Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brontë vs Dickinson: the debate

Let's begin with the Brontë references in today's newsround that are not Twilight-related, shall we?

The Telegraph and Argus comments on the upcoming auction of Very Important Brontë Items at Christie's.

A rare copy of Emily Bronte’s only novel, Wuthering Heights, owned by her sister Charlotte, is expected to be sold for up to 60,000 US dollars – about £36,000 – when it goes under the hammer in New York.
The original cloth-bound 1847 volume, with pencil notes and corrections written by Charlotte Bronte, will be auctioned from the collection of Hollywood actor-turned-producer William E Self at Christies next month.
It is one of only five copies of Wuthering Heights sold at auction in the past 30 years and is estimated to fetch between 40,000 and 60,000 US dollars, about £24,000 to £36,000. (Marc Meneaud)
The Greensboro News & Record reviews the collection of short stories Little Pockets of Alarm by Kat Meads. Here's what one of the stories is about:
Then, there’s the debate on “the impact of reclusive on life, art, family, community and pets” between Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson. The narrator, sitting in the audience, eagerly waiting for the authors to appear, tells us: “Briefly, the curtain at the back of the stage balloons. The wait is crushing, killing. It is exceedingly difficult for us to hold our water. We are in grave danger of succumbing to the strain.” (Charles Wheeler)
That would be one interesting debate, that's for sure!

And the Twilight zone swings back and forth between the 'Twilight is the heir of the Brontës, etc.' and the 'Twilight is nothing like the Brontës' attitudes. Today it's the latter mood that's overtaken the news outlets.

From the San Diego News Network:
But it’s not great literature in the lasting tradition of a Jane Austen or a Charlotte Bronte. So what is it about this story that makes it so appealing? (Marsha Sutton)
The Cornell Daily Sun makes it even clearer:
I just want to shake this Bella girl. Get her some therapy. And I want to shake the entire Twilight fan base. I get it, man. Bella’s all shy and quiet and she likes to read, and you totally identify with her, but c’mon. Maybe we read, I dunno, Jane Eyre? I mean, Mr. Rochester is also problematic, but at least that shit is well written. (Elana Dahlager)
But regardless of all this, HarperCollins makes once again its own statement, as seen in The Vanguard.
Major publishing company HarperCollins recently released a new edition of Emily Brontë’s classic 1847 novel “Wuthering Heights.”
At first glance, the cover of this timeless work of 19th-century literature looks strikingly familiar, as it bears a similar design scheme as the popular teenage romance series “Twilight.” In addition, it is branded with a logo of “Bella & Edward’s Favorite Book.”
To which I respond: Is nothing sacred? [...]
Furthermore, the branding of “Twilight” on such a work is insulting. It isn’t anywhere near “Wuthering Heights” in terms of literary value. While that is not a crime, it is a cheap move to connect such a disparate work to classic literature, and it certainly doesn’t give any literary credibility to “Twilight” by association. (Alexa Coccaro)
One blog for today: Writerly Musings of Lisa Asanuma blames St John Rivers for slowing down her reading of Jane Eyre.

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Comments :

2 comments to “ Brontë vs Dickinson: the debate ”
ksotikoula said...
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I wonder why didn't Newby, Emily Bronte's editor, thought about advertising Wuthering Heights as "Bella and Edward's future favorite book". That is why the book didn't get the attention it deserved back then. Lol! I guess it wouldn't hurt him to visit a medium to foresee it, but then the public too would have no idea who that Bella and Edward were. The things that they would miss...

Don't get me wrong I have never even read Twilight, but to think that a classic should gain in value, due to a modern and quite universally thought average written book, doesn't thrill me. I guess we can call this absurd, a triumph of advertising, however.

Cristina said...
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As Newby didn't hesitate to publicise The Tenant of Wildfell Hall as by Currer Bell I wouldn't put it past him to have loved this marketing ploy. He would have done it if he had known it!

At the end of the day, I think I'd rather take with me the fact that it may bring new people to Wuthering Heights and the Brontës, which is not a bad thing. It's when they are disappointed when I feel awfully sad.

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