Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Read Wuthering Heights, says Hemingway (and many others too)

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USA Today shares the following literary tidbit:
Hemingway's reading list: Ever wonder what Ernest Hemingway liked to read? Open Culture shared a hand-written note the famous author gave a young fan named Arnold Samuelson in 1934. Hemingway's recommendations of 16 books aspiring authors should read included Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and Dubliners by James Joyce. And though he didn't put it on the list, he gave Samuelson a copy of A Farewell to Arms for good measure. (Yohana Desta)
Another writer, Kate Mosse, seems to agree with the Wuthering Heights recommendation. According to The Telegraph,
Kate Mosse: “Wuthering Heights taught me, first, how to be a reader – attentive, engaged, thoughtful – and later, how to be a writer.” (Catherine Scott)
A letter from a reader to the Miami Herald also points in this direction:
I propose that we take our summers back. Stay in your pajamas until noon or stay up late watching a movie. I plan to reread some of the classics, and if the dog-eared pages of Wuthering Heights are filled with sand, I’ll shake them out in August.
Pamela Cosio, Palmetto Bay
Along the same lines too, Harvard Magazine reports the Teaching Prizes:
Amanda Claybaugh, Ph.D. ’01, professor of English, who studies nineteenth-century American literature, Victorian literature, and trans-Atlantic literary relations. (Read the magazine’s Harvard Portrait of Claybaugh here.) She was cited for “bring[ing] the tools of literary criticism to bear on contemporary writers, and invit[ing] her students to read the latest Jonathan Franzen novel with the same degree of attention they would apply to Dickens or Brontë.” Her innovative teaching methods include having students compose not only conventional analytical essays, but also assessments in the form of book reviews. “She makes the study of English come alive,” her nomination continued, “by treating the writing of the present with respect and by showing the classics to be fresh and relevant.”
And more prizes as The Cardinal Newman Society reports that,
The Faith and Reason Honors Program at DeSales University honored graduating senior Kathryn Stimpfle with the award for best thesis at its honors colloquium held last month.
Stimpfle wrote her thesis "The Gospel of Womanhood according to Jane Eyre" on the oppression of women and the failure of the feminist movement to "celebrate the unique gifts that women are given." She relates her theme to Charlotte Brontë's character Jane Eyre. (Adam Wilson)
The Morung Express is not so sure about reading and enjoying the classics, though:
The joy of reading, whilst to a discerning few, may be in one’s ruminations of Tolstoy or Charlotte Brontë or Thomas Hardy, to the common man equal pleasure is found in non-literary works such as Chetan Bhagat, Malcolm Gladwell or the daily newspaper. (Sizonuo Keretsii)
Nouse features the novel Homecoming by Susie Steiner.
Behind the gripping family drama is a landscape that may be familiar to many of you; the beautiful Yorkshire moors. Up until now, their most famous literary outing has been in the works of the Brontë sisters, but this wasn’t just a case of Steiner paying homage to some more world-rocking Victorians. She “fell in love” with the countryside around York when she was at university here, and even when she returned to her native London she couldn’t break the connection.
Steiner “carried on visiting the moors” whenever she could, and when she met her husband (Tom Happold, also of The Guardian) who hailed from Leeds they started “visiting together, so it became a place that meant a lot to me.” This emotional connection was why she chose the moors as her setting for Homecoming; it was a place she “felt confident writing about” but could maintain her need for “distance and perspective, being set far from where I lived.” (India Block)
Grantland's Hollywood Prospectus reviews the film The Hangover Part III and wonders,
Why did Todd Phillips make the same mostly insipid movie twice, earning even more money the second time, then make a totally different insipid movie the third time? It’s like if George Lucas made Return of the Jedi an adaptation of Wuthering Heights instead of just making it the final Star Wars movie. (Zach Dionne)
This Diario de Sevilla (Spain) columnist doesn't seem to know much about Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë when he says that Brontë was Austen's (literary) heir.
Aquel verano de 1816, exactamente el 6 de agosto, la gran Jane Austen, ya gravemente enferma, terminó la corrección de Persuasión, su última novela. No quiero imaginar cómo pudo ser ese verano gélido en Yorkshire. Mirando por el bien de las letras británicas Jane Austen tuvo la precaución de escribir su última obra el año en que nació Charlotte Brontë. Había heredera. (Translation)
The Brontë Sisters, Michael Barry and Funéraire Info (France) commemorated the death of Anne Brontë yesterday. Reading in Reykjavík has embarked on a Brontë reading project.

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