Saturday, December 15, 2012

Keighley News talks about the not-so-good numbers of summer visitors to the Brontë Parsonage:
Tourist attractions in the district have had a mixed summer, according to new figures. (...)
Yorkshire-wide, visitor numbers rose, buoyed by the Olympics. But the wet weather and other factors have hit attendances at some locations.
But the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth, one of Yorkshire’s biggest attractions, saw a three per cent fall in visitors during the same period.
Acting museum director, Ann Dinsdale, said: “The Olympics certainly had an impact.
“Quite a few of the coach trips we normally get do literary tours starting in London, but they cancelled because the price of accommodation in the capital was so high due to the Games.”
Figures just released by the Great British Travel Survey show trips to Yorkshire were up 16.3 per cent for the period between September 2011 and August this year, with spending increasing by 13.5 per cent and overnight stays up 11.5 per cent.
The Wahington Post reviews Shakespeare’s Tremor and Orwell’s Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers by John J. Ross:
Some of Ross’s other subjects are as remarkable for their mental peculiarities as for their physical ills. Tuberculosis stalked the famous Brontë siblings, killing the writers Charlotte, Anne and Emily, as well as their dissolute brother, Branwell, and two older sisters. Emily’s personality may have contributed to her stoic response to her illness: She was a homebody, tongue-tied with strangers, fonder of animals than people, preoccupied with her fantasies, and rigidly attached to her routines of cooking, cleaning, writing and walking on the moors. To Ross, these well-documented traits suggest that Emily had Asperger syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Asperger syndrome, he believes, could help explain elements of her writing style in “Wuthering Heights” — for example, her portrayal of the lovers’ passion as irrational and destructive — as well as her stubborn focus on her work and her refusal to see a doctor for her TB. (Susan Okie)
There's not just Asperger's, Emily (and Charlotte) were also insomniacs. Rick Gekoski in The Guardian:
There is a secret to this, and I find that many of my friends who are similarly compulsive readers share the same profile. So do the following: Burns, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Churchill, Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Alexandre Dumas, Scott Fitzgerald, Kafka, Plath, Proust, Shakespeare, Shelley, Twain, Whitman, Wordsworth, Yeats. If you widen that category – famous writers – you could then add Catherine the Great, Edison, Franklin, Lincoln, John Stuart Mill, Napoleon, Newton, Van Gogh … Not to mention dear old Groucho Marx.
Quite a list. Whatever they're on, can I have some of it too? In fact, I do: we are all insomniacs. I used to find my sleeplessness – I usually fall off for a few hours, wake for maybe two, then sleep until morning – a cause of distress, and I have ground down more than a few teeth in gnashing protest. 
The Scotsman summarises 2012 as a literary year:
Although Casanova was briefly a librarian, it is not a profession, prior to the Fifty Shades phenomenon, readily associated with such libertinage. Classic novels from Pride And Prejudice to Jane Eyre have been sexed up for a supposed new market (they might find Moby Dick a bit of a challenge). (Stuart Kelly)
Los Angeles Times does the same with films:
Now a new generation of filmmakers is experimenting with the sensory possibilities. Andrea Arnold's"Wuthering Heights" let wind and the moors create their own state of grace.  (Betsy Sharkey)
Metro (Sweden) also highlights Andrea Arnold's film:
Storbritanniens kanske mest spännande regissör, Andrea Arnold, utmanade ånyo konventionerna när hon tog sig an Emily Brontës klassiska roman. Den ursinniga makt- och klasskampen mellan Heathcliff och Kathy, där kärlek och hat frodades i takt med naturens skiftningar på det nordbrittiska höglandet, påminde möjligen mer om Kate Bush ”Wuthering heights”- video än om bokförlagan. Men Arnold använde sig skickligt av berättelsens skräckdoftande tematik och motsättningar, med en djärv film som resultat. ( Elin Larsson and C.-G Karlsson) (Translation)
Cineralia (Spain) thinks that the movie is "arrolladora y poética", puretrend (France) is fascinated by Kaya Scodelario.

Thompson on Hollywood is also in the best-of mood and publishes several 2012 top tens. Some of them include Wuthering Heights like Sophia Savage's. The Geek Girl Project doesn't have such a good opinion, though.

Film School Rejects discusses the absence of awards and nominations for Joe Wright's Anna Karenina:
Yet it’s almost as if we’ve now reached a point where even the Academy has classic literature fatigue. I don’t think James Ivory’s trio of Best Director nods could have happened in the ‘00s, and just last year Cary Fukunaga’s remarkably wrought Jane Eyre got absolutely nowhere. The pre-modern costume drama is out. (Daniel Walber)
PopMatters reviews Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady  (now on DVD):
The film’s most controversial scene is a moment where Isabel fantasizes about three of her suitors taking her to bed at the same time. For someone whom we understand is a virgin, the very idea of bedding three men at the same time isn’t only surprising, it’s downright revolutionary. How many of us think of Elizabeth Bennet or Jane Eyre as women with sexual needs? Campion’s sexualization of Isabel Archer is bold and challenging. Some might ask, how dare she have such dreams while others will be more willing to join her in the fantasy? (Jose Solís Mayén)
Gulf News has an unexpected Heathcliff appearance in an article about memories:
When we weren’t in the mood for strenuous activity, and opted to listen to stories instead, those houses made whatever we heard memorable. We could see Heathcliff rushing out in despair through our doors, trudging past the overgrown garden and into the wilderness beyond — yes, there was usually a forbidden wilderness somewhere close to the end of our compound wall, and that was added fuel for our imaginations. (Cheryl Rao) książki reviews the Polish translation of Delphine de Vigan's latest novel Rien ne s'oppose à la nuit:
Pisanie autoterapeutyczne nie jest wynalazkiem naszych czasów – już siostry Brontë ubierały swoje bohaterki we własne myśli i przeżycia, otrząsając z siebie ponure wspomnienia pobytu na pensji dla niezamożnych dziewcząt i upokarzającego tułania się po domach miejscowych bogaczy w charakterze guwernantek. (Dorota Tukaj) (Translation)
Página 12 (Argentina) reviews Eva Illouz's Por qué duele el amor:
En los primeros capítulos, Illouz reflota el romance en los siglos XVIII y XIX, tomando recortes de obras como Cumbres borrascosas, La edad de la inocencia y Madame Bovary, para recordar cómo en aquellos tiempos el amor estaba regido por normas claras y explícitas como el cortejo, el pedido de mano, la virginidad previa al matrimonio y los arreglos económicos entre familias. (Laura Galarza) (Translation)
El Nuevo Diario (Nicaragua) remembers a 1948 radio adaptation of Wuthering Heights (by Juan Velásquez Prieto); Elizablog and The Bookshelf post about Wuthering Heights; Re-Visioning the Brontës Conference gives some hints at the madwoman in the attic topic; Individual Reading explores different Janes in adaptations of the novel; Reflections now has a poem devoted to Aunt Reed; Persephone Magazine reviews Wuthering Heights 1939; David Rothwell and Freckle Theory upload to Flickr Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre-inspired pictures; PearlsofWisdom uploads to YouTube a reading of Anne Brontë's Music on a Christmas Morning.


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