Animal Visions pp 161-194 | Cite as

Ghosts: Of Writing, at Windows, in Mirrors, on Moors

  • Susan Mary PykeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


Textual responses to Emily Brontë’s use of the ghost trope in Wuthering Heights (1847) reinforce the ludic element of a Cathy ghost who refuses the containment of logic and reason. There is a calculated uncertainty in Anne Carson’s poem “The Glass Essay” (1997), where the speaker is haunted both by a Cathy ghost and the ghost of Emily Brontë. This ambiguous engagement allows her to fight her way out of containment through repeated excessive responses. This, and other strategically performative texts that respond to emotional excess, suggest a radical peri-hysteria that escapes the reductions of pathology. The unconventional dance and vocals of the Cathy ghost in Kate Bush’s music video “Wuthering Heights” (1978) have had such impact that this work now has its own rich afterlife. Peter Kosminsky’s film Wuthering Heights (1992) depicts Cathy and her ghost staring at each other in a powerfully embodied silence. Such works encourage further challenges to the oppressive violence of closed reason that places certain members of the human species above all other creatures.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Culture and CommunicationUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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