Monday, July 23, 2012

Every time someone says "Updating of a classic for a new generation" a kitten is killed somewhere

Some days ago we wondered who was behind the publicity campaign of Clandestine Books (you know the erotic exploitation of classics which Total E-Bound is going to publish). The answer is Taylor Herring agency as we read on PRWeek:

The agency will help promote the launch of Clandestine Classics, in which works including Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Sherlock Holmes are given an erotic twist.
As part of a two-month project brief, Taylor Herring will be promoting the new series of books by building on the current media appetite for ‘Fifty Shades’-style stories, and boosting awareness of the company as the UK’s biggest e-book publisher.
Holly Larsen, account director at Taylor Herring, will head the campaign and report directly to Claire Siemaszkiewicz, founder of Total-E-Bound Publishing.
Peter Mountstevens, managing partner at Taylor Herring, explained that an initial PR drive would focus on the release of the ebooks, with a second based around the release of the series in hard copy shortly after.
He added: ‘When you look at the fact that you’ve got everyone reading Fifty Shades of Grey from 18 years old upwards it’s clear we’ve got a mass audience and there’s a huge demand.
‘The biggest challenge is overcoming the snobbery in the traditional literary sector with the updating of a classic for a new generation but it’s not about defiling the classics. All the authors are very well respected in the erotic literature field – it’s not a hack job.’  (John Owens
The Globe and Mail talks about the raise in metal thefts on English heritage buildings or monuments. Particularly, they discuss the Haworth Church case:
For years the Haworth Parish Church in Yorkshire has withstood every onslaught, from the driving Pennines rain to thousands of tourists wanting to visit the final resting place of Charlotte and Emily Brontë. But one thing it couldn’t survive: The metal thieves who repeatedly stripped its roof in the night.
This week the church is surrounded by scaffolding, as a $2-million renovation begins with workmen removing Westmoreland slate tiles from the roof. They don’t have to remove the lead flashing and gutters, because those were taken by thieves in three daring raids over the past two years. With the lead gone, the rain poured in and the church began to rot from inside.
The Haworth Church, formally called St. Michael and All Angels, is particularly high-profile, but it’s merely an emblem of a much wider problem sweeping Britain during a time of rising metal theft. In a country so rich in heritage, how do you keep robbers from stealing history?
In the case of Haworth Church, the answer is typically Yorkshire (that is, blunt and succinct). “We’re installing a roof alarm,” says rector Peter Mayo-Smith, who has witnessed over the past two years the destruction of paintings and woodwork in his church as the elements took their toll. (...)
In Haworth, Rev. Mayo-Smith has no doubt that his church will survive this latest episode of human delinquency. It has, after all, been torn down and rebuilt twice before over the centuries of wear and tear (although one part of the old church is still standing, the bell tower, and it's almost 600 years old). He’s confident that the alarm installed by Ecclesiastical will help deter new crimes, as will the eagle eye of a helpful shopkeeper across the road.
But he worries about the broad impact of the rash of metal thefts. “Tourism is one of our most important export businesses, and every time metal is stolen we’re impacting our export business,” he says. “It means one Japanese tourist fewer will come to Haworth and will spend less money in Britain.”
And he can’t help thinking about the thieves who climb to the top of his church at night, and how they might be redeemed: “If they’re that creative and brave,” Rev. Mayo-Smith says, “surely they could be doing something more worthwhile with their lives than stealing.” (Elizabeth Renzetti)
The Mind Your Language Guardian's Blog quotes Charlotte Brontë to explain the newspaper's policy on the use of swear words
"The practice of hinting by single letters those expletives with which profane and violent people are wont to garnish their discourse, strikes me as a proceeding which, however well meant, is weak and futile. I cannot tell what good it does – what feeling it spares – what horror it conceals."
Charlotte Brontë would have approved of Guardian policy, which is to print swearwords in full, with no asterisks, although in the words of the editor-in-chief "only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes". (David Marsh)
Kate Beaton talks about her Wuthering Heights comic adaptation in Comic Book Resources:

"I decided to do the 'Wuthering Heights' [adaptation] over a huge stretch of time because that book is so insane," Beaton said. "It's really iconic for one thing, so I wasn't taking a gamble that people knew what it was, which is always something I worry about. It was a safe bet and it was super, super insane. (...)
"My favorite part is so bananas; it's when Hindley, who is Catherine's brother, has a baby and he accidentally drops the baby off the balcony. Heathcliff catches the baby instinctively and then was like, 'Why did I catch the baby, why didn't I let it die, that would have been the perfect revenge!'" Beaton laughed. "He's angry at himself that he caught the baby like some asshole! (Josie Campbell)
The New Yorker interviews Zadie Smith about Permission to Enter, a story published in this week's issue:
The sixth section of the story, “Some Answers,” features the young Keisha Blake and Leah Hanwell’s answers to a questionnaire, including their favorite bands, films, and books. Do you know what answers Natalie and Leah would give to those questions today?
I think they’re both people who tend to feel that their real life occurred between the ages of about twelve and eighteen. Neither of them seem to read books any more or keep up with music or film or any of the things that preoccupied them as children. So maybe their answers would be largely nostalgic. “Jane Eyre,” “Electric Relaxation,” “The Color Purple,” the Velvet Underground—that sort of thing. Whatever the answers, most of them would be untrue, or an attempt to impress whoever was reading them. Although they’d probably still prefer to be deaf. (Cressida Leyshon)

The Statesman Journal interviews the author Anna Keesey:
Admired authors:
Charlotte Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rebecca West, William Maxwell, Franz Kafka, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Justin Much)
ToutleCine (France) publishes a lukewarm review of Jane Eyre 2011:
C'est donc une accumulation de bonnes idées et de parti pris intéressants qui ne sont pas assez creusés. Ce qui est dommage c'est que ce film avait pour vocation de dépasser la simple adaptation. Et c'est de façon inégale qu'il présente une histoire plus riche qu'une simple romance. (Laura Terrazas) (Translation)
More reviews on La Parisienne, C'est pas sérieux!, Plog Magazine.

Guillaume Musso remembers his first writings in high school in Le JDD:
M. Casanova [son professeur de français]-, avait lancé un concours de nouvelles. En inventant une histoire à mi-chemin entre Stephen King et Emily Brontë, avec un clin d’œil à Hitchcock, son titre étant Fenêtre sur rue, Guillaume avait gagné.  (Tatiana De Rosnay) (Translation)
The Scotsman on Sunday interviews the artist Jennifer Pettigrew:
What is your favourite book?
I read Jane Eyre as a comfort book. (Jennifer Harper)
Watsonville Patch reviews the book Grin by Adam Danielski, a sort of companion of Alice in the Wonderland. We are quite perplexed by this comment:
In addition to drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll, Danielski references Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre when the Cheshire cat appears as a librarian. That scene gives a good idea of how the cat comes into existence and enters wonderland. (Courtney Buchanan)
This letter in La Vanguardia (Spain) about the film 3 Metros sobre el cielo uses Heathcliff erroneously as an example:
¿Se puede emitir una película en la que los protagonistas con los que se pretende que nos identifiquemos sean tan poco ejemplares? ¿Se puede considerar una historia de amor? Heathcliff, un personaje sombrío, rudo y vengativo, jamás hubiera dado un bofetón a Catherine.  (Marina Boquera) (Translation)
As a matter of fact it is assumed that Heathcliff beats and probably rapes Isabella Linton...not forgetting the hanging puppies episode.

The Telegraph (India) reviews the Fifty Shades trilogy:
And, of course, it is a classic poor girl-meets-rich man story that has been the staple of romances from Jane Eyre to Pretty Woman.  (Manini Chatterjee)
Lecce Sette interviews the writer Tommaso de Lorenzi about his biography (co-authored by Mauro Favale) of Carlo Rivolta:
Se dovessi tratteggiare in due righe la figura di Carlo Rivolta, come lo descriveresti?
Un carattere «romantico», come lo definisce Emanuela Forti, la compagna di Carlo. Oppure una figura associabile a Heathcliff di Cime tempestose, come dice Francesca Comencini, la donna con cui Rivolta ha condiviso l'ultima parte della sua vita. (Dario Goffredo) (Translation)
Tages Bloche (in German) reviews Wuthering Heights 2011; Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) lists several 20th century musical pieces inspired by Emily Brontë; Words Words explores Jane Eyre from a Christian view; Starting the Next Chapter reviews Marta Acosta's Dark Companion; Way Out of My Head reviews Jane Slayre; Descobri nas entrelinhas (in Portuguese) posts about Wuthering Heights; AnnieXMuller has visited and loved Haworth.

And finally a piece of humour (which regrettably is truer than we wish) about what would happen if Emily Brontë submitted her manuscript today to an editor. The answer on Do Authors Dream of Electric Books?

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