Monday, February 01, 2010

Yorkshire: brought to you by Emily Brontë™

The Yorkshire Post has further information on the 1877 edition of Wuthering Heights recently given to the National Library of Singapore.

EMILY Brontë wrote the classic Wuthering Heights at a desk overlooking the beauty of the Yorkshire Pennines.
Now the text of her only novel is to be used to lure more visitors from the Far East to Yorkshire to see the landscape which helped to inspire her words.
The story of tortured love was written 150 years ago and a rare early edition of the work has already been sent to Asia, where it will be kept by the National Library of Singapore.
Modern copies of the book are also to be distributed around the coffee houses of the island in the hope that the words of the historic novel will promote the area as effectively as a modern marketing campaign.
The 1877 edition of the book has been presented to the National Library of Singapore by Yorkshire's tourism board, which is hoping to introduce the island republic to the joys that Brontë's work has brought to millions.
The ceremony took place aboard the Hull & Humber, the UK entry into the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, when the boat docked in Keppel Bay at Singapore.
In return, Yorkshire will receive award-winning Malaysian author Su-Chen Christine Lim's critically-acclaimed novel, Fistful of Colours.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, explained: "Wuthering Heights is a symbolic gift to give the people of Singapore. It is famous the world over for its dramatic and evocative images of the Yorkshire landscape, and school children both in Singapore as well as the UK learn a love of literature through the Brontës' work. We hope this gift highlights the uniqueness and vibrancy Yorkshire has to offer.
"We are offering a tantalising glimpse of Yorkshire to the wealth of potential tourists out here. China alone has over a fifth of the world's population and millions of people from China, Hong Kong and Singapore visit London every year. It's a small step to encourage them to travel to Yorkshire and experience a new view of the UK."
Welcome to Yorkshire has promised to distribute copies to coffee shops across the island.
People there will be able to read all about the turbulent life of the brooding, intense Heathcliff, to whom Gordon Brown once famously compared himself.
The ceremony saw the rare edition of Emily Brontë's novel, sourced with the help of the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, handed over to Dr N Varaprasad, the Chief Executive of the Singapore National Library Board, in the first Yorkshire marketing campaign to hit Singapore's shores.
Dr Varaprasad was delighted with the present.
He said: "As we know, the story itself has given rise to numerous adaptations and inspired works in the arts field, so this gift will be treasured by Singaporeans. I would like to thank Welcome to Yorkshire for facilitating this generous gift."
Author Su-Chen Christine Lim, who has donated her novel Fistful of Colours to the people of Yorkshire, said: "On the surface, Yorkshire and Singapore seem worlds apart. One is known for its expansive green and rugged landscapes, the other for its city spaces. Yet the two novels, Wuthering Heights and Fistful of Colours, chosen for this historic cultural exchange, share universal themes like love, passion and betrayal.
"Both critically-acclaimed novels reveal the history, culture and spirit of the land and its people. Although written in a different time and context, both novels will deepen the reader's understanding of passion, love and art."
Her 1992 novel, which won the Singapore Literature Prize, tells the tale of Suwen and her dysfunctional family, who has to cope with the horrors of a stepfather who abuses her and not knowing who her real father is.
The tourism drive roadshow will also be travelling to China and Hong Kong to encourage Far East tourists to visit Yorkshire. (Simon Neville)
The idea is of course fabulous, but we can't help but wonder what Emily's reaction to this would be.

Of course, Wuthering Heights is not just a tourism reclaim, but also a handy way of describing things on fashion columns. As seen in The Scotsman.
Then there is probably the most creative idea to hit the fashion industry in a long time, produced by our forefathers of fashion, Pringle of Scotland.
Photographer Ryan McGinley has captured an effervescent Tilda Swinton in an utterly hypnotic short film showing her rambles around the moody Nairn countryside dressed in the most beautiful collection I think they have ever created.
Breathtaking scenery mixed with Tilda's quirky beauty are a heady concoction that will leave you fighting the urge to dive right into your wardrobe, pull out a flowing evening frock and head for the hills to indulge in some Wuthering Heights behaviour. (Lynne McCrossan)
You can decide whether the short film is Wuthering or not by yourself here.

Still in Scotland, The Times features FrightFest, a small film festival included in the larger Glasgow Film Festival.
Eleanor Yule, the director of Blinded, in which Peter Mullan exacts a more psychological band of horror on a Highland farm, says: “Horror is the genre closest to the unconscious, and therefore it’s very close to the cinematic experience.
“It can’t work as naturalism or realism — it’s closer to expressionism. Which would be perfect for cinema in Scotland, because naturalism feeds into the miserabilism we’re so accustomed to. But imagine if Scottish miserabilism had a touch more horror and fantasy about it: that could really be a way forward for film here.
“And horror is a female-invented form, if you go back to Mary Shelley and the female gothic of the Brontës,” she adds. “It could be a genre that works outside very constrictive parameters and was imaginative and lateral and avoided all the clichés we’re so tired of in Scotland. But for years it turned into women being slaughtered horrifically on a low budget.” (Allan Brown)
And now for a couple of old bookish friends. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre with a little help from The Washington Post:
Kohler, a teacher at Princeton University and Bennington College, offers a fictional exploration of Charlotte Bront and the potential inspirations behind her writing of "Jane Eyre."
Beginning in 1846, just as Bront has a novel rejected by a publisher, Kohler follows her until the writer's death nine years later. Part of the reader's enjoyment here will stem from seeing possible generative moments leading to the creation of a classic work, as Bront 's love affair with a married man takes the form of Mr. Rochester, and the rumor of a confined woman serves as the inspiration for Bertha, Rochester's mad wife.
The Washington Post told readers, "If you know 'Jane Eyre' and love it, don't deny yourself the pleasure of this intense little companion book." The paper's reviewer praised Kohler for sinking "deep into the details of Bront 's life to re-create the atmosphere of her tragic, cloistered family. Parallels between Charlotte and her famous heroine are an irresistible subject of critical inquiry, and even if those parallels are sometimes drawn too baldly in 'Becoming Jane Eyre,' Kohler's novel remains a stirring exploration of the passions and resentments that inspired this 19th-century classic."
The reviewer went on to note, "Kohler's method is highly impressionistic, concentrating expansively on some moments while brushing over whole years elsewhere," but "this story is always Charlotte's, and it's always quietly hypnotic." (Vikas Turakhia)
And Laura Miller from Salon.com reviews Brian Dillon's Tormented Hope.
For Brontë, however, the "nervous" disorder she called hypochondria amounted to a temperamental susceptibility to depression and melancholy that set her (and her characters) apart from the rest of the world. It was also, conveniently, the perfect excuse to "escape from the exigencies of familial or social duty," which Victorian women were expected to make their main occupation. "It is only by falling ill," Dillon asserts, "that she can find for herself the right kind of solitude, in which to invent her future self."
Jane Eyre is the subject matter of a few blogs today: Gofita's Pages (where the novel has a very unusual cover), My Literary Ramblings (where it is included in a selection of 'children's books'), Histoire de lectures (in French) and Lettura è solitudine (in Italian). Agnes Grey is also discussed by a couple of blogs: Le Parole Dipinte (in Italian) and Aan's Zone. Things She Read posts about Shirley and Life in the Thumb Reading Challenges joins Laura's Reviews All About the Brontës Challenge.

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1 Comment
Gricel said...
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Thank you for linking to my post about Shirley, much appreciated.

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