Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012 11:36 am by M. in , , , ,    No comments
BBC News has a couple of stories related to Haworth and the Brontës. Concerning the campaign to raise enough money to repair the roof of the Haworth Parish Church, there is a new and important contribution:
Artist Stella Vine will paint a portrait of the Brontë sisters to raise funds for repairs to the church where Charlotte and Emily are buried.
St Michael and All Angels Parish Church in the Brontës' home town of Haworth, West Yorkshire, has a damaged roof.
The church needs to raise £27,000 by 20 January to secure a further £100,000 in funding from English Heritage.
Vine will sell prints of the sisters after being "greatly saddened" to see the church in a "terrible state".
The new artwork will feature Charlotte, who wrote Jane Eyre, along with Wuthering Heights author Emily and their younger sister Anne, who wrote Agnes Grey. (...)
A limited edition of 100 Brontë prints will be sold for £150 each and the artist said all profits would go to the church fund.
We wonder if Stella Vine is going to paint a NEW portrait or we are talking of selling prints of this other portrait which the artist painted in 2005.

The other story is about the efforts of Haworth to return Brontë authenticity:
Businesses in the village made famous by the Brontë sisters are being asked to suggest how it could be made a more "authentic" experience for visitors.
English Heritage and Bradford Council are offering grants to recreate "lost" historical features along Main Street in Haworth, West Yorkshire.
In 2010, English Heritage claimed Haworth's traditional character was being eroded by gradual minor changes.
The organisation is offering grants of up to 80% to help selected projects.
English Heritage and Bradford Council have sent out letters to business owners along Main Street, Haworth, inviting them to suggest ideas to enhance their shops.
Historically accurate details such as traditional shop fronts and sash windows could be reintroduced, Bradford Council said.
English Heritage regional director Trevor Mitchell said: "A restored shop on Haworth Main Street will be more attractive to customers and tenants which, in turn, will lead to increased business revenue.
"This project will benefit everyone involved and should result in some exemplary showcase designs for the village."
New street furniture, including seats and signposts, was already in place, and natural stone paving and footpaths had been repaired on Main Street, Bradford Council said.
Councillor David Green, executive member for regeneration and economy, said Haworth was a "special place".
"Improving the look of the village will make it even more attractive to visitors and locals alike," he said.
The Telegraph & Argus also publishes an article in the same direction.

The New Statesman talks about the Byron "type":
Probably the most literary example of that type was written by a woman whose life was as quiet in incident as Byron's was loud. When Emily Brontë made it to the Continent, in 1842, it was to study languages with her sister, and she came home again when her aunt died. She probably died a virgin. And yet Heathcliff may be the best-known Byronic hero in English literature. Wuthering Heights is a standard A-level text and Heathcliff has made his way out of the classroom and into our lives; people keep making films about him (Andrea Arnold's version of the story was released in November).
Like Byron, Brontë has attracted a readership with great interest in her biography, though for different reasons. People like the idea of her isolated, intense, imaginative family life - the literary sisters, the talented but unfulfilled brother, their childhood spent in the company of nature. One way of working out why the Romantic hero remains so popular might be to discover what Brontë and Byron had in common.
The first thing you run into is contradictions. Brontë seemed to live the life of the imagination, Byron the one of experience. Wuthering Heights is thick with nature, but although Byron, like any good Romantic, had a Wordsworth-nature phase and inherited an ancestral pile, Newstead Abbey, as Romantic and run-down as Cathy's home, he is also a very cosmopolitan writer who made the most of high and low society in Venice, London, Athens and Istanbul.
Heathcliff and Byron operate on different planes, but the two have a funny way of blending: the appeal of Mr Darcy is similar to that of Heathcliff, which is strangely similar to the appeal of Lord Byron. What Darcy, Heathcliff, Byron and Harold all have in common is an air of unhappiness. This seems to me what the Romantic hero is selling - the notion that unhappiness is more real than happiness.
Cathy tells Nelly Dean that Heathcliff is "more myself than I am". Which is another way of saying that the real and the true don't just exist: you need access, and Heathcliff gives her access. She also decides not to marry him because Heathcliff would "degrade" her. Instead, she chooses a conventional marriage, which does not make her particularly happy.  (Benjamin Markovits)

Karen Koren talks about her New Year’s Eve celebration in The Scotsman:
Being at Bill’s was like spending the celebrations on the set of Wuthering Heights, at no time could we see the sea or the countryside, as the mist was so thick. 

A few more 2011 best-of lists:
[T]he year just past also brought an electric new version of Charlotte Brontë's often-adapted Gothic novel “Jane Eyre.” (Brandy McDonnell in The Oklahoman)
Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre is simply the best screen version of the Charlotte Brontë novel. Mia Wasikowska dominates as Jane, but her lengthy conversations with Rochester showed an impressive mixture of intelligence, passion and doubt in Fassbender's troubled master of the house. Without him, I don't think as many viewers would have been so impressed by Wasikowska.  (David Thomson in The Guardian)
In the Spring, it was UK/US co-production "Jane Eyre," which managed to rake in $11.2 million stateside for Focus Features. (Peter Knegt in indieWire)
Jane Eyre was filmed, but it was Wuthering Heights which took a radical approach to a familiar classic, although, surprisingly, didn’t arouse as much interest or ire as expected. The Yorkshire moors have never looked so bleak and grim as in Andrea Arnold’s movie featuring a black Heathcliff who went around telling people to eff off.   (Steve Pratt in The Northern Echo)
By the way, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) nominations have been announced. Regrettably, Jane Eyre 2011 was ineligible.

On Michael Dirda's article in the Washington Post:
Wuthering Heights is almost all wind and rain and gloom. Jane Austen’s novels often appear to be set in an eternal springtime. By contrast, a sense of the Northern outdoors seems to touch nearly all of Canadian fiction.
Tom Houseman on BoxOfficeProphets thinks that he is really witty but regrettably he is just silly. You can call Jane Eyre many things (good and even bad) but whiny loser is definitely, not one of them:
Probably the most interesting literary character since Jane Eyre (I'm just kidding, Jane Eyre was a whiny loser).
Prova i error (in Catalan, Chocolate Eyes and The Naked Rose post about Jane Eyre 2011.


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