Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 8:52 am by Cristina in , , , , , , , , , ,    No comments
More today on the Brontë birthplace saga, as reported by The Telegraph and Argus.
A Councillor has appealed to Bradford Council to buy the Brontë birthplace in Thornton to preserve it as part of the district’s cultural heritage.
In a message to Council leader David Green, Councillor Valerie Binney (Con, Thornton and Allerton) said: “I am appealing to you as leader of the Council for the Council to purchase the Brontë Birthplace on behalf of Brontë Birthplace Trust (2012) just until we have the funds in place.
“The regeneration department let us down by not telling us last October that the property could not be added to the list of community assets under the community right to buy, which would have given us six months in which to raise the money.
“The asking price is about £130,000 which is not much in the scheme of things especially when the Council has given £347,000 to the Tour de France even though it is not going to go through the City of Bradford.
“For too long the fact that the Brontë sisters were born here and the Rev Patrick Brontë spent five happy years living and preaching in Thornton has been ignored.
“Preserving the BronteëBirthplace to be used has a museum is our heritage and would also help regenerate the village which a number of us have been trying to do for years.” [...]
Trust chairman Steve Stanworth fears that the property at 72/74 Market Street, where the Brontës lived between 1815 and 1820, could be sold either for residential or commercial purposes.
“One of them wants to turn it into a bistro/coffee shop so we’ve got to get in there quick,” he said.
Mr Stanworth has even taken the unusual step of e-mailing David Hockney to ask if he will buy the double-fronted house until the trust has raised the money to take it over.
Coun Green said in response to Coun Binney: “Depending on the timescales we are talking about I would be willing to look at this option.
“I have asked officers to ascertain how long the Council would be expected to hold the building if we did buy it as I would be unwilling to give an open ended commitment.
“I am concerned also that this level of public debate might result in a price war which I am unwilling to enter into so price would clearly be an issue.” (Jim Greenhalf)
For whatever reason, the Brontës seem to be the automatic go-to comparison when discussing Jane Austen. But an opinion,  like Charlotte Brontë's own on Jane Austen, is nothing but that, an opinion. Abby Rogers on why she 'hates' Jane Austen on The Huffington Post.
Emily Brontë captured true human emotion in a much more believable, dramatic fashion than Ms. Austen did in any of her novels.
Brooklyn College's analysis of Brontë's subject matter best describes why her characters are far superior to those in Austen's novels.
Romantic love takes many forms in Wuthering Heights: the grand passion of Heathcliff and Catherine, the insipid sentimental languishing of Lockwood, the coupleism of Hindley and Frances, the tame indulgence of Edgar, the romantic infatuation of Isabella, the puppy love of Cathy and Linton, and the flirtatious sexual attraction of Cathy and Hareton. These lovers, with the possible exception of Hareton and Cathy, are ultimately self-centered and ignore the needs, feelings, and claims of others; what matters is the lovers' own feelings and needs.
Heathcliff and Catherine's toxic, all-encompassing affair makes for a much more interesting read, and a deeper introspection of humanity, despite its overly dramatic nature. As anyone who has been deeply in love more than once can attest, love is often dark. Jealously, worldly concerns, obsession... all are factors that often make up at least part of a great love affair.
No two characters explore all the highs and excruciating lows of fatal human attraction than Brontë 's most famous characters. The same cannot be said of Austen's characters, which largely contributes to my intense dislike of her work. They are not relatable and they do not have the multi-faceted personalities to ensnare my undying obsession.
Can Austen's characters really still teach us anything? Does her message actually translate into the 21st century world in the same way as Brontë's?
I say no. (Except if you're a girl who just wants a boyfriend. Then maybe we have bigger issues to talk about.)
The West Australian thinks otherwise:
It does remain, however, that the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy has lasted better than any novel of Dickens or the Brontë sisters and it has generated much more merchandise and parodies. (Heather Zubeck)
FirstPost agrees:
Now other period novels have had longevity and dark, flawed male leads too. Take Mr Rochester (Jane Eyre), Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and John Thornton (North and South). The leading men from the other novels in the Big 6 – Sense and Sensibility, Persuasion, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and Emma – have strong followings of their own as well, being as they are amiable, charming and more accessible. But much as it may defy logic to many, none have captured the imagination of generations in such an all-encompassing manner as well as Mr Darcy. And, let me add, warped their notions of romance. For 200 years and counting – I cannot stress that enough. (Abhilasha Khaitan)
Whatever side they're 'defending', we must say it does get somewhat tedious. We still don't get why you have to put one down in order to highlight how great the other one is. Just enjoy both.

Not leaving behind the Austen-Brontës connection just yet as a discussion on character names on io9 makes an interesting point.
Edward and Heathcliff tend to cast long shadows over literature, as well, being two brooding Brontë creations that served as models - and namesakes - for subsequent gothic novels. (The only reason Mr. Darcy isn't still a namesake for romantic heroes is his first name is Fitzwilliam. There's not really anything to be done with that in modern times.) (Esther Inglis-Arkell)
And of course there are those who have only watched the adaptations, as admitted by Masterpiece Theater executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, on TribLive.
Question: What is it about British literature that resonates so well with American audiences?
Answer: Well, I think first of all, a lot of the work that we do are adaptations of the classics, and people are familiar with the classics. If they haven‘t read the Brontës, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, they know the stories having seen previous adaptations. So, there‘s the familiarity factor as a lot of us were raised on these classics. (Kate Benz)
An insight into Catherine as a character in the Daily News (Sri Lanka).
And it is these indispensable ingredients of fiction and drama that provide the ‘set of objects, situations and chains of events’ that function as objective correlatives to the subjective issues under consideration.
When these correlatives are imaginatively conceived the experience of the play or the novel moves into a dimension of impersonality; and thence into one of universality. The artist has succeeded in embodying his ideas and passions in his plot and characters, thereby transmuting them into something rich and strange.
Thus Emily Brontë's yearning for romantic love and her adoration of the earth are convincingly incorporated in the person of Cathy. And what happens to the latter in the story shows her understanding of the consequences of indulging these passions to an extreme.
It is the experience of Cathy, not of the author, that captures our imagination, and this is because of the chain of events and the situations in which Cathy moves and suffers. (Priya David)
Monsters and Critics also finds a Brontë echo in the film Stoker:
Kidman’s character is the obligatory Hitchcockian icy blonde who just happens to be a red head. You can tell she doesn’t care much for her daughter and even less from her conveniently dispatched, wealthy husband. Suffice to say that nobody plays “mean” like Kidman.
One glance from her crystal blue eyes surrounded by those high cheekbones could kill you. India, on the other, hands is like a Brontë character, dark and brooding who prefers running alone wild in the forests that surround the family mansion to hangin’ out with her school chums. (Greg Ptacek)
Metro (France) finds Brontë influences in the Spanish film Blancanieves.
Etincelant visuellement, ce film sensoriel au carrefour entre Tim Burton, Tod Browning et les sœurs Brontë se décline comme un poème lumineusement cruel, rythmé par le flamenco endiablé d’Alfonso de Vilallonga. (Translation)
Female First interviews writer Sarah Butler:
Which book is your favourite read?There are so many! I tend to love different books at different points in my life. My current favourite is Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson which is courageous and honest and beautiful. But I could equally say Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx, or The House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende, or Jane Eyre. (Lucy Walton)
El País (Spain) has an article on Elizabeth Taylor, the novelist, and describes Palladian's Cassandra Dashwood as a 'postwar Jane Eyre'. Okbo Lover reviews April Lindner's Jane. Roses and Hopes and Lua de Sangue - A Origem both post in Portuguese about Wuthering Heights. The Telegraph and Argus has an article on Patti Smith's forthcoming fundraising concert in Haworth. MásViajesGay (in Spanish) suggests a trip to Yorkshire, including Haworth, and Kar's Kith and Kin recalls a trip there in 1997. Finally, an alert for today, January 23, in Palma de Mallorca, Spain:
January 23, 19.30 h
La Biblioteca de Babel
Taller de lectura: Cumbres BorrascosasBy Frederic Ruiz.


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