Saturday, March 23, 2013

Part of the Brontë clan

The Bill Brandt retrospective taking place at the MOMA is reviewed by the Wall Street Journal:

The churchyard at Haworth, where the Rev. Patrick Brontë was vicar, stands in for his death-haunted daughters. The dark, uneven memorials evoke a dank, harsh place where Jane Eyre and Lowood School, the Grange and Wuthering Heights, and the gossip-encouraging seclusion of Wildfell Hall were born.
The Australian reviews several new Sylvia Plath-related books, including American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson:
Rollyson's impulses, like Plath's, are outward moving. He is speculative and imaginative in his approach. He wonders what Henry James would have given to imagine a character such as Plath and speculates on roles she might have taken had she become an actor. This is wily, restless biography, suited to the poet, who imagined herself as part of the Brontë clan, had dreams about discussing hair care with Monroe and drew on metaphors of war to illuminate the psyche of the speakers in her poems. (Felicity Plunkett)
Howard Jacobson publishes an article in The Independent about the new Google n-gram tool:
Is Jane Eyre happy? Is Hamlet sad? You will never find that out with a Google search tool. (...)
Well, whad’ya know – fewer writers used the word “theretofore” in the 1960s than used it in the 19th century; more employed the word “groovy”; the Second World War generated sadder words than the peace that followed it; American writers are more garrulous than we are, and no female character in any novel written by the Brontë sisters says “Whad’ya know”. (...)
Wow! – another word you won’t find used by Jane Eyre – a million books, all waiting, at the click of a mouse, to yield whatever you want them to yield.
Breaking Travel News has an article about the initiatives of the Welcome to Yorkshire group:
 It’s not just the Tour de France that has benefitted from Welcome to Yorkshire’s broad minded approach to raising the profile of their county. Another imaginative cultural offering was the Brontës’ Yorkshire Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show, which won the coveted RHS gold award as well as the People’s Choice award chosen by a poll of 11,000.
The piece was part of a series of gardens entered by the organisation that highlighted the literary connection between the Brontë sisters and their home county, but was also a rather more subtle advertisement for Yorkshire attractions. Based on the real world location of Top Withens, the stone locally sourced from a quarry nearby, the layout inspired by the now-famous Brontë Bridge often visited by the sisters; as a whole the garden relocated an atmospheric corner of Yorkshire to central London and gave those that saw it a taste for more.´
The blunder of the day comes from Boldsky mixing up the sisters in an article about acute morning sickness:
Legendary author Emily Brontë (!!) also suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum and died during her first pregnancy due to dehydration. (Anwesha
BBC Wales talks about the novels of Allen Raine, including A Welsh Witch:
Goronwy then travels to the Snowdonia mountain range, where Catrin has fled to live among a shepherding community. The pair are reunited in a scene which for Professor [Jane] Aaron is reminiscent of Jane Eyre's poignant reunion with Mr Rochester in the Brontë novel. (Polly March)
The Jersey Evening Post delivers one gratuitous and free Brontë reference:
Having watched the classic thirties’ Hollywood adaptation of Wuthering Heights the previous Thursday evening, as I struggled to strengthen a fence at risk of being blown over by the Force Nine winds, I would not have been at all surprised if the spirits of Emily Brontë’s doomed lovers had passed by. (Paula Thelwell)
CNN talks about the death of the writer Chinua Achebe:
It is a pity that not more of Achebe's prose is as well-known as "Things Fall Apart." At the same time, Achebe took his place in the pantheon of great writers with one acknowledged masterpiece, alongside Melville's "Moby Dick" and Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre." (Leon Botstein
L'Internaute (France) hasn't loved Wuthering Heights 2011:
 Emily Brontë doit se retourner dans sa tombe, tant cette adaptation côtoie l'inadmissible. Les acteurs jouant Cathy et Heathcliff sont plus que transparents, inexistants. Où est la passion qui les anime férocement dans le roman ? Le vocabulaire émit par Heathcliff (traduit en français) est déplacé, anachronique, vulgaire, digne d'une cité du 93. Quant à la mise en image, par caméra à l'épaule, elle donne la nausée, exacerbée par des flous suivis de mises au point sur des insectes de la lande. Je conseille donc à Andréa Arnold de changer de voie et de proposer ses services à National Geographic channel et d'en rester là. (Translation
L'Express (France) interviews the writer Anne Rice:
Quels étaient vos auteurs et romans préférés, quand vous étiez jeune?
A 14 ans, je suis tombée amoureuse de Charles Dickens et de Charlotte Brontë - ils restent d'ailleurs mes écrivains favoris. (Baptiste Liger) (Translation)
The Spanish actress Carmen Machi tells how she decided to be an actress in Magazine Digital:
Tenía siete años y estaba viendo a escondidas Jane Eyre en la televisión y salía Liz Taylor de niña, haciendo un personaje muy secundario que moría de tuberculosis. Me impactó mucho y me fui a mi cuarto a repetir ante el espejo lo que le había visto hacer. Y me puse a llorar como ella y descubrí que me emocionaba mucho. (Juan Luiz Álvarez) (Translation) 
Today's New York Times's Puzzle contains an Emily Brontë reference; Tina Fey as Jane Eyre? According to the Wall Street Journal this could be a way to fight British actors playing the best American parts (this is of course a joke); Movies World describes Stevie Nicks' song Wide Sargasso Sea as 'evocative and spine tingling'; Poets United posts about Anne Brontë's Memory (with a wrong picture).

And one last news item from the Brontë Parsonage:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Anyone planning to attend our Literary Houses study day tomorrow [for today], we have unfortunately had to cancel due to the snow.

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