“As if I was looking at something illicit…at the end I felt as if I had a fever”: Self on Villette -The Toast

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Friends and lovers! Earlier this year, I got to write the introduction for Harper Perennial’s newest edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, which means that no matter what else I accomplish in my nubile, fresh-scented life, I will at least have her legacy to glom onto as we sail on into eternity. It will be available after 9/1/15 and you can preorder it here. Would you like a SNEAK PEEK at said introduction, to entice you to buy it, if you are currently drowsing upon the fence?

During my first time reading Villette, I was taken in by Lucy Snowe’s semblance of calm entirely; when she finally admitted to having loved, and loved passionately, I was absolutely floored. The second time I read Villette, I was absolutely astonished that she had managed to convince me for even a second that she wasn’t in love. There is something thrilling, something that induces gratitude in me, about the privilege of spending so much time with Lucy Snowe’s singular mind, of hearing her thoughts, of slowly gaining hard-fought access to the innermost rooms of her soul. The third time I read Villette, I realized I kept a place for her in my heart too, a place of near-infinite capacity. I have suffered at her hands, but I am glad to have been held by them.

Oh, ALSO. While we are on the subject of MY LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, the Portuguese-language edition of Texts From Jane Eyre is going to be released in Brazil at the end of October! There’s nowhere to pre-order it just yet, but if you’re in Brazil, just fling yourself into the nearest bookshop and demand it. Oh, and they’re not calling it Texts From Jane Eyre, it’s from Sherlock & Watson, because we’d like to keep you all on your toes.

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See that Ortberg is on every label.

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