Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Bit Volatile

The Independent interviews the author Victoria Heslip:
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I share a few characteristics with Cathy in 'Wuthering Heights' – a bit volatile and always changing my mind about things.
Manchester Confidential announces the Portico Prize winners and remembers how the Portico Library and Gallery
remains perhaps the oldest subscription library in the UK. Early members included John Edward Taylor, founder of The Manchester Guardian, the scientist John Dalton and William Gaskell, chairman of the library and husband of Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the most famous 19th century novelists. Elizabeth was a frequent user and was accompanied on occasion by her friend Charlotte Brontë. (Neil Sowerby)
Not the only newspaper to associate Manchester with Gaskell and Brontë. Today, in The Telegraph:
It had stopped raining as we bustled out of Manchester’s town hall and we walked along wet pavements back to our hotel. It’s decades since, as a child, I saw bolts of cotton stacked high in the basements of Manchester’s numerous dark warehouses. Those warehouses now house banks and hotels and arts centres and Chinese restaurants. But whenever I come back, the threads of memory tug me back to those early reading days when I was gorging on the Brontës and Elizabeth Gaskell and wondering how it was that women could do so much in a man’s world. And now that world has changed and is the better for it. (Joan Bakewell)
Jeannette Winterson in The Guardian makes an argument for keeping and protecting the library system. She explains her own teen memories of
The Accrington Public Library ran on the Dewey Decimal System, which meant that books were meticulously catalogued, except for pulp fiction which everybody despised. So romance was just given a pink strip and all romance was simply chucked unalphabetically on to the romance shelves. Sea stories were treated the same way, but with a green strip. Horror had a black strip. Mystery stories shlock-style had a white strip, but the librarian would never file Chandler or Highsmith under mystery – they were literature, just as Moby-Dick was not a sea story and Jane Eyre was not romance.
Today's crosswords in Los Angeles Times contains a Brontë-related question:
Across 17. 19th-century literary trio (Answer: Brontes)
The Daily Beast lists film adaptations of Literary Classics. Such as Wuthering Heights 1939:
 I’m tempted to go with Luis Buñuel’s 1954 version, Abismos de Pasión, and give the edge to the surrealists, who knew a thing or two about irrational, death-obsessed love. But it is the 1939 film that we know. Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon look like two gorillas in heat, and the scenes of the Yorkshire moors were filmed in the Conejo Valley of Ventura County, with what appears to be a giant umbrella put over it. But the failures end up resembling genuine strangeness—ugly, spooky and captivating—which is what makes Emily Brontë’s novel so good in the first place. (Jimmy So)
This press release announces that the books by Grace Branningan will be available with a new font specially designed for readers with dyslexia...all with a Brontë quote:
Famous author Charlotte Brontë once said, “Life is a battle; may we all be enabled to fight it well.” With those words, she could very well have been describing the lead characters in author Grace Brannigan’s books that focus on strong women. The books, which feature a line of strong women in the lead role, set a good example for women who enjoy reading about overcoming challenges and being successful despite adversity.
Another Brontë quote, from Jane Eyre, is used in an article about women in Islam published in The Huffington Post:
'It is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they [women] ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags.'

Charlotte Brontë expresses through her Victorian new-age feminist protagonist Jane Eyre, solidarity with the quest to raise the value of women in society, reflecting a struggle that has been long pursued in Britain. Since then, the feminist debate developed - Women have been keen to demonstrate their equality, with men as the benchmark. Today, feminism and women's rights have developed into a multitude of different strands in political discourse and literature. (Shohana Khan)
The Times makes a list of the best gigs ever. Among them the 1979 Kate Bush concert at the Hammersmith Odeon:
Best song, the mist-filled Wuthering Heights encore. (David Hickes)
The American Prospect talks about Jean Luc Godard's film 1967 film Week-End (which has been released on Blu-Ray by The Criterion Collection):
The landscape they travel through is a sort of matter-of-fact, unrecognized apocalypse, crammed with wrecked cars and corpses nobody bats an eye at. Once they lose their own wheels—"My Hermès bag!" Corinne howls as she escapes the flaming crash, a line Darc claims she improvised—they lurch into Lewis Carroll territory, encountering everyone from Emily Brontë to a splendidly sashed Saint-Just (Jean-Pierre Léaud). Then they end up as the captives of a crazed, cannibalistic band of hippie revolutionaries. Though the term "Stockholm syndrome" wouldn't be coined until 1973, it's a fair description of Darc's behavior in the meat-gnawing closing shot. (Tom Carson)
The Daily Mail rembembers school skiing trips:
Did you ever go on a skiing trip with your school? Was it an orgy of bad behaviour?
I went in my final year. In that week between Christmas and New Year – when I might more profitably have been engaged in the A-Level study of Wuthering Heights or Maupassant’s Pierre et Jean – I boarded a train at Victoria station with 50 schoolmates and headed for Einsiedeln in Switzerland. (Frank Barrett)
Alexandra Petri in the Washington Post suggests ways to survive a 'fiscal cliff' conversation:
Try to baffle your listeners with literary references. “Ah, the Wuthering Heights of the Fiscal Cliff,” you say. “Did you know that ‘wuther’ means ‘to blow with a dull roaring sound’? Fascinating. Does anyone need another drink?”
Observator Cultural (Romania) reviews the Romanian translation of Ross Raisin's novel Waterline:
Comitatul e descris cu o precizie şi cu o artă uimitoare pentru un debutant, iar atmosfera specifică a zonei convinge încă din primele pagini ale romanului, dar cu o pregnanţă a tonului şi a accentelor care individualizează pe dată discursul lui Raisin şi îl situează la polul diametral opus peisajelor atît de celebre din Jane Eyre, marele roman victorian al lui Charlotte Brontë, care utiliza acelaşi cadru de desfăşurare a acţiunilor ce marcau evoluţia protagonistei. (Rodica Grigore) (Translation)
El Cultural reviews the Spanish release of the complete poetry of Derek Walcott:
Es la invención de mujeres reales, como Jean Rhys: Dichoso el viajero (1981) contiene uno de los poemas más perfectos del siglo XX, y de otros siglos también, ése en el que Walcott sueña unos Sargazos nunca vistos, una niña vengadora de locas en el ático, “la blanca luz erecta,/ su mano derecha esposada a Jane Eyre,/anticipando que el traje de bodas/ será, para ella, todo en papel blanco”. (A. Sáenz de Saitegui) (Translation)
Jungle Welt (Germany) remembers some of the Twilight influences:
Geschichte – Renaissance, englischer Puritanismus, amerikanischer Bürgerkieg – und Literaturgeschichte – Shakespeare, Jane Austen, die Brontës, Robert Frost – spielen in der Tetralogie nicht unerhebliche Nebenrollen. (Peer Schmitt) (Translation)
Die Welt (Germany) reviews the German translation of Reginald Hill's Midnight Fugue:
Der stolze Hadda ist der Junge, der im Schatten des Herrenhauses groß geworden ist; manchmal stakst er gar wie ein krumm gewordener Heathcliff durch die windumtoste Brontë-Kulisse, die zwar das Zweitbeste an dieser Geschichte ist, aber letztlich dann doch nie ganz auf Sturmhöhe. (Wieland Freund) (Translation)
A novice Brontëite looking for Wuthering Heights on The Times Literary Supplement Blog; another Brontëite, a teacher, in Derry JournalKsiążki Warte Przeczytania (in Polish) reviews a Polish Wuthering Heights audiobook; Niebiańskie pióro (also in Polish) reviews Shirley; Why Jane? and Novel Ideas post about Jane Eyre; Il Cinema di AlmaRoja (in Italian) posts about Jane Eyre 2011; Helena Aguilar i Mayans uploads to Flickr some Jane Eyre-inspired pictures. Let's finish this newsround recovering a tweet by the artist Ashley Jackson:
as a 16yr old I wrote in diary ,"l wish to do with the brush what the Brontës did with a pen" they are still an inspiration.

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