Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Medication for Heathcliff

Commentary magazine has an article by D.G. Myers in praise of writer Francine Prose quoting from her novel Blue Angel:

Here, for example, is the first conversation between Swenson, a writing professor, and his student Angela Argo in Blue Angel (2000), arguably Prose’s best book. Angela, who will lead the professor to destruction, like Lola Lola in Josef von Sternberg’s 1930 film The Blue Angel, is no Marlene Dietrich. A “leather-jacketed toothpick” with green-and-orange-streaked hair, she is sitting in the hallway outside his office, grasping a copy of Jane Eyre “with talons lacquered eggplant purple, curling from fingerless black leather gloves studded with silver grommets.” Swenson asks:
“How do you like Jane Eyre?”

“It’s practically my favorite novel. I’ve read it seven times.”

Swenson should have known. Under all that crusty leather beats the tender heart of a governess pining for Mr. Rochester.

“What I like,” says Angela, “is how pissed off Jane Eyre is. She’s in a rage for the whole novel, and the payoff is she gets to marry the blind guy who’s toasted his wife in the attic.”

“Come in,” says Swenson. “Sit down.”

As Swenson unlocks his office, Angela’s still talking. “The trouble is, I’m reading it for Lauren Healy’s class? Text Studies in Gender Warfare? And everything we read turns out to be the same story, you know, the dominant male patriarchy sticking it to women. Which I guess is sort of true, I mean, I understand how you could say that, except that everything isn’t the same.”
Suite 101 discusses a recent article in The Washington Post by Anne Applebaum on 'Tom Sawyer and today's children: Same behavior, different treatment'.
Did Huck Finn Have a Conduct Disorder?
Huck Finn, says Applebaum, has a conduct disorder. A better example of a literary character with a conduct disorder is Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, who killed animals to make the women in his life feel miserable. Huck Finn was an abused child who wanted to escape his current circumstances. (Alex Sharp)
And speaking of Wuthering Heights, Lisa White includes the novel on her 'top book list' on Associated Content.
Wuthering Heights
Of all the books on my junior and high school reading list Wuthering Heights was not one of them. After graduating Georgia Southern University (GSU) I decided there was no way I could graduate from college and never read Wuthering Heights. I purchased a paperback copy and stayed home one afternoon and became so intrigued in Catherine and Heathcliff that I couldn't put it down. Perhaps it was the trials of a love story or the intricacies of the characters that made me love it so much. It was the first book I read in the very first home I ever bought. It was just one of many that would follow in my small southern brick home.
In an article on screenwriter Ben Hecht, Gapers Block mentions in passing that he was
Called "the Shakespeare of Hollywood," who "used Oscars as doorstops," his credits include more than 70 films, including Spellbound, Wuthering Heights, and The Front Page.
That Wuthering Heights is of course the 1939 adaptation.

The praise for Wuthering Heights - the novel - is not so widespread on the blogosphere today: This Bookish Life (reading it for the second time) and Lea Thinks Aloud are disappointed by it. Babbling Flow reviews The House of Dead Mais by Clare B. Dunkle, which is of course connected to Wuthering Heights and to be released in mid-September. Les Soeurs Brontë, filles du vent posts a French text which seems to be Firmin Boissin's review of Teodor de Wyzewa's 1890s translation of Wuthering Heights, renamed in French as Un amant (A lover), not yet the standard translation of the title as Les Hauts de Hurlevent. We have made this deduction based on the invaluable source that is TheBrontës.net. EDIT: Susanne, from TheBrontës.net corrects us: The article quoted is actually by Teodor de Wyzewa himself: 'Littérature Anglaise: Une sœur de Charlotte Brontë: Emily Brontë', Revue Politique et Littéraire. Revue Bleue, XLVIII: 7 (15 August 1891), 209–215.

Enjoy the silence writes briefly about Zeffirelli's Jane Eyre. The McScribble Salon fictionalises 'Jane Eyre's first day in London' and Illuminara has created the second part of her Jane Eyre: Scenes from My Life videos: Misery on the Moors.

Finally, The National Writing for Children Center blog mentions the Brontë sisters as being 'secretive' and Penpalling & Letters, with the help of Bursts of Bubbles 'travels' to Brontë Country.

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