Friday, June 29, 2012

'Nice is different than good'

ABC News seems to have been inspired by yesterday's New York Times article on modern-looking covers for the classics:

Jane Eyre, Heathcliff and the Dashwood sisters are painted like modern fashion sketches on the covers of new editions of the Brontë and Jane Austen classics published by Splinter, an imprint of Sterling Publishing aimed at young readers.
A new edition of “Wuthering Heights” published by Harper Teen, an imprint of Harper Collins, goes so far as to include an endorsement from two of the “Twilight” characters.
“Bella & Edward’s Favorite Book,” reads the blurb on the cover of the novel first published in 1847.
And it works. A representative of Harper Teen says that edition of “Wuthering Heights” sold more copies than the average new release for young readers, and no authors or agents to be paid. (Nils Kongshaug)
While Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham, goes a little deeper in an interview by Scientific American's Literally Psyched.
MK: Your book touches on the tricky psychological relationship between religion and morality—one that is currently being explored in an experimental setting but that has been under investigation in a literary one for far longer. How have your views on the topic developed or changed, if at all, as a result of your writing? LF: I don’t think my views have altered, but I do think that my innate opinions on the subject are obvious within my work.  Those opinions were best expressed by Charlotte Brontë in her introduction to the second edition of Jane Eyre, a direct response to criticism of that highly spiritual novel: “Conventionality is not morality.  Self-righteousness is not religion.”  Take the character of Valentine Wilde as the most obvious example—nothing about him is conventionally religious, but he’s arguably the character with the clearest, simplest, most honest moral code as regards his own belief system.  As Stephen Sondheim classically put it, nice is different than good.  Valentine Wilde is not nice, and neither is Sherlock Holmes, for that matter.  But both men possess an uncompromising attitude toward their individual ideas of justice, both know their own mind, and both would stop at nothing to protect what matters most to them.  They are self-sacrificing.  In my book, self-sacrifice is far more moral than is judgment or censure. (Maria Konnikova)
Wuthering Heights is the subject of posts on Un libro cada día (in Spanish), Luis Bermudes and bacaan b.zee (in Malay with a couple of paragraphs in English). Musings of a Bookworm discusses 'freedom through expression' in Jane Eyre.

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unlibrocadadia said...
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