Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:09 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Congratulations to Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar who have won the National Book Critics Circle lifetime achievement award. The Washington Post has feminist writer Katha Pollitt explain why their work was so groundbreaking.
After Gilbert and Gubar began publishing, the canon — the list of titles considered most important — opened up to include many more books, particularly books not written by white men.
“There’s a lot of really great Victorian fiction that we didn’t read in a very serious way,” Pollitt said by phone from her home in New York. “ ‘Jane Eyre’ was in that camp. Its complexities were not of great interest. But then Gilbert and Gubar made us see a whole range of writing by women in a way that deepened it and made it more complex and more important.” (Ron Charles)
There's of course that other take on Jane Eyre, that of the mere romance novel. From an interview to several writers on 'Exploring Romance & the Modern Woman' in USA Today:
Serena: How do you define romance? And what application does that definition have on the modern woman's life?
Sharon Cameron: My favorite romantic stories tend to be ones where little or no physical contact takes place and the romance builds from an emotional place (I'm thinking particularly of Austen and Brontë here, but a modern young adult example might be The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner). Those stories are all about the tension and the draw, about emotion and a dawning respect, maybe a little different than the "modern" take on romance for some, but absolutely what I wanted to portray in The Dark Unwinding. When all that mystery is left intact, I think the effect on readers has been the same from 1812 to today: it makes it impossible not to turn that next page! (Serena Chase)
As you know, 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Stuff's Reading is Bliss discusses Mr Darcy by first stating,
Now, I have to confess, I think you're either an Austen fan or a Brontë fan (rarely does someone love both with the same fervour), and I'm a Heathcliff girl all the way. As far as tall, dark, handsome and brooding goes, my humble opinion is that Heathcliff could sliver Mr Darcy and dine on him sashimi-style.
I read Wuthering Heights at an impressionable age (16), and over the ensuing years, my predilection for crushes on smart, intense, moody men with a chequered past and the ability to self-destruct can probably be attributed to Heathcliff's early influence. (Karen Tay)
Perhaps not exactly 'with the same fervour' but we know for a fact that you can love and enjoy them both and take the best of both worlds with you.

Tips from the T-list also seems to prefer Emily Brontë.
Meanwhile, I am endeavouring – with no mean success: go me! – to transform the soldier’s texts into billet doux from a romance like something out of Jane Austen, or (better) Emily Brontë, or at the very least, a straight-to-video mid-90s rom com most likely starring Sandra Bullock. (Theodora)
The Yorkshire Post has an in-depth article on why 'Battle lines over Brontëland show why green belts are on dangerous ground'.
Standing on the path that runs along Weavers Hill in Haworth and watching the hazy winter sunshine slowly peeking through the mist is a breathtaking sight.
It’s the same path that Charlotte Brontë would have used to go to Oxenhope when she was meeting her father’s curate, and her future husband, Arthur Bell Nicholls. This is the heart of Brontë country and just five minutes walk from the stunning moorland landscape that has enchanted visitors and locals alike for centuries.
However, local councillors, residents and the Brontë Society are worried that Weavers Hill could end up being used for a housing development. Last autumn, a Bradford businessman revealed plans for 320 homes on green belt land the first phase of which would be to build 120 homes on land at Weavers Hill. A scheme has yet to be submitted to Bradford Council but it is just one of many green belt sites across the country under threat from development. [...]
Over in Haworth, the proposals for Weavers Hill would include a mix of detached and semi-detached houses, with affordable two-bed semis making up 10 per cent of the scheme. But Christine Went, heritage and conservation officer at the Brontë Society, believes any housing development in this particular spot would be detrimental to the village. “Haworth’s economy is heritage tourism, there’s not much else, and anything that effects that effects the local economy and would change the character of the village,” she says.
“There must be a case, surely, for councils to say there will be no building on green belt until all brownfield and inner-city land has been exhausted because there is plenty of that.” Local authorities have been told to develop brownfield sites first and foremost, but the trouble is brownfield and inner-city land is expensive and developers see places like Haworth as desirable places to live for commuters.
With its picturesque setting you can certainly understand why people might want to live here, but Went doesn’t believe Haworth needs more houses. “The housing market has been stagnant for years and there are good, affordable houses that just don’t sell.” She also questions whether it is has the infrastructure to support a bigger population. “The schools are full and more people could jam up the roads between here and Keighley, or here and Bradford.” Many people in the village, she says, are opposed to the plans. “The Parish Council has said this is not needed or wanted and isn’t productive for the village. Haworth Parish Church is against it and Peter Mayo-Smith, the vicar, put out statement saying that while they recognise that people need houses it’s important where they are built.”
But aren’t they leaving themselves open to accusations of nimbyism – or “not in my back yard”? “We’ve had this aimed at us before on all kinds of things, but this is a national backyard like the Lake District. Would you start building houses around Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, or in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex? The Brontë Society does recognise the need for homes, it’s the same with wind farms, we aren’t opposed to them it’s just about where you put them and we think there needs to be a lot more sensitivity towards places like this.”
Went is concerned about the village growing too fast. “Haworth is the kind of place where if you have a problem your neighbour will help, but if the village expands too much that will be lost because incomers change a place. A village can absorb a few and eventually they become part of the community, as the Brontës did. But they struggle to cope with large influxes of people,” she says.
“People come here because they want to go on to the moors and they want to see the Haworth of the Brontës’ and they can, but if you start building then you worry about the domino effect. What about future housing needs and what if Bradford does the same again?
“These fields would go and then you’ve got housing to the moorlands edge and the whole character of the area is changed forever and it would be such a shame.” (Chris Bond)
A Brontëite's obituary in the New Vineyard's Sun Journal. The Brontë Parsonage Museum's Facebook page shows a picture of 'Classic Yorkshire weather at Thrushcross Grange'. Writer Jacquelyn Mitchard reveals that she reads Jane Eyre every year on The Book Smugglers. Funny Makeup posts about the novel in Portuguese and Silver Screen in a Red Envelope: A Diary of Time Wasted didn't like the 1973 adaptation at all. Mias vardagsrum posts about Wuthering Heights 2011 in Swedish while kirstywirsty imagines what Heathcliff did during his three-year absence. The Blog of Litwits and The Story Girl review Agnes Grey. The Re-Visioning the Brontës Conference blog has a post on Branwell.


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