Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jane Rivers

Little White Lies reports the latest meeting of the Curzon Book Club devoted to Wuthering Heights 2011:

In her version Arnold has tried to juxtapose the old with the new, adding a subtext of racial tensions in a film set in the 19th century. She has also opted for a 4:3 aspect ratio, often rejected for the widescreen in this modern age.
The camera style is raw, particularly whilst depicting the rugged Yorkshire landscapes, Heathcliff and Cathy’s relationship blossoming. The close-ups of her wild hair, being pinned down and muddied by a ravenous Heathcliff, are certain to evoke sexual connotations.
Symbolism is rife, the most striking and vivid that of a black beetle struggling about its way about this cruel landscape, metaphorically depicting Heathcliff’s quandary. The sound design is mainly diegetic, adding to the realist, raw style; it’s only at the end of the film that we hear music needle-dropped in a stylised fashion, which advocates the point that it appears that Arnold loses focus with the latter part of the film, moving from the realist approach to one of a more stylised fashion.
The style that prevails at the beginning disperses and the acting changes, clearly consequential with the change in Heathcliff and Cathy’s ages, but also loses the quality that Solomon Glave and Shannon Beer ooze onscreen. The work of Kaya Scodelario and James Howson as the older Cathy and Heathcliff is not overtly in tune with the characters that Brontë describes in her novel, lacking the rugged traits these characters are distinctly known for.
Most in the book club have declined to finish Wuthering Heights in the same way that it seems feasible that some cinema-goers may opting out half-way through. As viewers perhaps we should not be as harsh on Arnold’s rendition of Brontë’s prose. Yet an injection of passion was missing from this book club meeting; a little ironic when you consider that passion is so central to this classic text. (Keira Brown)
By the way, Mac Birmingham gives away a Wuthering Heights 2011 bundle.

Stuart Kelly makes the following question in The Guardian:
I'm sure that you'll all correct me, but I'm rather surprised that there are no meta-literary uchronias: Jean Rhys brilliantly interpolated a story into Jane Eyre, but what about a story where Jane Eyre marries St John Rivers?
Well, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit explains something similar, albeit in a different context.

Carey Mulligan says in The Daily Beast how at the school she read the Brontës:
“I didn’t study it in school [The Great Gasby]. We read Austen and Dickens and Brontë,” she said. “I felt more recently the weight of the responsibility. Everyone who has read The Great Gatsby or seen the film has their own version of Daisy, and I have mine ... I have never seen The Great Gatsby. When I was doing The Seagull in London, I made the great mistake of watching Vanessa Redgrave, and so I played Vanessa Redgrave playing Nina for the next three nights.” (Lorenza Muñoz)
Enid News & Eagle announces an upcoming Christmas festival with a bit of Brontë:
The ninth annual program performed by Thom Whittaker, music director at First United Methodist Church, and Christianne Chase begins at 4 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church, 401 W. Randolph. Whittaker, an accomplished organist, will play some new carols mixed with old standbys like “What Child is This,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World,” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” (...)
Poetry includes works by Longfellow, Ann (sic) Brontë, Ann Weems and a special selection of Dylan Thomas, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” (Robert Barron)
The Jewish Daily Forward talks about Adina Bar Shalom, founder of the Haredi College:
The JTA story also reported that Bar Shalom was always worldly, and it said that she “read everything: “Jane Eyre,” “Gone With the Wind” and the works of Ayn Rand, but was forbidden from learning formal academic studies and instead studied sewing and got married at 18. (Elana Sztokman)
Cosmic Log explores how comics can help in teaching science:
Educational comics are nothing new, of course: Classics Illustrated, for example, was delivering comic-book versions of English lit and science class back in the '50s. (I still get the heebie-jeebies when I recall the Classics Illustrated version of "Jane Eyre" that sat in the comic-book box at Grandma's house.) (Alan Boyle)
The Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner interviews the author Ella March Chase:
What three novels could you read over and over? 
"Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë, "Little Women" by Lousia May Alcott and "A Little Princess" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I know two of them are children's books, but they take me back to my roots as a writer.  I read all three at least once a year 'medicinally' when I need a literary 'hug'.  They comfort me, center me and remind me how powerful a good book can be.
BlogHer is not very optimistic about the reading habits of young women:
I find this more and more in women's fiction, this wishful longing for the reader to know that they really love the classics. No, really love them. They want us to think that their families sit around debating Chaucer or the Brontë sisters. That their parents connected with their children through the reading of Yeats poems. That they were young women who lay in fields clutching their copy of worn copy of Sense and Sensibility.
I know lots of young women, many of whom are very smart. They may lay in fields, but you know what they're reading?
Twilight. (Colleen Blooms)
The Ledger-Enquirer loves Out of Print Clothing:
But I came across this site, Out of Print Clothing, which has t-shirts, tote bags, note cards and more, all inspired by great literary works.
For the bookworm in your life, this could be a God-send.
I'm particularly fond of the t-shirts for Wuthering Heights, Atlas Shrugged, The Bell Jar and Pop Poe, which gives E.A. Poe the Andy Warhol treatment. (Katie McCarthy)

The Squeee reviews Claire's Not-So-Gothic by Bonnie Blythe:
Chick lit, it may be, but it's not a re-telling of Jane Eyre, because for that, you need to at least parallel the plots, and this doesn't.  (Traxy)
Several Spanish blogs are eager to see Jane Eyre 2011: Bandejadeplata, ...el abismo te devuelve la mirada, Cinempatía. Leeds Book Club reviews the film. Newly Domesticated posts about Jane Eyre's costumes; thelibrarianreads re-reads Wuthering Heights (and includes an original poem); Foglie d'Autunno reviews Jane Eyre in Italian.

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