Holy fucking fuck me. Have just finished reading Villette and feeling absolutely drop-kicked by it. It's really good. You do get a sense from Jane Eyre that Charlotte Bronte wasn't the most psychologically rock-solid creature in creation, an apparent fact that is probably underappreciated due to her sister Emily writing so well about completely, demonstratively nutso people in Wuthering Heights. But with Villette the exploration of the brain of a totally fucking depressed narrator is so intense, so well-done, and so very fucking Charlotte Bronte that I feel awful for her that there was no Jungian analysis back then . . .
It's a really good book. You need a bit of a suspension of disbelief with Jane Eyre - well, a fuckload of suspension of disbelief - that you don't need with Villette. There are some pretty zany coincidences but they are quite believable ones, on the basis that they don't drive the plot - no I'm-telling-my-uncle-I'm-getting-married-he's-dying-sends-R's-wife's-brother-to-stop-the-wedding-in-nick-of-time-blundering-around-the-moors-meeting-my-cousins sort of thing. Just the sort of coincidences that happen. And the sort of unlikely events manufactured by a depressive personality. And yet it's not a tighter book than Jane Eyre - it's almost more of a breakdown than a novel.
My god. Lucy Snowe. Jesus. That's the most powerful narrative voice I can think of at the moment. Also she takes opiates and trips out on the streets of Brussels. That's right. Anyways it needs a few days to settle in before I can write coherently about it.