Monday, February 11, 2013

Turbine Attack

The Telegraph & Argus alerts of new turbine plans around Haworth:
Fears that Brontë Country could become over-run with wind turbines have been re-kindled after plans for three turbines a few hundred metres from the sisters’ birthplace were unveiled.
Over a dozen applications for turbines have been submitted to Bradford Council in the past year, while plans to increase the height of a windfarm in Ovenden Moor was approved by neighbouring Calderdale Council in November.
A society for Haworth’s most famous residents have pledged to fight the latest application.
And protest group Thornton Moor Wind Farm Action Group says the application is just a small example of how the area was being targeted for turbines.
The plans for Old Oxenhope Farm would see three 15-metre turbines.
With the Brontë Parsonage Museum having re-opened this weekend, the society hopes visitors will come flooding in. But Christine Went, heritage and conservation officer, worries that tourists expecting to see the moors that inspired the sisters will instead be greeted with turbines. She said: “OK, these turbines are not huge, but they are not a natural feature either. There is an accumulation of them in the area that is becoming worrying. A woman who came to Haworth to write about the Brontës recently said it’s not worth coming here because it’s all turbines.”
Anthea Orchard, a member of Thornton Moor Wind Farm Action Group, said until Bradford Council creates a wind turbine strategy, more turbine applications will appear.
Other applications in the past 12 months include: six approved turbines across Haworth, Denholme, Steeton Oakworth and Laycock, seven refused turbines across the area, and approval to increase the height of some of the masts at Ovenden Moor from 49 metres to 115 metres.
Decisions still pending include a 55-metre high turbine in Eldwick, a 27-metre turbine at Denholme and two separate 15-metre turbines in Oxenhope.
Meanwhile, Bradford Council approved a 15-metre tall turbine at Green Acres, Fishbeck Lane, Silsden. Planners said the application, by Anthony Hargreaves, was “relatively close to the urban periphery that is less visually sensitive than less developed areas to the north and north east”. (Chris Young)
Illustration: Kathryn Rathke (Source)
Via the Brontë Sisters we have discovered this article published in The Economist's section Intelligent Life (November/December 2012):
Notes on a Voice: what makes a gothic fairy tale about a plain governess so raw and exhilarating? Bee Wilson pinpoints what Charlotte Brontë did...
No novel ever shared a point of view more effectively than "Jane Eyre". From the minute the child Jane is unfairly locked in the Red Room by her vicious aunt, Charlotte Brontë gets us on her side. We see what she sees; we fall in love with ugly, rude Mr Rochester as she does. The voice of “Jane Eyre” has no distance. It is raw, persuasive, exhilarating, just as it was in 1847. (...)
GOLDEN RULE Keep it subjective. She shows how feelings make a mockery of social and religious dogma. Jane keeps being rebuked for her hunger, whether for bread or love. But she can’t change the way she feels: “I was a human being, and had a human being’s wants.” (Read more)
FAVOURITE TRICK Addressing us individually, as in “Reader, I married him.” It puts us on intimate terms, but also allows for some sly asides. When Mr Rochester, besotted, compliments Jane on her “radiant hazel eyes”, she deadpans, “I had green eyes, reader.” (Bee Wilson
Several news outlets review the episode six (Season 3) of Downton Abbey:
Elsewhere in London, Edith finds herself in the cross hairs of yet another older man -- this one married, Mr. Rochester-style, to a committed crazywoman. But is her editor telling the truth, or has he been reading too much Brontë? I can't tell, but I wish someone would teach Edith some new slang. Every time she says something is "jolly nice," an angel loses his erection. (Michael Hogan in The Huffington Post)
Edith goes to London to meet her editor. The two hit it off and he’s quite flirty. Edith does some research, though, and finds out he’s married. She confronts him. He explains that while he is technically married, his wife is a “lunatic” in an asylum. Edith feels sorry for him. Uh-oh, Edith, remember what happened to Jane Eyre. (Amanda Harris Falls in Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy)
 Lady Jane Eyre: Poor Edith (Laura Carmichael) just can't catch a break. She finally accepts the terribly degrading job of journalist and even flirts with her editor, Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards), but in true middle-child fashion, nothing can ever go smoothly. Turns out the editor is married. Gasp! But he's not a complete lech, his wife is actually locked up in the attic an asylum. (Christina Dowling on EOnline)
In other plot lines, Edith is falling for her London editor, Michael. But apparently in 1920, you can just call up a person's employer and get all the dirt on them, including their marital status. Edith discovers that sometime ago, Michael liked it so he put a ring on it. But wait! He can explain! And the truth is, like Mr. Rochester from "Jane Eyre," he has a madwoman wife he can never divorce. Maybe if there's a fire and he goes blind, they can work things out. Really? Is this really the plot they went with? We understand that poor Edith can never have a smooth path to marital bliss, but the writers considered all the other possible impediments they could throw in her path and landed on ... a crazy wife? Spin again, writers. Edith deserves better. (Gael Fashingbauer on The Clicker on Today)
The savvy m’lady is flattered by his flirting, but decides to do a little background check on him and, alas, finds out he’s married. When she confronts him, he explains that his wife is “mad” and he’s trapped in a nonmarriage, with an institutionalized wife who doesn’t even know him. He begs her to stay on as a columnist, but she looks doubtful. “Jane Eyre” rip-off aside, it is time for Edith to get the sweet end of the lollipop. No one has this much bad luck. (Ann Maloney on The Times-Picayune)
A more generous soul would not lead with this head-scratching choice, since there was much better stuff in this mega-episode, including Tom’s brother’s resemblance to Zach Galifianakis, the resemblance of Edith’s editor’s backstory to “Jane Eyre’s” Rochester, and Thomas’s storyline.(Willa Paskin on Salon)
The Gulf News has some love stories to recommend:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, 1847
Byronic heroes (as well as romance novels) have their heyday in the 19th-century and Emily Brontë’s masterpiece houses the epitome of the motif with her brooding and brutal outsider, Heathcliff. Set against the bleak backdrop of the Yorkshire moors, the novel is as stark and hostile as its setting, recounting Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw’s all-encompassing but ultimately doomed relationship. Originally criticised for its ruthless depiction of mental and physical cruelty, it is now considered a classic of English literature, although the dark mood may not be to everyone’s taste. Either way, it’s likely to make you wonder if you’ve ever truly been in love. Devastatingly passionate.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, 1847
A novel that should probably come with a caveat: ‘warning, may fill you with unrealistic expectations of romance’. It begins with the childhood of poor orphaned Jane, who’s mistreated by her family and persecuted at school. She finally finds contentment as a governess at Thornfield Hall, in the employ of the moody and unconventionally handsome Mr Rochester. Cupid’s arrow slowly tugs at her heart strings until she is head-over-heels with her aloof master, but, plain and lowly as she is, she realises it is a doomed infatuation. And yet the seemingly impossible happens and her love is requited – a lot of drama involving class clash and previous wives ensues, but it concludes with one of the most triumphant sentences in all literature, “Reader, I married him.” (Tabitha Barda)
And Breitbart selects the most 'romantic film scenes ever':
10. Laurence Olivier’s speech to Cathy from Wuthering Heights. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, it’s Olivier and a great speech, as he holds the dead Cathy’s hand, and Olivier made himself an international star when he delivered it. The only reason that the scene isn’t higher up on the list is that the scene, from a romantic point of view, is rather one-sided; Cathy can’t exactly respond. But the majesty and power of Olivier is worth any price of admission. (William Bigelow)
Although the author of the article doesn't seem so fond of the film as a whole:
Yes, Olivier’s speech holding the dead Merle Oberon is tremendous, but, my God, is her character annoying.
The Daily Mail talks about the remarkable story of Lindy Jones:
Terminal illness does not transform us into the glamorous heroines or patient saints of novels. My husband Gareth drove me home from the hospital after the words ‘motor neurone disease’ had first been mentioned by the improbably named neurologist Dr Mort in 2010. As a literature student, I had devoured the doomed romances of Emily Brontë and Sylvia Plath. Later, as head of English at a secondary school, I taught their work to my students – and had often, in my head, cast myself as a tragic leading lady should such a dreadful situation ever arrive.
Página 12 (Argentina) has an article about Sylvia Plath:
Todo parece quedar irremediablemente intrincado: la novela, la vida de Plath y la muerte por suicidio, una especie de tarea pendiente que tenía desde los diecinueve y que a los treinta finalmente cumplió. En esto tuvo algunas antecesoras y varias sucesoras, como si el siglo veinte, para las escritoras mujeres, hubiera sido un desafío especial que no hubiesen conocido ni Charlotte Brontë, ni George Sand, ni George Elliot. “Hoy –dice la autora austríaca Ingeborg Bachmann– es una palabra que sólo pueden usar los suicidas, para todos los demás no tiene ningún sentido, es el nombre de un día cualquiera.” (Mariana Dimopulos) (Translation)
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews several Sylvia Plath's biographies, including Carl Rollyson's American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath:
Isis is not the only myth that Rollyson connects Plath in her biography, she likened to a wide range of fictional and real people. One moment she is a Jane Eyre, the next one Coriolanus, before becoming a Carrie waiting for Mr. Big. (Annika J. Lindskog)  (Translation)
Summer Day posts the prologue of her novel Wuthering Nights; Kate Shremsday posts about the London meeting of Charlotte Brontë and W.M. Thackeray.

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