Monday, October 04, 2010

If Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet were to sit on a settee surrounded by vampires...

Guillermo del Toro discusses monsters on Big Think:

Vampires are so popular right now because intimate human relationships have become completely demythified, says del Toro. Vampires, like Edward Cullen, from "Twilight" are fused with the Gothic bad boy romantic lead myth to create a lover more eternal than Heathcliff and more chaste than a choirboy. "For the first time in the culture of mankind, the vampire has been sort of defanged by making them celibate and asexual as opposed to polysexual, like Anne Rice did," he says. "They have been Mormonized, so to speak, into being a sanitized creature." But the vampires in del Toro's novels are anything but sanitized: "The only sensuality in 'The Strain' books is the sensuality of feeding that pleases the predator, but doesn’t please the prey."
He certainly knows what he's talking about: he knows about monsters and Wuthering Heights 1939 is the first film he remembers watching.

And - er - more vampires as the Louisville Courier-Journal has an article on a forthcoming production of The Mystery of Irma Vep in Louisville, Kentucky:
Ludlam's script is a veritable tour de force of ridiculousness. A successful production of this mash-up of high and low culture looks something like a deranged drag revue re-enactment of Emily Brontë's “Wuthering Heights” staged in an amusement park's haunted house ride. (Erin Keane)
Isn't that a fantastic description?

More - monster-free - mash-ups might be on their way if many writers use this prompt for breaking writer's block posted on Associated Content:
5. Choose two characters from literature and write about them having to spend time together.
If Elizabeth Bennett and Jane Eyre had to share a carriage ride, would they get along? (Charity Hendrix)
Hmmm... we wonder.

The Chronicle-Telegram interviews an Oberlin (Ohio) antique dealer who chooses to be photographed in a settee. Here's why:
What’s this piece of furniture we’re going to take your picture with?
It’s a “settee,” it’s a bench or seat, but the reason it has the high back and low seat is because very old homes were drafty, so it was like their couch, but the back blocked the draught flowing onto the person. You might have this in front of the fireplace or in some cases in the kitchen. If you read “Wuthering Heights” with Heathcliff and Catherine, Heathcliff was sitting on a settee and Catherine was talking to her maid about marrying another man, and it upset Heathcliff to the point where he ran away.
She didn’t know he was sitting in the room because of the high back of the settee. (Chuck Humel)
Good one! Emily Brontë simply calls it a bench, though:
Ere this speech ended I became sensible of Heathcliff’s presence. Having noticed a slight movement, I turned my head, and saw him rise from the bench, and steal out noiselessly. He had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then he stayed to hear no further. My companion, sitting on the ground, was prevented by the back of the settle from remarking his presence or departure; but I started, and bade her hush! (Wuthering Heights, chapter IX)
The Reading Eagle features a Wyomissing High School senior who has won the Berks County Outstanding Young Woman competition. Apparently she
to read classic books such as "Jane Eyre" (Kristin Boyd)
The House of Dead Maids author Clare B. Dunkle is interviewed today by Babbling Flow.

Elsewhere on the blogosphere, Susie's Blog posts about Wuthering Heights, Querida Jane writes about Jane Eyre (in Spanish) and Risky Regencies looks at the illnesses that affected the Brontë family.

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