Thursday, January 31, 2013

Covers, teachers and readers

We join Zoë Triska from The Huffington Post in this request: 'PLEASE: No More Insulting Classic Book Covers For Teen Girls'.

I imagine that most of these powerful female authors who wrote about femininity and struggled for equality to the male sex would be turning over in their graves if they knew that their feminist tomes were being churned out with makeup compacts and Twilight book cover rip off designs, like this new edition of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights.
Don't miss the slideshow full of terrifying covers, including one from a Jane Eyre edition.

We feel quite sad for this columnist at the Huddersfield Daily Examiner. People who make this sort of assertion are to be pitied:
I was also forced to study Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, another book which I have tried to cleanse from my consciousness.
Before these two 19th Century deadweights were inflicted on me, I had enjoyed reading fiction – whether at school or at home.
Since Austen and Brontë did their work, I have barely picked up a novel, preferring to stick with non-fiction. (Barry Gibson)
Is that a boast? It sounds like a big loss to us. 

Barbara Holm from The Huffington Post doesn't mention dislike but we don't think she was too trilled about Wuthering Heights when she writes,
You may be thinking, "Cathrynn... that is a woman's name... weird." Well, reader, good job remembering literally the only thing I remember from Wuthering Heights, and yes, you're correct.
Fortunately, this letter from a reader of Free Malaysia Today shows the other side of the coin:
I would never forget Mrs Lim, who was so tall and yet wore high heeled shoes and taught us English Literature in Form Three. The recommended text was ‘Wuthering Heights’. She would make us read word for word and explain every sentence and when eventually she completed the text, I became an admirer of the protagonist Heathcliff.
I became so interested in English Literature thereafter that I was voraciously reading Keats, Shelley, Byron, Russell, Milton and Shakespeare. She invoked in me the love for literature in  English, Malay, Tamil and Russian. (Richard Kamalanathan)
Another teacher is recalled on Eureka Street:
He was tall, loose-limbed and dark-haired, with a blue-eyed gaze whose piercing intensity was mitigated by the amiable, good humoured look to him, and a generous smile that softened his Heathcliff-like mien. He appeared in the doorway of my Flinders University study one day in early February 1971 and asked if I was the one who was starting a course in Australian literature. His voice was soft and melodic, his accent beautifully Irish. (Brian Matthews)
We hope the students of this Professor of English writing for The Atlantic don't go over to the dark side
In the women's literature class I'm teaching this semester—in which we are reading Angelou, along with Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Anne Bradstreet, Phyllis Wheatley, Charlotte Brontë, Sylvia Plath, Margaret Atwood, and many more female authors—we are emphasizing the distinctive qualities of women's literature. We are marking what these authors bring to bear on the human condition, the tensions their writing reveals between public and private, personal and political, and the ways in which women's writing speaks to experiences at variance with those of the male writers in the traditional canon. (Karen Swallow Prior)
The Yorkshire Post describes the local firm TD Direct Investing as follows:
The business is built around historic brands which are as Yorkshire as the Brontë sisters’ prose.
We discover via Chad that Nottinghamshire has two dementia wards called Brontë and Shelley. Interesting. Hanging on Every Word and Papo de estante (in Portuguese) post about Wuthering Heights. Sofias Scrap & Liv Blogg writes briefly in Swedish about Agnes Grey. Uma Biblioteca Aberta posts in Portuguese about Shirley. Sara Ever After has looked online for Jane Eyre-inspired stuff. Monja en el omnibus writes in Spanish about approaching the Brontës for the first time. Savvy Mom recommends BabyLit's take on classics such as Jane Eyre.

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