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How does a writer convey tedium without boring the reader? Paradoxically it seems to thrill us to read about the agony of boredom. I thought at first that men were better at writing it than women, then I changed my mind; the first of my five favourite tediums is Jane Eyre (1847) pacing up and down the third storey at Thornfield Hall, longing for a bigger life and “a power of vision which might overpass that limit”. “The restlessness was in my nature,” Jane says. “It agitated me to pain sometimes.”Claire Back shares her two cents about Michael Gove's comments about good and bad literature. In The Scotsman:
I don’t choose to read Dan Brown or Danielle Steele for that matter, but I don’t want to ban anyone else from doing so. If novels with embossed covers, liberally sprinkled with glitter or sprayed with what’s supposed to look like blood are your bag, then help yourself, I say. Gove’s “There’s a literary canon, don’t you know?” schtick doesn’t just leave me cold, I think it’s stupid.
My proof? The torrent of tweets it provoked from people laying into literary classics. The Brontës took a pasting. Joyce was lambasted. Hardy hammered. Harsh, I reckon. And sad. But that’s what happens when even great novels are force fed to recalcitrant readers.
Giants of American and British literature will go head-to-head this summer in a competition devised by staff members at the Marathon County Public Library.The Independent (Ireland) reviews This House is Haunted by John Boyne:
The library will hold what it’s calling Literary Smackdown: Fiction versus Nonfiction, a bracket competition that will start June 3 and run through Aug. 16 as part of the library system’s adult and teen summer library program.
Library patrons can vote online for the books they think are most influential, via the library’s Facebook page, or in person at any MCPL location. Brackets are available to download at the library’s website,www.mcpl.us, and at any library location. (...)
The first week will pit F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” against Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” and Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl” against Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.”
The winning book will be announced Aug. 18. (Carolyn Tiry)
Now if all this sounds like familiar territory, that's because it is. Boyne draws heavily on his inspirations, with elements of Jane Eyre, The Turn of The Screw and MR James abounding throughout. Dickens himself makes a cameo appearance, even reading from one of his own ghost stories.Publishers Weekly talks about the rise in audio erotic books:
[Susie] Bright says, “When they find their Jane Eyre, it keeps selling and selling. Once they discover these authors, [listeners] want to hear everything they've ever done.” (Grace Bello)The Independent remembers in its weekly between the covers summary the corrected new plaque at Anne Brontë's tomb in Scarborough; a little time to find some peace of mind reviews Jane Eyre. Claire King is interviewing literary bloggers: Lovely Treez Reads loves Jane Eyre and Little Reader Library tells why she loves Jane Eyre:
I think it’s because it’s a captivating story that has got a bit of everything; love, passion, desire, friendship, loneliness, poverty, sadness, cruelty, madness, tragedy, wit, such vivid, memorable characters and all against the superb backdrop of the wild and rugged Yorkshire moors landscape. I grew up not that far from Haworth and have visited quite a few times, walking the steep cobbled streets and exploring the Parsonage and it was exciting to think such talented authors had lived there.