Saturday, November 17, 2012

Knife, Fork and Hair

The Boston Herald talks about the Petraeus scandal with a Brontë twist:

Bringing this idyll of the inbox to an end was an email to Allen from "Kelleypatrol" warning that she was a "seductress." The language must have alerted Allen that Charles Dickens or the Brontë sisters were hot on his trail. (Dale McFeatters)
Cherwell is excited with the upcoming Red Room Productions production of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre in Oxford (November 21):
Polly Teale’s unconventional approach to Jane Eyre splits our heroine in two. It opens with two young girls reading aloud to one another and leaping about the stage: one is Jane (Chloe Gale) whose progression from 'queer' child to wilful adult is skilfully conveyed through precise direction and confident diction. The other is billed as Bertha (Joanne Murray), Mr Rochester’s insane wife who lurks in his attic for the majority of the novel but features prominently in this adaptation. The audience is presented with two Janes – one outward ego who interacts with the world around her, and another inward idwhich is fused with Bertha’s character. (Evelyn Cavalla)
GeekMom lists possible gifts for reading geeks:
Literature-inspired jewelry with a steampunk edge, that’s what you’ll find in the wide-ranging collection of Jezebel Charms .
We’re talking handmade pieces featuring erudite quotes from the likes of Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, Charles Darwin, Homer, Shakespeare, Poe, and many many others. These pieces are artfully designed, making it an aesthetic pleasure to simply scroll through the offerings.
We’re taken with so many items that it’s hard to keep from suggesting them all, but our favorites include the “I am an omnivorous reader” pendant ($37), Frankenstein cuff links ($25), she is too fond of books brooch ($20), and mad tea party earrings ($32). Shown above, another of our must-haves, the Jane Eyre cuff bracelet ($40) with a quote penned by Charlotte Brontë, “I am no bird and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will.” (Laura Grace Weldon)
The New York Times reviews Married Love and Other Stories by Tessa Headley:
British writers like Tessa Hadley, unlike their American counterparts, tend to see the stain of class as indelible, as a social tragedy that ironizes any and all choices one might make in life. At the end of the day, class is the Rosetta stone, the key to the mystery of who you really are underneath all your ideas about yourself. In this country, we’re more likely to find that sort of weight in race and ethnicity. One myth is no more or less “true” than the other — Britain could not have produced “Invisible Man”; America could not have produced “Jane Eyre.” To what extent actual people live within these myths is anyone’s guess, but on the page they retain their full dramatic force. (Stacey D'Erasmo)
The Times talks about the best film adaptations in literature:
Hitchcock told Truffaut that he would I ever adapt a great novel such as Crime and Punishment because the resulting film would last eight hours and inevitably be inferior. He preferred to adapt material that he could read once then put aside. Clearly with Great Expectations or Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre that's not possible — the material is too loved, too well-known. Still, a film adaptation can never be a sort of audiobook with pictures; its something else completely, a version, an expression of enthusiasm; I love this story, and this is why. (David Nicholls)
The Washington Post lists the best audiobooks of 2012. Among them, The Flight of Gemma Hardy:
Margot Livesey’s refashioning of “Jane Eyre” to fit another age is an engaging odd duck and extremely well served by Davina Porter’s cultivated, elegantly paced British voice. At times as precise as a school mistress’s, at others as dreamy as an ingenue’s, her narration helps convey the fact that the world of the late 1950s and ’60s in Scotland had more in common with the 19th century than with the 21st. Gemma Hardy is an orphan, and after suffering humiliation and cruelty from relatives and a workhouse of a school, she ends up as a governess in the Orkneys where Scottish accents — surely the most attractive in the English-speaking world — reign. The story’s trajectory is familiar, Gemma’s perseverance exhilarating and the details of nature brilliantly vivid. That this production is enhanced throughout with the burr of Caledonia makes it irresistible. (Katherine A. Powers)
The Huffington Post reviews the New York performances of Giant, the musical adaptation of the Edna Ferber novel:
Maybe here's the place to point out that a major theme of all Giant versions is love of the land. When Ferber penned her homage, she was joining a fine lineage that feature Emily Brontë forWuthering Heights, Pearl Buck for The Good Earth and, more indigenously, Margaret Mitchell for Gone With the Wind. As for musicals, there had already been the Hammerstein-Rodgers Oklahoma! with its cowboy-farmer opposition foreshadowing Giant's cattleman-oilman face-off -- and, for forced abandonment of the land, Fiddler on the Roof (cf. "Anatevka"). (David Finkle)
Some articles covering the latest film installment of the Twilight saga bring Brontë references. The Cut talks about the relation between virginity and vampirism:
That “rule” — that virginity is paramount to marriage — would seem outdated for a story set in 21st-century America, but Edward is no postmodern Millennial reared on The Hills. He’s more than 100 years old, born at the end of the notoriously repressed Victorian era. Then, modern vampire mythology laid down its roots in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, now the bible for the genre's lore and mythology.
At the time, Gothic novels were still fresh in the literary canon. Each tale was rife with sexual undertones, often centering on dark, mysterious, and powerful men who took pleasure from preying on young, innocent virgins. Just think of Emily Brontë’s rapist and abuser Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. (Yael Kohen)
Edward deve il suo nome al principale spasimante di Jane Eyre nel romanzo di Emily Brontë : Edward Fairfax Rochester. Si tratta dell’eroe romantico per antonomasia della letteratura femminile, l’uomo fascinoso dalla difficile conquista, caratterizzato da un animo sensibile ed uno status elevato. Un concentrato di ammirazione e potere, che Twilight ha tradotto nel lignaggio vampiresco e nei poteri sovraumani. (Gabriele Niola in Wired.it) (Translation)
Meyer parece estar muy distraída con su labor de productora. Ya asumió este rol en los créditos de Crepúsculo y acaba de fundar su propia compañía, Fickle Fish Films, con la que llevar a la pantalla obras literarias románticas. La primera, Austenland, escrita por su amiga Shannon Hale, trata sobre una treintañera obsesionada con Darcy, el protagonista de Orgullo y prejuicio. Meyer se sabe responsable de la fiebre por recuperar la literatura gótica y está dispuesta a seguir explotando ese filón. Ella misma se basó en la novela de Austen para el arranque de Crepúsculo y convirtió Cumbres borrascosas en el libro favorito de Bella, reactivando el interés popular en la obra de Brontë, que volvió a encabezar las listas de best sellers en el mercado anglosajón gracias a una reedición convenientemente basada en las portadas de Crepúsculo. También propició una oleada de adaptaciones fílmicas góticas de corte filo-emo. Ahora que una nueva generación abrazaba el género, todos querían su parte del pastel. (Borja Bas in El País) (Translation) 
Several mentions of Wuthering Heights 2011:
Andrea Arnold's take on Brontë's classic love story is a virtually black-and-white, hand-held camera lensed moody art film in which the cold and rough English countryside becomes a major character. A white farmer takes in a black Heathcliff (James Howson) who falls for his teen daughter, Catherine (Kaya Scodelario). (Dann Gire in Daily Herald)
Last month, Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights approached Brontë’s classic in a deliberately muted, intimate fashion, and gave the narrative a distinctively modern feel. (Jason Bailey in Flavorwire)
It's interesting to contrast Anna Karenina with another recent adaptation of a popular 19th century novel, Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights. That movie hit upon a visual and performance style that's cinematically striking and taps into the emotional power of its source material in a very primal, elemental way. Anna Karenina is beautiful to look at, but mostly unengaging -- a film that's more enamored with its own technique that it is with Tolstoy's story. (Ethan Alter on Television Without Pity)
Süddeutsche (in German) announces the German DVD release of the film (February 14, 2013):
Es ist erster Kostümfilm Andrea Arnolds, hat sie aus und Heathcliff - eine bizarre, aber durchaus konsequente Emily Brontës Roman von Interpretation - einen Schwarzen gemacht, von seinem Stiefbruder wird als er wütend beschimpft Nigger.
Ein Film und Gewalt Leidenschaft um, der ein Taumel Emotionen, in dem der andere Seite Hass Nur Die Liebe ist der, die nur Folge Verachtung Tiefster Verzweiflung.
Die Romantik falsche jede meidet Kamera, die Unruhe voll auf der Figuren springt über sie, sie mit Ihnen zittert. Es ist der Rohstoff des Lebens, hinterher sie ist dem, des filmischen Melodrams Materie die. Und der Wind in seinem Ungestüm und seiner all liefert Vielfalt dazu die Musik. (Fritz Von Göttler) (Translation)
David Nicholls talks about his Great Expectations (directed by Mike Newell) adaptation in The Guardian:
Read a book at the right age and it will stay with you for life. For some people it's Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, but for me it is Great Expectations. I first read it at 14 or so and, apart from some infatuations with Orwell, Fitzgerald, Salinger and Hardy, it has remained my favourite novel ever since. By some miracle, a story written in the mid-1850s had captured much of how I felt in a small provincial town at the end of the 1970s.
And Financial Times reviews a literary sequel of the Dickens novel, Miss Havisham by Ronald Frame:
Writers have always been cannibals, feeding off tasty morsels sliced from the works of others. It is a tradition that embraces Shakespeare, George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman novels, some 70 variations on Pride and Prejudice and Jean Rhys’s Jane Eyre prequel Wide Sargasso Sea. Ronald Frame has been gnawing on Dickens’s Great Expectations and its choicest gobbet, Miss Havisham. (Michael Prodger)
The Telegraph's Great British Drives is devoted to the Peak District:
You may think you haven’t discovered the Peak District. But if you’ve enjoyed a film or television production of Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice, or chuckled at three daft men in Last of the Summer Wine, the chances are you’re already on intimate terms with the area, as all have been filmed here. (David Williams)
EveryEye (Italy) interviews the film director Walter Hill about his latest film Bullet to the Head:
Perché crede che gli spettatori si entusiasmano e accettano di più le scene di grande violenza piuttosto che quelle di sesso?
WH: Mi sta dicendo che le piace guardare la violenza ma non il sesso? Onestamente credo alle persone piacciano le storie e la violenza fa parte dei film, così come della letteratura, sin dai tempi di Omero. È la completezza di una storia a darci piacere, perché si contrappone alle nostre vite frammentate. Ma tutte le storie sono violente, anche quelle d'amore come Cime Tempestose. Solo che non tutte sono violenze fisiche, molte sono emotive. (Antonella Murollo) (Translation)
La Hora de Murcia (Spain) describes Emily Brontë as the example of writers without opus; The Times carries an article about Bradford who mentions the "Brontë village" of Haworth; Biblioteczka Kolmanki (in Polish) reviews Agnes Grey; The Briarfield Chronicle talks about "Charlotte Brontë on being involved and observing"; miriamVivir en los Libros (both in Spanish) and Bookworm Reviews post about Jane Eyre; Gavin Steyn's reading posts about Villette; YA Book Nerd reviews Wish you Were Eyre; Jeannette Lambert uploads a YouTube video where
Jeannette Lambert, vocals, Reg Schwager, guitar, perform Emily Brontë's poem, My Lady's Grave. Filmed by Agatha Schwager at the Red Guitar Jazz Club, 2006.
Likewinterblue tweets a spooky picture of Haworth's graveyard; The Brontë Parsonage Blog reports how went the Ovenden moor windfarm committee meeting:
Although the panel members were supposed to debate, this item on the agenda was nothing more than four of the panel expressing support for the application on the grounds – contrary to Mrs Justice Lang’s Hemsby ruling - that Calderdale’s need to meet its green targets was more important than what was considered to be a slight negative impact on the landscape. Two councillors did not speak but at the vote, supported the application so that agreement was unanimous. (Chris Went, Heritage & Conservation Officer)
Finally, the Brontë Parsonage Facebook and Twitter  have other surprises for you: the knife-and-fork set Charlotte had to take to school with her at Roehead and a bracelet of Anne's hair, given by Charlotte to Ellen Nussey.

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