Lady Gaga announced today at a Famecon press conference that she is moving beyond the dance floor and into the literary world’s hottest pop trend, monster lit. Wuthering Frights is Lady Gaga’s mash-up of Emily Brontë’s bad romance on the moors and will be out from Tor July 30, just in time for Brontë’s birthday.
“Listen,” the Grammy-winning diva said about Frights, “It’s a complete re-modernization. Instead of moors we have dance floors, and believe me when I tell you the shadows and ghosts in the LES club scene are just as heavy as they were in nineteenth century England.”
When asked why she wanted to revamp Wuthering Heights, Lady GaGa explained: “Listen, the allusions have already been there. If you listen to my music, you know love is nothing but a power game. Wuthering Heights is all about love games. I first got into [Heights] through Kate Bush’s song and thought it very beautiful. But that book—listen, Brontë needed some lipstick, okay!”
Critics will be unable to resist the parallels between the mash-up authoress and her borrowed heroine, who is determined to embrace culture by performing at paranormal dance clubs in what sounds reminiscent of Lady Gaga’s early career.
As in Heights, Frights begins by introducing Lockwood, a record producer from L.A. who has come to Manhattan to sign D.J. Heathcliff to his label. The minute he enters Heathcliff’s club, an unknown number starts blowing up his iPhone. When he answers, on the other end is a digitally fragmented woman’s voice pleading to “Eh eh eh eh eh eh eh me, let eht tehtehtehteh me in.” When Lockwood asks who the phantom caller is, the line goes dead and a locked Livejournal account for Cat_E appears on his iPhone’s screen.
“Catherine Earnshaw was totally a pop diva, you know,” Lady Gaga said. “But she was stuck on the moors. My Catherine, Cat_E, gets beyond that. The first part of the book—her Livejournal—is her figuring out how to reinvent herself. She learns to slay monsters and hearts later when she realizes that she’s a free bit’.”
Lockwood learns of Cat_E and D.J. Heathcliff’s tortured past together through her blog, which depicts Brontë’s Victorian love triangle within an Easton Ellisesque dirty rich club scene. But it isn’t all love games, and Lady Gaga delivers on the supernatural goods. Heathcliff finds himself battling (and sometimes choreographing) break-dance zombies, Masonic automatons, Ecstasy rolling golems with glow-stick hearts, desperate mad scientists pimping their spaceglam abominations called “Hennigers,” and Studio 54 poltergeists, not to mention the strobe-lit ghost of Cat_E.
But perhaps the most fantastic of all, Heathcliff finds himself chasing through the clubs a five foot bipedal orange “catpire,” complete with a Legosi comb-back and Ziggy Stardust catsuit and platform boots. When asked about this odd but glam “white rabbit,” Lady Gaga laughed.
“Heathcliff the Cat! You know, anything Haus Gaga is going to reflect my musical influences. I was thinking what if this book were a music video; what if I mashed-up goblins and ghouls with pop-music? You know, sort of like a literary Thriller. The scene with Heathcliff pursuing Heathcliff through The Bitter End is an allusion to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract, you know, where she dances up and down the stairs with M.C. Skat Cat? I loved Heathcliff comics as a child, and watched the cartoon, so—with his name and my need for a cool orange Catpire—it seemed a natural choice. Except, Heathcliff the Catpire is a pretty heavy hallucination of D.J. Heathcliff’s Id or too much amphetamines, but that’s something for my little reader-monsters to decide.”
Silas Bell is a direct descendant of the British literary triumvirate Currier, Ellis, and Acton Bell. A long way from home and epoch, he currently resides in Haworth, Florida where he shells peanuts and makes Dada poems out of Harlequin romances and moth-eaten derby hats.