Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Guardian interviews Patti Smith and her passion for the Brontës is mentioned:
And when she was young? "No. I was drawn to people who did great work, who didn't live long. I've loved the Brontës… I didn't love thembecause they died young; I loved their work."
She does admit to spending much of her spare time at graveyards. "In the last some months, I've visited the grave of Sylvia Plath, the grave of Anne Brontë, the resting place of the other Brontës, Trotsky's grave in Mexico City. I visited Elvis Presley's grave and William Burroughs' grave." (Simon Hatenstone)
Most fittingly, tomorrow May 26, on BBC Radio 6:
Words and Music: Patti Smith
Duration: 3 hours - First broadcast: Sunday 26 May 2013

This weekend's shows are given to the world of tomes, and wordsmith Patti Smith delivers a 3 Minute Epihany on the Brontë Sisters from the Brontë Pasonage in Haworth.
In 180 seconds Smith reveals how her love of the Brontë sisters kept her relationship with her own sister concrete, and how much she idolises them.
And also tomorrow, May 26, but on ITV1:
Country House Sunday
Tomorrow at 8:30am on ITV
Country House Sunday, Episode 6: Lynda Bellingham and her team take a tour around some of Britain's stately homes, exploring the houses and estates, examining their rich history, revealing their secrets, and describing life above and below stairs. In this episode, Lynda is back at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire, family seat of the Sitwell family. Larry Lamb goes in search of the Brontë sisters on a literary walk which takes him around the Haworth parsonage and the Yorkshire Moors. Lynda dons a pinny for a spot of Victorian cooking and joins head gardener David in his greenhouse, while James Tanner whips up a Sunday feast of pork chops and apple mash.
The Star (Malaysia) recommends a visit to Yorkshire, 'England's best-kept secret':
EXPLORE Brontë country: The world of Wuthering Heights ( and is brought to life in the famous village of Haworth, once the home of the literary greats, the Brontë sisters.
The Brontë Parsonage is one of many attractions in Haworth, in addition to steam train rides on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
And The Irish Post praises the beauties of County Down in Ireland:
The literary world also has reason to thank north Down. This is where Patrick Brontë, father of the three illustrious daughters, was born and brought up and the Brontë Homeland Interpretative Centre is housed in the hilltop parish church and school at Drumballyroney. 
The Globe and Mail reviews How To Read Literature by Terry Eagleton who makes an interesting point:
A handsome man disagrees, insisting that Moore has told a Canadian story about a Canadian tragedy that all Canadians should know about and that speaks to all of Canada. “Happy Friday,” he adds. The young woman next to him agrees, but wishes the novel had been more attentive to the environment.
British literary theorist Terry Eagleton’s new book starts by asking you to imagine a similar conversation, a group of university students discussing Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. For Eagleton, the problem with both conversations is the same: Both discuss everything about these novels except the qualities that make them novels, works of imaginative literature.
What’s missing from our classrooms and our culture, Eagleton says, is discussion of the literariness of literature, of what makes a poem different from a stop sign, or a novel about grief different from the account of grief in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As an English professor might say, we’re good on content, not so good on form. We go straight for what the play says, and ignore how it says it. (Nick Mount)
A Wuthering Heights edition with the
wrong Brontë sister on the backcover
PopMatters reviews the film The English Teacher:
Her path from book-loving child to cherished teacher is laid out before us in comical flashbacks, showing her as an aloof seven-year-old reading Wuthering Heights while her banal classmates play, or again, as a virginal, flashlight-wielding college student reading under her covers and refusing her roommate’s sexual writhings any privacy. (Renée Scolaro Mola)
San Francisco Chronicle reviews Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs:
Messud is aware of Nora's predecessors, from Mrs. Rochester in the attic in "Jane Eyre" to Emily Dickinson upstairs in her Amherst house, women whose voices betrayed them or were never heard properly in the first place. (Susanna Sonnenberg)
Precisely, the 'madwoman in the attic' topic is analysed on Psychology Today:
Charlotte Brontë was sincerely horrified when it was pointed out to her that her depiction of an insane person in Jane Eyre (1847) had been devoid of sympathy for this most terrible of human conditions. 'It is true that profound pity ought to be the only sentiment elicited by the view of such degradation,’ Brontë wrote in her mea culpa: ‘and equally true is it that I have not sufficiently dwelt on that feeling; I have erred in making horror too predominant.’
Bertha Rochester, the original madwoman in the attic, remains the most potent image we have of nineteenth-century insanity. From the moment Jane first hears the ‘goblin ha-ha’ from above, to her fiery and bloody death leaping from Thornfield Hall’s battlements, Bertha terrifies: ‘The clothed hyena rose up, and stood tall on its hind feet. . . it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal’ (Chapter 26).
But Bertha troubles us in another and more subtle way, too: we feel in some strange way that the romantic hero, Edward Rochester, has somehow done something very wrong in confining his maniacal wife in the upper story of the marital home. In spite of the special pleading that is made to the reader of Jane Eyre on his behalf by Brontë, we feel deep unease at this ethical decision Mr Rochester has chosen to make. The madwoman in the attic remains a troubling figure, no matter how hard we try to explain her. (...) (Sarah Wise) (Read more
The writer Deborah Copaken Kogan talks to The Nation about sexism in literature:
The Women's Prize for Fiction—and three cheers for the transparency of its new name—is not a "sexist con-trick" by any definition of sexism that I know. To the contrary, it redresses centuries of literary sexism, exclusion, cultural bias, invisibility. There's a reason J.K. Rowling's publishers demanded that she use initials instead of "Joanne": it's the same reason Mary Anne Evans used the pen name George Eliot; the same reason Robert Southey, then England's poet laureate, wrote to Charlotte Brontë: "Literature cannot be the business of a woman's life, and it ought not to be." In fact, I'm thinking about starting a women's prize here in the United States, to be given out once a year, every year, until gender parity in the arts is achieved.
National Post reviews another novel: The Dark by Claire Mulligan:
Mulligan, whose first novel, The Reckoning of Boston Jim, was long­listed for the Giller Prize in 2007, begins The Dark near the end of Maggie’s life — a life that began in rural poverty and ended in urban penury. She also introduces an interlocutor in the form of one Mrs. Mellon, a representative of the Medico Society, who comes to help Maggie Fox to an easier death. This narrative strategy neatly marries the 19th-century subject matter and the novel’s form, resembling the introduction of Lockwood as our portal into Catherine and Heathcliff’s story in Wuthering Heights.  (Sarah O'Leary)
The Telegraph reviews the Welsh National Opera production of Richard Wagner's Lohengrin:
But I can almost forgive [Antony] McDonald his groundless flight of fancy because he has stage-managed the action cannily, kept the story free from clutter and produced richly beautiful sets and costumes, elegantly lit by Lucy Carter: the tiled balconied court where Elsa stands trial looking like Jane Eyre, baleful Ortrud in raven-black bombazine, apparitions at windows, soldiers in great coats, the palette of deep whites, browns and purples - well, it may not have meant anything much, but it looked wonderful. (Rupert Christiansen)
The Wall Street Journal House of the Day is devoted to a house in Bridgehampton, NY. Its garden contains
A cedar nicknamed the 'Cathy Tree' by Mr. Reifer, because it reminds him of the a scene in Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights,' where the character Catherine Earnshaw stands with her hair swept back, calling to her romantic interest, Heathcliff. (Jackie Bischof)
The Western Front describes the Bellingham Interurban Trail (in WA):
I couldn’t help but think of Jane Eyre’s first encounter with Mr. Rochester when I ran through the canopy of trees in the beginning of the second mile. (Evelyn Sisk)

La Jornada (México) talks about ways to learn about books you havent' read:
Uno puede comparar las versiones cinematográficas de Los miserables, Ana Karenina, Cumbres borrascosas, Pedro Páramo, Macbeth o la Ilíada. Cuántas cintas vemos, comerciales o serias, de libros que nunca leeremos y qué bueno. O qué lástima, según. (Hermann Bellinghausen) (Translation
Alejandro Gándara discusses the perception of love today in El Mundo (Spain):
En todo caso, nos queda la impresión de su fragilidad (o de su futilidad). Es demasiado dependiente o al menos nos resulta demasiado dependiente de cuanto le rodea en comparación con los grandes mitos literarios. Aunque en algunos casos la ambigüedad es llamativa. Es cierto que en "Cumbres borrascosas" el amor resultaba una fuerza de la naturaleza, imparable y destructivo como la naturaleza misma, pero también es cierto que se alimentaba del drama social y de la intemperie de los páramos. (Translation)
Badass Book Reviews interviews the writer Susan Elia MacNeal:
BaBR: As a professional editor, you have probably read many, many books. What is your all-time favorite book or the one that left you with the biggest impression?
SEM: Maggie Tulliver in George Elliott’s The Mill on the Floss and Jane in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre are two characters who influenced me. I think reading Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series and her other work was also significant, as well as Donna Tartt’s A Secret History. In terms of contemporary authors, I admire and adore Sarah Winters, A.S. Byatt, and Alice Hoffman.
The Telegraph & Argus publishes some pictures of the recent Haworth 1940s weekend; The Latinum Vault publishes the story Brushstrokes And Brontës; Panda Reads reviews A Breath of Eyre; Sparkypinfloydfan posts a video of the (quite crowdy) Brontë falls; Livros e seus Mundos reviews Wuthering Heights (in Portuguese);

Finally, the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominations have been announced: Joanna Campbell Slan's Death of a Schoolgirl: The Jane Eyre Chronicles has been nominated in the Best Historical Romance Mystery/Suspense category. The winners will be known in July.


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