Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sort of plagiarising the Brontës

The San Jose Mercury News interviews composer Paul Gordon, of Jane Eyre The Musical fame, who has collaborated again with John Caird and thus created the musical Daddy Long Legs.

Q I know your background is in pop music. Do you ever miss that world?
A No. I miss not struggling to make a living. Working in the theater is hard, but I don't miss writing three-minute pop songs. I was bored with pop music, and I would never go back. Here, I get to work with great pieces of literature. Tackling a Brontë or an Austen means you have such rich material to work with. It's nothing against pop music, but this is what inspires me.
Q Do you feel like you're collaborating with Brontë or Austen?
A I do kind of feel like that. In a way we are sort of plagiarizing their work, but in another way we are opening these stories up and giving them a whole new life in a different medium. I can only hope that they feel like we are honoring their intentions. (Karen D'Souza)
And another interview: with Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, as seen on The Hollywood Reporter:
THR: Former Universal Pictures co-chairman David Linde was a major ally at the studio. What sort of relationship do you have with your new bosses, Adam Fogelson and Donna Langley?
Schamus:
What can I tell you (is), she just spent two hours in my office this afternoon. We are locked and loaded. Already in the last month they've been great bosses. I was able to greenlight "Jane Eyre" with Cary Fukunaga (directing). This is our job here at Focus. (Matthew Belloni and Stephen Galloway)
Well, here's hoping the greenlight doesn't turn to red at some later point.

The Times reviews the book Incest and Influence: The private life of bourgeois England by Adam Kuper and focuses on the subject of marriage between cousins.
Novelists addressed the potent brew: the first sign of Mrs Norris’s talent for being wrong in Mansfield Park is when she assures the Bertram family that there would be no danger to their sons in bringing cousin Fanny to live with them. Not only Austen, but also the Brontës, Dickens, Trollope, Mrs Oliphant, Elizabeth Gaskell, Meredith and Thackeray all dramatized cousin love, as did Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Aurora Leigh. Even Beatrix Potter’s Benjamin Bunny married his cousin Flopsy. (Norma Clarke)
On the House - a The Toronto Star blog - seems to find an exquisitely unmade bed quite irresistible:
Oh well, to each his own. But don't these two images make you want to crawl into one of them with a cup of tea and a copy of Wuthering Heights? (Vicky Sanderson)
The Brontë Parsonage Blog posts a review of Michael Baumber's A History of Haworth from Earliest Times:
Michael Baumber, a retired head of History in a large secondary school and author of two previously published books about Haworth and Keighley, is highly qualified in his field and in his latest book, a social and political history, published by Carnegie, he certainly confirms this. The title - A History of Haworth from Earliest Times - is self-explanatory and if anyone, mistakenly, thought that the township of Haworth - which also included the hamlets of Near and Far Oxenhope and Stanbury - began with the Brontës, Michael Baumber certainly redresses this. (Isobel Stirk)
Stay tuned for BrontëBlog's review, as this book is our current read.

On the blogosphere: Popped Density has written an in-depth review of Wuthering Heights 1970 (the one with Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff) and Des Livres... Des Histoires reviews the original novel in French. Portrait of a Princess comments briefly on Jane Eyre. And Laura's Reviews is giving away two copies of The Bronte Sisters: Three Novels and a copy of Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre. Laura's Reviews posts a positive review:
I enjoyed this novel immensely. I especially loved the scenes of sisterly bonds and friction when the three Bronte sisters are working on their novels and awaiting publication. To have so much talent under one roof is just amazing. The love and yet the jealousy of each sister and their talent is written very believably.
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