WRITER IS EMILY BRONTË!! WUTHERING HEIGHTS!!

Delphine: Yes!

Alissa: Whew! I am so happy I know now.

Delphine: Wuthering Heights. So I know where the “haut” comes from. What does “wuthering” mean?

Alissa: I have no idea.  What does “hurlevent” mean?

Delphine: I have no idea.

Alissa: (beat) But don’t you love the book?

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One response to “Awkward Abroad: Wuthering Heights

  1. Pingback: Awkward Abroad: Wuthering Heights | A Philadelphian in Paris

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