Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Charlotte Brontë's ghost staring daggers at you

Keighley News reports on the works of preservation carried out at Top Withins:

An abandoned farmhouse thought to have been the inspiration for the setting of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been preserved for future generations of literary pilgrims.
Top Withens on the moors above Haworth, owned and cared for by Yorkshire Water, has attracted visitors from around the world for decades – despite there being no steadfast links with the author or her work.
The ruin has been newly-refurbished as part of a conservation task funded by Pennine Prospects through the Watershed Landscape Project and Yorkshire Water, meaning visitors will now be able to walk round safely – although its cellar has been blocked off.
Carol Prenton, of Yorkshire Water’s land and planning department, said: “We are managing the building as a ruin with a view to protecting it from vandals, but at the same time making sure it’s accessible to visitors.
“Now it has been re-pointed, the ruin will have a better chance of surviving batterings from the elements.”
Filmmaker and photographer Simon Warner will be starting a project of his own at the famous farmhouse in the new year.
He said: “I’m fascinated by the literary landscape and the sense of wildness at Top Withens, which has undergone a process of ruination since it was abandoned in the 1930s. I aim to spend a lot of time up there to get to grips with the place – the elemental aspects of its remoteness. As part of a filming project I’ll be speaking to people to find out why they make the trip to Top Withens.
“Over the years it’s been photographed countless times, offering us an archive of its advancing ruination. I hope to bring together these photographs as part of an exhibition.” (Alistair Shand)
Deadline Hollywood thinks that Mia Wasikowska has some chances, not many but some, to be among the Oscar finalists:
Trying to overcome the stigma of an early spring release and remaining a player in the race isn’t easy, but Wasikowska’s take on the famous Jane Eyre has its strong admirers and even earned her a standing ovation at a recent screening for the SAG nominating committee — but alas no nomination. A long, long shot at best, but her supporting role in Albert Nobbs gives her additional exposure to voters. (Pete Hammond)
Dark Horizons discusses the Best Blu-ray Discs of the year:
More recently we saw some great early films of this year coming to disc including Cary Fukunaga's inventive take on "Jane Eyre"[.]  (Garth Franklin)
Comics Alliance reviews Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant!:
[T]hat Charlotte and Emily Brontë would spend their afternoons swooning over horrid men, with Anne groaning in the background.
FirstPost talks about Salinger's only novel and mentions other one-hit-only authors:
Neither did Harper Lee or Emily Brontë – both authors with enormous reputations that pivot on a one mere novel. For some reason, one life-altering novel proved quite enough for them as their life’s literary output. (Saisha)
Austin Allen has a very clear new year resolution on Big Think:
This is the year I'm finally going to read Jane Eyre, goddammit.
Now, before you say anything: I've always intended to read Jane Eyre. I read the first few chapters of it once (and stopped after the "death of Helen" scene; no particular reason). I've even seen a film adaptation. And I have no problem with the nineteenth-century novel in general or even the Brontës in particular (I love Wuthering Heights as much as the next former English major)...
None of this helps when Charlotte Brontë's ghost is staring daggers at you.
"...If from this day you began with resolution to correct your thoughts and actions, you would in a few years have laid up a new and stainless store of recollections, to which you might revert with pleasure." —Jane Eyre, Chap. XVI (or so a Web search tells me)
Therefore, Reader, I make my solemn vow. Jane Eyre. This year. As soon as I finish a few other books first.
Film News traces a profile of Ralph Fiennes:
This was followed by his first movie role, as Heathcliff in ‘Wuthering Heights’. Fiennes laughingly told that the part as such didn’t cause him any worry, but the hair extension he needed for the role of Heathcliff did!
The St. Paul Literary Examiner posts abvery critical article on the Twilight saga:
She even twists Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights around, saying that all of the problems of Heathcliff and Cathy were Cathy's fault!  (Meyer's bringing all women down with her!  Attention Stephenie Meyer, did you even read Wuthering Heights?  Heathcliff was not always such a great guy...).  (Michael Adams)
SugarScape lists her top ten reads of the year:
Jane Eyre. This might be an old classic but with the movie out this year everybody’s been reading it. The story is as compelling as ever following Jane through her tumultuous childhood to her time as governess at the strange and haunting Thornfield Hall. The ‘plain’ Jane is a fiercely independent and uncompromising heroine who remains an inspiration still. Forget Edward Cullen, her love interest Edward Rochester will be one of the darkest and most passionate you’ve ever discovered. However, a twisted secret lurks behind their quietly burning love... (cari3232)
Finzioni posts about the Brontës in Italian; Tillie's Blog reviews Jane Eyre; Stians.net reviews Jane Eyre 2011 in Norwegian.

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