Or hear, read, experience. . .Listen to this, from Margaret A. Rees’ Alfred de Musset: “Generally misjudged and underestimated during his life, [Musset’s] work has attracted since his death a good number of appreciative studies[.]” Or this, from Enid Peschel’s Arthur Rimbaud: “A Season in Hell, first published in Brussels in 1873, did not become widely known until eighteen years later[.]” And these are just two books that happen to be lying on my desk. Here’s Wuthering Heights on the pile, too — as good old SparkNotes puts it: “Wuthering Heights, which has long been one of the most popular and highly regarded novels in English literature, seemed to hold little promise when it was published in 1847, selling very poorly and receiving only a few mixed reviews. Victorian readers found the book shocking and inappropriate in its depiction of passionate, ungoverned love and cruelty (despite the fact that the novel portrays no sex or bloodshed), and the work was virtually ignored.” Emily Bronte! Don’t get me started!. . .You can insert your own favorite examples, endlessly.
So what are we missing now, today, existing right beside us in contemporary culture, that future generations will think we were total chumps for not loving?