Heathcliff is in love with someone who has died. This love is steeped in the evangelical death culture of the time, particularly the treasuring of the physical manifestations of dying and the body: a reverence for relics. Understanding mortality—and, in fact, the love between Catherine and Heathcliff—in the novel means “reading” material, texture, the weight and heft of objects. Things, I argue, find animation through being touched, irradiated even, by death.

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