In the era of #MeToo, a return to a literary classic—Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre—explores issues of revolt and recuperation. As Christine Blasey Ford found out, being heard is not the same as being listened to. In her heroic act of self-immolation—speaking out about a painful and life-changing experience only to have her story dismissed—Doctor Ford established that a rational woman is no contest for an hysterical and intemperate man. Do not speak if you do not want to be silenced.
Carol Ayres explores ‘a peculiar poem even for Borges and finds his remoteness of language at odds with the imagery, which references butchers and prostitutes (and witches)—the working class, that is, which is usually associated with plain speech not abstruse or rarefied language. This contrast—between form and content, as well as between the quotidian reality of the butchers and prostitutes and the language used to describe it—introduces one of the primary tensions of the poem.
Covington was one of a cluster of villages and small towns that, since the second war, had crawled surreptitiously outward to meet each other, eating away, as they advanced, at what Emily remembered as green and gently rolling countryside with the dull, uniform face of post-war development. The 5:44 Harlowe local took Emily home each evening to her squat, two-storey, redbrick house set slightly apart from the huddle of cottages made of local stone that made up the heart of the village. On the green, unsupervised children were piling assorted rubbish onto the already dangerously unbalanced bonfire that would be lit, she believed, at seven o’clock to ‘celebrate’ the failure of Guy Fawkes’ sedition.