Thursday, August 05, 2010

Geographical Pedantry

The Telegraph & Argus presents the upcoming exhibition (it opens on August 21st until November 28th) of paper-cut artist Sue Blackwell at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:

Artist Su Blackwell is preparing for a solo exhibition of her new work, Remnants, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
Su has been commissioned to create a series of installations, inspired by the museum’s collections.
Su creates book-cut sculptures; intricate three-dimensional illustrations cut from the pages of books, and inspired by the stories inside. In this exhibition, she develops the scope and scale of her sculptures, responding to the Brontës and the Parsonage collections.
Remnants include her take on Wuthering Heights, as well as themes of childhood, imagination and storytelling. The installations suggest the Brontes’ imaginary worlds.
“Much of the museum’s collection is paper-based, and there are many connections between Su’s work and the Brontës, not least their use of paper as a precious material,” says arts officer Jenna Holmes.
“The exhibition will explore these many connections through a programme of supporting events.” (Emma Clayton)
Also in The Telegraph & Argus there's a letter asking for urgent preservation work in a couple of places at Haworth. One of them closely connected to the Brontës:
I now wish to highlight two areas in the Haworth conservation area that desperately require investment. Item one to preserve it and item two to bring access up to an appropriate standard.
1, The Old School Room, in Church Street. This building was originally constructed by Patrick Brontë in 1832 as a National Church Sunday School and is of great historical imortance to Haworth. The building, while being wind and watertight, requires major restoration and conservation works totalling £1 million. This would create a building for public access that provides a stage and auditorium for shows and lectures, and area for exhibitions, meeting rooms for local groups and societies, an archive room, a Victorian school room together with associated facilities. (John Collinson)
The Brontë Spirit initiative (a partnership between Haworth Parish Church and The Cellar Project) was working in that direction but we don't know what its current status is.

We frankly don't understand this comment by Ian J Griffiths in The Guardian concerning the recent poll by Visit York about the best things to come out of Yorkshire:
Dame Judi Dench was named as the most popular person to come out of York. She was closely followed by the Brontë sisters (this geographical pedantry business is too tiring), Captain Cook and Michael Palin.
Is it pedantry to associate Yorkshire with the Brontës? Both are inextricably connected and it is difficult to understand one without the other. Is it pedantry to link together Mark Twain and the Mississippi? Cervantes and La Mancha? Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon? Wagner and Bayreuth?...

The Yorkshire Evening Post publishes another example of this blending between the Brontës and Yorkshire landscape. From an interview with the Leeds band Sky Larkin:
The Leeds trio have decamped to Heckmondwike to work on the B-side of a forthcoming single. "It's a really nice part of Yorkshire," Nestor says. "It's written about in all sorts of Brontë novels." (Duncan Seaman)
On the Anniston Star a story about tennis, Wuthering Heights and teenagers:
My boy seems to have accepted the fact that tennis players work hard at their game. This is a kid who loves sleep better than pizza, yet this summer he got up at 7:30 in the morning, voluntarily, to play.
Now, if we could just get him to bound out of bed to read Wuthering Heights. (Harvey H. Jackson)
But it is even more impressive to mix polar coordinates with Wuthering Heights. On Mother Jones:
Not bad for a mathematical technique [polar coordinates] most schoolchildren learn before they even have to read Wuthering Heights. (Joe Kloc)
Paperback Writer interviews author Tina Murray:
What are a few of your favorite genres and why?
Early on, I enjoyed classic mysteries by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dorothy Sayers. I enjoyed romantic suspense novels such as Rebecca. I enjoyed standard romance, too, novels such as Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, and, as a girl, I enjoyed gothic novels. I’m pretty well grounded in such genre classics.
Antilogic recommends Jane Slayre; Reviews of Joan Soward's Chocolate Roses: Writer in the Pines and Kaylee Baldwin; Unhyphenated American is reading Jane Eyre (and watching Jane Eyre 2006); Charlotte Brontë's novel is also listed on Les plus beaux romans d'amour. Illuminara posts a home movie with dolls, Jane Eyre: Scenes from My Life. Finally Peony Moon posts some poems by Katrina Noemi belonging to Charlotte Brontë's Corset.

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2 comments to “ Geographical Pedantry ”
Helen Highwater said...
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I think the "geographical pedantry" quote is based on people conflating York (the city) with Yorkshire (the county). Then again, Yorkshire is the name of the historic county, whereas for current administration purposes it's divided into North, South, East & West Yorkshire. Haworth is in West Yorkshire and York in North Yorkshire. Saying the Brontës are from York is like saying Shakespeare is from Birmingham! The poll itself is rather muddled, with so many things which aren't from York but are Yorkshire being praised by "Visit York", such as Yorkshire Tea (which is actually rather nice), made by Taylor's of Harrogate - Harrogate is 18 miles away from York! Erm... "Visit York, and on your way here you can go past all these other places which were in our poll."

As for polar co-ordinates? I may have studied them before I read Wuthering Heights but god knows I can't remember what the heck they are! Whereas I know that book inside out.

Cristina said...
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Oh, I see your point about 'visit York'. It's true that the Brontës hail from Yorkshire, but not from York. They visted York, though.

Yorkshire Tea is delicious, by the way!

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