Wednesday, 22 March 2006

The Brontës in Lahore

Wali Aslam spoke to Richard Wilcocks:
"I fell in love with the Brontës when I was still in high school back in Lahore. It was Wuthering Heights which did it.

"I was fascinated by the novels of Thomas Hardy as well, so I was well motivated to go on to take a degree in English Literature at the University of Lahore.

"Currently I am a third-year postgraduate at the University of Leeds putting the finishing touches to my PhD in the Politics department. I was very excited when I found I was coming to Leeds in Yorkshire because I knew I would be close to Haworth and the moors.

"I have done plenty of walking in the area, but I have not yet managed to get up as far as Top Withins. I intend to put that right soon. I am fascinated by the connections between human emotions and physical surroundings, by the special atmosphere around the Parsonage.

"I was photographed and interviewed by the BBC recently. There was a kind of advertisement on the university website for volunteers with a knowledge of Urdu, which of course I have. It was my suggestion that we did something on the Brontës, so now my voice will be heard on the World Service talking about them in Pakistan.

"The Brontës are popular in Pakistan, I think. They are loved there, partly because we live in a 'Victorian' society there, in which women have limited opportunities, where health care is poor and where social status matters a lot. So we relate to the world of the Brontës.

"I am now going to become more involved with the Brontë Society. I have already offered to translate the Parsonage guide into Urdu, which should be helpful because it is a language spoken by many people of Pakistani origin in Keighley and Bradford.

"I am going to speak in more depth about the Brontës in Pakistan and my opinions in the future, in Brontë Society Gazette."

No comments: