This is run partly as an experiment, partly for literary expression. This blog is going to chronicle the life of Lucy Goh, a 21st century adaptation of Villette by Charlotte Bronte. The names are changed, because this is going to be a Malaysian version. I believe authors should write what they know about, and I know this country best.
I initially wanted to make Lucy a PhD student, because the life in Villette, the isolation, the maturity of the characters demanded a grad school setting. But I am only just graduated from my undergraduate years, and I feel it would be presumptuous for me to write the life of a graduate school student when I know nothing of the experience. I did toy with the idea of making Madame Beck a Professor Beck, a highly demanding academic who ruins Lucy’s life.
Another source I used was The Life of Charlotte Bronte. In the course of planning this blog, I happened to read that excellent book, and discovered that much of Villette’s sentiment and thought are derived from Life of Charlotte Bronte. There is a singular lack of characters and event in Villette, and I thought that by incorporating elements from Life, the story might illuminate more aspects of Lucy, or Charlotte’s character. The Autobiography of Jane Eyre included characters not mentioned in the original Jane Eyre, so I see no reason why I should not do the same in this case. There were acquaintances of Charlotte’s for instance, whom she was not close to, but made some impression on her, and Lucy’s acquaintances are hardly ever described in detail. That befits a loner; yet a novelist of Charlotte’s discernment would have thought something of persons she encountered. This is why this blog is going to describe the acquaintances of Lucy, and hopefully, serve to show another side of her – the fun-loving, sociable side not easily perceived in Villette.