Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Alice Hoffman talks about characters and their relation to writers. On WBUR's Cognoscenti:
Then there are novelists who want to “escape” real life and real people and create alternate universes. They are the ones who wear headsets while writing in Starbucks, rather than pulling their chairs close to strangers, the better to jot down random bits of overheard dialogue. These “escapist” cases’ characters are made up of a combination of memory, imagination, literary influences and shared mythology. In other words, equal parts experience and fantasy.
This explains how writers with very little life experience can create characters that appear to be so unlike themselves. Exhibit A: Heathcliff from Emily Brontë’s classic novel “Wuthering Heights.” Brontë, who lived a sheltered life with her sisters and father in Haworth, England, rarely going farther than the moors surrounding the village, created the most psychologically complicated male character in literature.
There are those who say Heathcliff was partially modeled on Emily’s brother, Branwell, a talented but self-destructive young man likely addicted to alcohol and laudanum, and thought to be in love with a married woman he could never possess. These facts may have been the skeleton for the character of Heathcliff, but the emotional power that brings him to life as a separate being comes from Brontë’s imagination. If indeed there was a human model for the character, then the author added so many levels of her own insights that another, stronger being was formed.
Flavorwire is inspired by Emily Brontë's anniversary:
One half of a famous pair of real-life sisterly scribes has a birthday today: Emily Brontë. The Wuthering Heights author spent a lifetime penning poems and other tales with siblings Charlotte and Anne (using masculine pseudonyms), all devoted to their craft and each other — especially during the troubled times of their youth. Since the Brontës often used material from their lives to inform their stories — including their tight-knit relationship — we felt inspired to take a look at fictional sisters who also shared powerful bonds full of passionate and complex emotions unique amongst women and girls.  (Alison Nastasi)
WCSH asks Emily's pen name.
In the early 19th century, writing professionally was frowned upon as being unladylike.  But Brontë had too much talent keep it hidden.  She got around the limitations placed on women by writing under a male pen name.
Unfortunately, she never got the chance to write another novel.  She died of tuberculosis when she was just 30 years old.
Two years later, her sister Charlotte made sure she got the credit she never received during her lifetime by reprinting Wuthering Heights under her real name. (Mike Kmack)
Global Times (China) discusses the book market in China:
From classics like Anderson Fairy Tales and Jane Eyre to modern fiction like Norwegian Wood, literature from abroad floods China's market every year. (Lu Qianwen)
La Repubblica (Italy) interviews Enrique Vila-Matas about romance in literature:
"Non necessariamente. Nabokov per esempio è uno scrittore che ha saputo descrivere anche amori leggeri, compiuti. Però è vero che i più bei romanzi d'amore raccontano di passioni che spezzano la vita. Amori che sono malattie, come quello tra Heathcliff e Catherine, in Cime Tempestose di Emily Brontë. Eterni, indissolubili.["] (Elena Stancalli) (Translation)
The School Library Journal reviews Charlotte Markham and the House of Darkling by Michael Bocaccino:
This is a perfect read for teens who enjoy gothic atmospheres, and a great companion to Brontë’s Wuthering Heights or the works of Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier. (Laura Pearle)
Mediatel talks about independent UK movies:
What constitutes an independent UK movie? The top five were, The King's Speech; The Inbetweeners Movie; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Horrid Henry The Movie; and Jane Eyre.
Jane Eyre had the most skewed audience of all; 86% of the audience were women and 54% were aged over 55. I saw it and with hindsight it is a wonder that I came out alive. (James Whitmore)
We disagree with these figures. Not about accuracy but interpretation. Young audiences have seen the film (as we have been reporting for more than a year) but not necessarily on a cinema screen.

The Age recaps the Australian TV series The Shire:
Mitch is still outside, wandering the moors of Cronulla like some Sutherland Heathcliff. Well, moor. (Giles Hardie)
WNYC presents a student reading Jane Eyre this summer; Classics///Hits, Carmadou, Mensagem de Isa (in Portuguese), CharlottePierce13 and Goodthingtheworldisround review Jane Eyre; Prism and The Musty Study post about Wuthering HeightsThe Bradders Blog have visited the Brontë Parsonage; Ler(-te) (in Portuguese) posts about Villette; Między wersami książek (in Polish) reviews Agnes Grey; A Postcard to Lumière reviews Wuthering Heights 2011; Pages from my Thoughts interviews Marta Acosta, author of Dark Companion; Once Upon a Time (in Polish) reviews The Tenant of Wildfell Hall; The Literary Omnivore hates Emma Tennant's Thornfield Hall; Out and About in Paris posts about the French references in Jane Eyre 2011; the film is reviewed on My Pen, My Screens, My Friends!, Arlyomag, Alphacin, Pop-Corn et Oreille de Chien and Ciné Partout (in French); A Book and a Record reviews April Lindner's Jane.

Finally Bookwish Whimsy reviews positively Death of a Schoolgirl: The Jane Eyre Chronicles by Joanna Campbell Slan and gives away a copy of the book (deadline in six days).

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