Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 10:00 AM PDT
Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 12:30 PM PDT

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Louise DiMattio 


Great Books Council of San Francisco
Long Novel Weekend 2023

October 14-15, 2023

Via Zoom

This year’s Long Novel Weekend hosted by the San Francisco Great Books Council of Northern California will feature the great novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontė.  Please, before all else, erase every viewing you have ever done of every Hollywood movie based on this novel, especially the 1939 version starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier.  Never was a movie more unrelated to the book than this one!  In fact, it completely misrepresents the novel. Enough said about that.

Wuthering Heights is about the intensity of human emotions – all of them.  It is a family saga spanning several disastrous generations. It is about the endless loneliness of the bleak Yorkshire moors. It is about so many, many things.

W. Somerset Maugham includes Wuthering Heights in his volume, The World’s Ten Greatest Novels.  His last paragraph states, “Wuthering Heights is not a book to talk about; it is a book to read. It is easy to find fault with it; it is very imperfect; and yet it has what few novelists can give you, power. I do not know a novel in which the pain, the ecstasy, the ruthlessness, the obsessiveness of love have been so wonderfully described. Wuthering Heights reminds me of one of those great pictures of El Greco in which in a somber, arid landscape under dark clouds heavy with thunder, long, emaciated figures in contorted attitudes, spellbound by an unearthly emotion, hold their breath. A streak of lightning flitting across the leaden sky gives a final touch of mysterious terror to the scene.

In spite of what Maugham says, we have chosen to talk about this book. You will not be disappointed.  Join us in October as we plumb the depths of Cathy and Healthcliff….as well as ourselves. 


 We will be using the Penguin Classics edition, the definitive   version of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline   Nestor. This edition also has a new preface by Lucasta Miller,   author of The Brontė Myth, which looks at the ways in which   the novel has been interpreted, from Charlotte Brontė   onwards.  This complements Pauline Nestor's introduction,   which discusses changing critical receptions of the novel, as   well as Emily Brontė's influences and background.


Publisher: Penguin Classics: Revised edition (December 31,   2002)
 Language: English
 Paperback: 416 pages

Please purchase only this edition from your bookseller. (The book is available in new and used versions on Amazon.com.)

Guest Speaker

Sunday morning will feature a conversation with Dr. Joseph Luzzi, the founder of the Virtual Book Club, an international online community devoted to exploring some of the best books ever written.

Joseph Luzzi received his PhD from Yale University is the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature at Bard College, where he also teaches courses on film and Italian Studies.

He is the author of five books, including his most recent work, Botticelli’s Secret: The Lost Drawings and the Rediscovery of the Renaissance (Norton, 2022), a New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022 and Guardian Book of the Day selection.  Dr Luzzi is an accomplished lecturer on the classics as well as many other genres of literature.

His website is www.josephluzzi.com

Weekend Schedule (Please note all times are in US Pacific Time and be sure to make allowances for any conversion to your local time zone.) 

Saturday, October 14

10:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Welcome and Discussion #1

Break for lunch and rejoin Zoom room for 2:30 p.m. afternoon start  

2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: Discussion #2

Sunday, October 15

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Discussion #3 with Guest Speaker Joseph Luzzi

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Wrap Up  


There are a limited number of scholarships are available for this event.  To apply, contact Louise DiMattio at greatbooksncal.president@gmail.com