Monday, February 07, 2011

Inseparable Shirley

Bookslut interviews writer Bradford Morrow, who discusses his Gothic influences:

There’s definitely an aura of menace here, and The Diviner’s Tale is a book that keeps some big secrets at its heart, and some otherworldly happenings right out front. In other words, you’re working with narrative structures typical to mystery and thriller novels, as well as to the gothic tale. Would you say a little about your relationship to those genres, and how you wanted to employ them in this book?
I’ve been drawn to the gothic from as far back as I can remember. In my twenties, when I wasn’t communing with my 18th-century heroes -- Swift, Sterne, and the rest -- I was deeply into 18th- and 19th-century gothic classics such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and even books like Middlemarch, which had to my mind a gothic atmosphere and texture. While not strictly speaking a gothicist, Thomas Hardy was for a long time my favorite writer. I gravitated toward both his dark view of the human lot and his intense, profound use of the natural world to frame the tragedies of such characters as Tess and Jude. So yes, foreboding, uneasiness, dread, these all strike me as essential to the human experience, and there’s no doubt that these feelings, which contribute to an aura of menace, as you say, are woven into the fabric of most every page of The Diviner’s Tale. And this dark aura lies at the very heart of the gothic. (Jedediah Berry)
The Tribune reveals that the child and youth services co-ordinator at Welland Public Library (Ontario) is also quite a Brontëite:
There are "so many favourites to choose from," she said, but her favourite book of all time is the classic love story Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. (Maryanne Firth)
Bookslut also reviews the book Inseparable: Desire Between Women in Literature by Emma Donoghue, which mentions Shirley:
In her chapter “Inseparables,” she mentions the Old Testament book of Ruth, Marie de France’s lai Eliduc (ca.1189), Jane Wiseman’s play Antiochus the Great (1702), Jane Barker’s “The Unaccountable Wife” (1723), Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761), Euphemia (1790) by Charlotte Lennox, Shirley (1849) by Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh (1856), Anthony Trollope’s Can You Forgive Her? (1865), Work (1873) by Louisa May Alcott, and Rosa Mulholland’s The Tragedy of Chris (1903). (Jenny McPhee)
And The Sacramento Bee doesn't sound too enthusiastic about the new adaptation of Jane Eyre:
• "Jane Eyre" with Mia Wasikowska and Judi Dench: Yes, another incarnation of the Charlotte Brontë drama. Likely the most memorable film version came out in 1943 with Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles.
Ramblings of a (Future) Librarian interviews writer Saundra Mitchell and asks her about the inspiration for her second novel:
What inspired you to write The Vespertine?
I knew that the original seed of an idea, "a girl who can see the future in the fires of the sunset," showed up first. And quite some time ago, actually. I'm not sure what sparked that, but it was watching the new BBC adaptations [it was actually by the ITV, not BBC] of Wuthering Heights that kicked off the final version of The Vespertine. Burn Gorman was wonderfully unhinged in the role of Hindley, and I thought, "that's a dude who would lock his sister in the attic and leave her to die." Which is how The Vespertine starts, actually... (Laura Ashlee)
A Room of One's Own discusses Agnes Grey. Boston Bibliophile is taking part in Laura's Reviews February readathon of Jane Eyre. Dust Wrapper posts briefly about Sheila Kohler's Becoming Jane Eyre.

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