Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mary Bennet in Jane Eyre

The Guardian asks several writers about new readings of Pride and Prejudice characters. Janet Todd writing as Mary Bennet finishes her contribution like this:
We don't choose our creators or our parents. If I had a choice, I'd be very happy with Miss Brontë. I feel myself much suited for Jane Eyre.
Source
The Yorkshire Post devotes an article to the Visions of Angria: The Creativity of the Brontës exhibition in Leeds:
Rarely seen original manuscripts by [Branwell Brontë] the black sheep of the Brontë family, held in Leeds University’s Brotherton Library special collections, can be seen 
in an exhibition called 
Visions of Angria: The Creativity of the Brontës, 
this month.
They are shown alongside new art inspired by his stories, and other works produced by the famous siblings.
The new pieces have been created by third year illustration students on Leeds College of Art’s Visual Communications course.
They have focused in particular on interpretation of the rich and complex world of landscape, characters and events created by Branwell and his sisters while they were still children. (...)
As a project for his students, Nick Cass, a lecturer in museum studies at Leeds University who also teaches visual communication at Leeds College of Art, asked them to consider these Brontë manuscripts and create a response using any illustrative medium.
“The exhibition is a complementary show to Wildness Between Lines, currently running at LCA, which features practising contemporary artists’ interpretations of the Brontës,” says Cass. “With the eight students, I found that a few had read the Brontës’ work and knew something about Branwell, and the others had no idea about how big the Brontës were, but the project opened up a new area to them.
“I was completely thrilled by the work the students came up with, and the way they have articulated the rationale behind their work.”
He has reason to be proud.The pieces, ranging from Rachel Nelson’s digital print Riot Scene to Maria Brozozowska’s laser-cut MDF Depression Is The First Blessing, Victoria Thorburn’s Four Portraits etched beautifully in copper and Sin-yee Chung’s ink on paper comic strip, the art is thoughtful and well crafted.
Until February 23. (Sheena Hastings)
PBS Newshour talks about Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough: The Medical Lives of Famous Writers by John J. Ross:
Writing a book is "a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness," George Orwell once said. The literary giant behind "1984" and "Animal Farm" was comparing his life's work to the many illnesses that plagued him from childhood to death.
And though William Shakespeare, Herman Melville and Emily Brontë may not have tied their creativity to poor health quite so explicitly, there's plenty of evidence that disease -- everything from tuberculosis to syphilis and mercury poisoning -- profoundly impacted works like "Moby Dick," "Wuthering Heights" and "Hamlet." (...)
The Brontës
Biographers have blamed the deaths of the Brontë sisters on everything from anorexia nervosa to the work of a fiendish serial killer. In reality, all six of the Brontë siblings died of tuberculosis, a Victorian plague that killed off 1 percent of the English population per year. TB entered the Brontë household after the older girls were infected at the Clergy Daughter's School. This was the place made infamous by Charlotte as the brutal Lowood School in Jane Eyre, where the girls were beaten, starved, and terrorized by tales of hellfire and damnation.
Although the consumptive artist is a tired cliche, there may be some truth in it. The immune system is weakened by emotional turmoil, of which the Brontës had plenty. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne suffered from major depression. Brother Branwell had bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Emily, brainy and strange, probably also had Asperger's syndrome and social anxiety disorder.( Jeffrey Brown and Jason Kane )
The New Yorker publishes a humour story by Andrew Palmer and Brian Platzer with Brontë references, If I Were Built, I’d Be a Poet:
And so for many years I’d work odd jobs to support myself. I’d be a bartender, an editorial assistant, a mover, a Brontë scholar. I’d be the strongest Brontë scholar who ever lived, but this would mean little to me. All over the world I’d present papers on “Wuthering Heights,” which, since I’d have to spend so much time grading papers and doing pull-ups, would be the only Brontë book I’d ever read. A fellow Victorianist at my university would try to convince me to read Anne and Charlotte. “At least ‘Jane Eyre,’” she’d say. “You really have to read ‘Jane Eyre.’ You’re a Brontë scholar.” I would not read “Jane Eyre” but that Victorianist would become my wife.
My Victorianist wife would love me for my muscles and iambs, and I’d love her for warmth, intelligence, and humor. We’d make turkey burgers and sorbet and watch film adaptations of Brontë novels together, not just the ones everyone’s seen, but “Agnes Grey,” “Villette,” the other two Charlotte Brontë novels, the Anne Brontë novel that’s not “Agnes Grey”—if there are film adaptations of all those. If I were built I’d remember the titles of all of Charlotte Brontë’s novels and the title of the Anne Brontë novel that’s not “Agnes Grey.” If I were built I’d write a sonnet sequence for my Victorianist wife. I’d call it “Sonnets from the Portuguese Part Two,” and it would win the Yale Younger Poets prize. I’d be invited to speak at writers conferences, where I’d impress my peers at parties by reciting “The Waste Land” while bench pressing a L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poet.
Allan Massie talks in The Telegraph about the Booker prize and literary prizes in general:
You might argue of course that a life’s work might quite reasonably consist of fewer than ten books. Think of James Joyce’s: “Dubliners”, “The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”, “Ulysses”, “Finnegans Wake”; and that’s pretty well it. E M Forster too wrote only half-a-dozen novels, likewise Jane Austen, while Emily Brontë’s life work was restricted to “Wuthering Heights” and a few poems.
Boldsky has another article on Kate Middleton's hyperemesis gravidarum:
Hyperemesis gravidarum does not only make your stomach turn, it also dehydrates the body. Another famous example of hyperemesis gravidarum in England is the case of Charlotte Brontë, the author of ‘Jane Eyre' who died of severe dehydration in the fourth month of her pregnancy. Although it was not diagnosed then, doctors now believe that Ms. Brontë might have suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. (Anwesha)
The journalist and TV personality Daphné Bürki confesses to Closer Magazine (France) her Brontëite youth:
Daphné Bürki, journaliste et présentatrice du Grand Journal de Canal +, se souvient ainsi d’un livre qui a particulièrement marqué dans son adolescence : "Mon plus ancien émoi littéraire ? Monsieur Rochester à cheval, lorsque Jane Eyre le rencontre pour la première fois. (…) J’avais 14 ans. Mon amie Emane m’avait passé le livre sous le manteau avec un sourire entendu. Mes émotions érotiques furent donc plutôt Brontë que Youporn". (Eliane da Costa) (Translation)
The Gadsden Times has an article about what we can call the Kindle times:
I probably will never read all the books in my mobile vault, but it holds the works of Socrates and Aristotle, Henry James and Winston Churchill, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, Thoreau and E.B. White, Joyce and Hemingway, Joseph Conrad and D.H. Lawrence, and the Russian masters. (Darrell Norman)
The Independent presents The Engagement by Chloe Hooper:
The Australian author Chloe Hooper's second novel is a complex psychological thriller that draws on the rich literary history of madwomen in the attic, from Jane Eyre and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. (Lucy Scholes)
Christina Patterson talks with Paula Rego in The Independent:
She has said that she is “of course a feminist” because “all women are feminists”. But, I tell her, they're not. And some critics have said her work, which often shows women in thrall to powerful and seductive men, doesn't seem feminist at all. In the series of pictures she did about Jane Eyre in 2001 and 2002, Mr Rochester feels as powerful a presence as Jane.
Nadeem Aslam's The Blind Man's Garden is discussed in The Guardian:
The novel was written in his brother's cottage in the Peak District, a bus ride from "Heathcliff country". Aslam concedes that Wuthering Heights may have entered his novel "subliminally" – if not in its anguished love triangle, then in its characters' "youthful intensity". (Maya Jaggi)
Idolator describes the latest videoclip by Arlissa (Swamp Sing) like this:
The video matches that organic feel, taking place in the swamps of Louisiana, with a real Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights” feel, minus all the manic prancing. (Carl Williott)
University of Toronto News interviews Professor Deidre Lynch about Jane Austen and the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice:
Clueless remains the best Austen adaptation ever. The most recent Pride and Prejudice film I thought was quite sappy because they tried to make it into Wuthering Heights. They missed that what attracts us to Austen is precisely the ways in which she’s not Charlotte or Emily Brontë. And yet they had lots of scenes of stormy weather and moors that just don’t work with the novel. (Jenny Hall)
The Asheville Citizen-Times talks about winter in literature:
In Charlotte Brontë’s novel “Jane Eyre” (1847) she captures the gloom of rural England in winter in a style that matches her main character’s psychological state just before the first encounter with Mr. Rochester:
“The ground was hard, the air was still ... the charm of the hour lay in its approaching dimness, in the low-gliding and pale-beaming sun. I was a mile from Thornfield, in a lane noted for wild roses in summer ... and even now possessing a few coral treasures in hips and haws, but whose best winter delight lay in its utter solitude and leafless repose. If a breath of air stirred, it made no sound here.”  (George Ellison)
The Atlantic has an article about the Monty Python following the publication of Monty Python's Flying Circus: Complete and Annotated... All the Bits, edited by Luke Dempsey:
Consider Python’s semaphore version of Wuthering Heights. It wasn’t just that the Pythons had the wit to dream up the idea. They also, crucially, had the comic sense not to attenuate it by stretching it over the rack of a four-minute sketch. They took two minutes to harvest its richest possibilities—Heathcliff and Catherine wave flags at each other across a moor, with explanatory subtitles; Catherine’s husband confronts her, flagging irately; a baby cries by sticking two tiny flags out of its cradle—and then they moved on. (David Free)
We even find a Brontë reference in the New York Times review of On Extinction. How We Became Estranged from Nature by Melanie Challenger:
The Anglophobe who wearies of reading the more descriptive pastoral passages of Hardy or the Brontës, with their gorse and fens, might be well advised to concentrate on the book’s more interesting midsection, the journeys that take Challenger along with the British Antarctic Survey to South Georgia Island and the Falklands and then, later, her own improvised trip to the Inuit-governed territory of Nunavut in Arctic Canada. (Paul Greenberg)
Le Télégramme (France) describes like this the latest collection by fashion designer Christophe Josse:
Un défilé où l'on feuillette les époques avec élégance, comme avec cette robe noire fermée « Hauts de Hurlevent », sobrement mais somptueusement travaillée, c'est cela la haute couture. (Claudine Lanchec) (Translation)
And a mention in La Jornada (México):
Cierto, hay quien realiza su travesía encerrado entre cuatro muros: Cumbres borrascosas fue creada por Emily Brontë, de carácter solitario y salvaje, a pesar de una muy breve y dolorosa estancia en Bruselas. (Vilma Fuentes) (Translation)
La Nación (Argentina) talks about a selection of movies about men characters written by women which will be aired on Canal(á) and presented by Silvia Hopenhayn, one of the movies will be Wuthering Heights but we don't know which version; Mittelhesen (Germany) and The Times mention the Charlotte Brontë criticism on Jane Austen;  Keighley News reports the latest meeting of the Brontë Country Tourism Partnership:
“Susan Briggs, from the Tourism Network, spoke to us about what our area may look like from a distance,” she said. “When you live in the village, you can get so focused on what you’re doing it’s almost like you’re in a bubble.
“It was interesting to hear from someone who is an expert in her industry – Susan had a lot of interesting things to say.”
Mrs Barker said distinctiveness was about highlighting more than the obvious Brontë connections. She pointed to the village’s vintage theme – apparent in the 1940s weekend celebrations – open mic nights, quality locally produced beer and the area’s popularity with cyclists.
Cat's Thoughts reviews I.J.Miller's Wuthering NightsDer Goldene Buchrücken (in German) posts about Agnes Grey; StorytellerLa Comunidad de la Ciencia, I don't understand why I sleep all day (both in Spanish), Affogando in un libro (in Italian) and Romance n'Alma (in Portuguese) review Wuthering Heights; Dinosauruksen ehtoojupinat (in Finnish) posts about Shirley; skip to my lou talks about Jane Eyre; Dawn Zulueta World reviews Hihintayin Kita sa Langit 1991; some pictures of Ponden Hall under the snow on the Parsonage's Twitter and Facebook.

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