Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Emily Brontë junkies

The play Maude-Lynne Sells Out! by Morgan Norwich & Johnnie Walker (now at the Toronto Fringe Festival) is reviewed again in some Canadian news outlets. The (Emily) Brontë connections are clearer after looking at the promotional picture (check the book she is reading) or watching the video.

There's a lot that's likeable in this silly little tale of a self-obsessed Emily Brontë junkie with a weird name (played by Morgan Nowych, who co-authored the script with director Johnnie Walker) and her keyboard-playing sidekick (played by Peter Cavell). (John Coulbourne in the Toronto Sun)
Deep in her “beloved withering depths” (read: basement), Brontë enthusiast Maude-Lynne prepares to auction off her treasures to the highest bidder. (Naomi Skwarna in Now Magazine)
Sure, the songs are just ok and Maude-Lynne’s Wuthering Heights-inspired speech and mannerisms grate slightly after a while. But this show has some real heart to it, and it manages something I’ve rarely seen: it actually has a likeable goth-kid protagonist.(...)
It’s a fun and clever show, and enjoyable even if you’ve never read Wuthering Heights. (Brian in Panic Manual)
The Herald reviews Brian Dillon's Tormented Hope:
Hypochondria played a positive role in the lives of Charles Dickens and Charlotte Brontë.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Dillon’s history, which looks at James Boswell, Charlotte Brontë and Charles Darwin among others, is the notion that hypochondria helped certain gifted individuals to make time for their work or art.(...)
Charlotte Brontë’s great illness of 1851, when she complained of violent headaches, sickness and chest pains, came after the deaths of her sisters and while she struggled to find the time to finish her novel, Villette.
As with Boswell, Dillon views Brontë’s mysterious ailments, which disappeared quickly enough, as a way of controlling time. (Lesley McDowell)
Western Mail asks several Welsh authors about their favourite novels. Caryl Lewis says:
Choosing your favourite book is a bit like choosing between your favourite cakes – nigh on impossible and totally dependent on your mood! Sometimes, only a lounge on the sofa with a Kipling’s French Fancy and a Brontë or an Austen will do.
The Vine includes the Brontë sisters on its top ten superheroe moments (you know, the Power Dolls ad). One has to admit that the criticism has a point:
6. The Brontë sisters
Sometimes, superheroes are made from unexpected places. Everyday people. You know, people like the Brontë sisters. Now, I should point out that I despise the Brontë sisters and everything they've done; sure, they're trailblazers. Sure, they set benchmarks for women to write and be viewed as artistic equals. And sure, Heathcliff is kind of a Baldwin. But they're directly responsible for Cliff Richard's stage musical Heathcliff. And that shit is unforgivable. (PaulVerhoeven (sic))
Macgasm is seduced by the iPad (what a surprise) but concedes that reading on paper is still faster:
During the first part of a Nielsen Norman study, they found that the iPad read 6.2 percent slower than a traditionally printed book. (...) What’s it mean? If you’re planning on cramming for an exam or barreling through your favourite Emily Brontë novel, you’re probably going to need a paper version of the text you’re reading—you’ll save a lot of time. (Joshua Schnell)
Some people complain about almost everything. Apparently one of the bugs of the Kobo ebook reader was the following. As read on Digital Home:
The biggest irritant we heard from lots of users was “I don’t care about *&@^#$# Jane Eyre! Get it out of my Library!” Totally understandable: some people feel it clutters up the Library or makes it harder to find purchased books. (Others love having a reader that is full of books as soon as you plug it in. That’s the way it goes…)
Some people definitely need a life.

A brief Twilight zone:
The movie is based on the Stephenie Meyer best seller which in turn was ostensibly-inspired by Emily Brontë's gothic novel "Wuthering Heights."(Kam Williams in News Blaze)
Libby Sternberg, author of Sloane Hall, talks about authors and blogging in the Seattle Writing Careers Examiner, Joan Larsen recommends Romancing Miss Brontë by Juliet Gael in WowOWow. Rafların Arasından (in Turkish) and Ink. post about Jane Eyre. Moon Space liked with some reservations Wuthering Heights. The same book is reviewed in German by Bücherhühner and a fragment translated into French by Les Brontë à Paris. The Lone Reader gives 4 out 4 stars to Agnes Grey. Finally Silencing the Bell posts about Wide Sargasso Sea.

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