Friday, June 14, 2013

The Telegraph and Argus carries two articles on recent Brontë-related goings-on at Haworth. First there is a short piece on the play Brontë Boy:
The Brontë sisters took a back seat to their less successful brother Branwell at a one-night-only play in Haworth.
Brontë Boy, written by former Telegraph & Argus sub-editor Michael Yates, was held at Haworth Baptist Church.
Brontë enthusiasts from as far as New Zealand and the USA attended the event, and were wowed by the emotional performance of Warwick St John as Branwell.
The play dealt with Rommel's struggles to succeed as a writer, painter and lover, and he was portrayed as a jack of all arts, master of none.
The scenes of his frustration and failure were intercut with ones of his sisters' successes, making the forgotten Bronte and his short-comings even more tragic.
The play, written three years ago, was performed in Haworth as part of the Brontë Society's annual general meeting weekend. (Chris Young)
And then there is another short piece on Victoria Brookland's current exhibition:
Artist Victoria Brookland has returned to the Brontë Parsonage Museum with a third exhibition.
A Thousand Gleaming Fires is a display of drawings inspired by dresses owned by the Brontë sisters.
For her latest pictures at the Haworth museum, Victoria set out to explore the passionate heroine in literature and poetry.
Her work investigates how female writers have employed the Gothic genre to reveal hidden aspects of their own natures. Her exhibition runs until July 29.
Someone who was recently in connection with the Brontë Parsonage and Haworth was of course Patti Smith, featured in the Mail & Guardian (South Africa):
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, [Leon]Trotsky’s grave in Mexico City. I visited Elvis Presley’s grave and William Burroughs’s grave.”
You’re a grave stalker, I say. She smiles. “No, I’m not a grave stalker. If I’m in a city or town and there’s somebody I like or an old friend, then I’ll visit their grave. Sometimes I photograph it, sometimes I just sit and contemplate their work or bring flowers. It’s proximity. It’s nice to visit where people are.” (Simon Hattenstone)
La dépêche (France) reviews the book 7 femmes by Lydie Salvayre.
Lydie Salvayre, qui sera aujourd’hui vendredi à la librairie Ombres Blanches, explique avec une désarmante honnêteté comment est née l’idée de relire les livres de celles qu’elle nomme joliment «mes admirées». «Je lis tout le temps - la lecture est ce qui résiste à tout, confie-t-elle. J’ai commencé à lire la correspondance entre Marina Tsvetaeva et Boris Pasternak et, moi qui répugnais jusqu’alors à m’immiscer dans la vie des auteurs, en tombant sur cette sublime correspondance, me suis mise à relire les livres, à me passionner pour les vies de ces femmes.» Emily Brontë, Virginia Woolf, Colette, Sylvia Plath, Ingebord Bachmann, Djuna Barnes et donc Marina Tsvetaeva sont ces écrivaines - quel vilain mot - dans les vies et livres desquelles l’auteure de «La compagnie des spectres» s’invite et s’installe. «Le contrat que j’avais passé avec moi-même était de ne parler que de femmes qui avaient compté pour moi. Elles sont toutes très différentes, mais ont en commun d’avoir choisi de vivre comme elles l’entendaient, avec une force, un courage extraordinaires, si l’on considère qu’à l’époque où elles écrivaient, les femmes n’avaient souvent même pas le droit de lire le journal - écrire, n’en parlons pas, c’était une infamie ! C’est vraiment cette obstination à vouloir écrire qui m’a poussée à raconter ces histoires. Et puis leurs œuvres, magnifiques…»  [...] Elle s’en va alors, au gré d’une plume alerte, heureuse, visiter «Emily» et se met en scène à ses côtés pour proposer «une lecture subjective, sans l’occulter» de la romancière britannique. [...] Les femmes que Lydie Salvayre nous raconte sont farouches et insoumises : en ce temps «d’avant Goldman Sachs», on fuyait le régime soviétique pour écrire (Tsvetaeva) ou on s’isolait du monde plutôt que de ressembler aux médiocres (Brontë) ; on se suicidait, dépressive et incomprise (Plath)… (Yves Gabay) (Translation)
Emily Brontë is also mentioned in The Telegraph in an article about authors and children.
Actually [...] many of the best female authors have, for one reason or another, eschewed motherhood. Some, like Jane Austen and Emily Brontë, remained single and celibate. (Allan Massie)
The Daily Star finds a Brontëite in writer Dr Niaz Zaman.
Speaking about the writers she is fond of – like the Brontë sisters, the writer says that she is very fond of Emily Dickinson. The other writer that she likes is Louis M Alcott. Another writer that Dr Zaman particularly likes is American writer Kate Chopin.
Kazi Nazrul Islam and Rabindranath Tagore are good writers to teach. So are the Brontë Sisters; she prefers the writing of Emily Brontë, as she thinks “Wuthering Heights is a fantastic book. “It is undoubtedly a feminist book.” (Fayza Haq)
The Millions mentions Wide Sargasso Sea in a selection of five other 'spinoff novels':
It’s no wonder, though, that small-scale books inspire unauthorized sequels or spin-offs. A good novel asks questions as well as answers them, and at its end readers are left to consider the events therein, and also all that didn’t make it onto the page. If that reader is a writer, he might take matters into his own hands. Jean Rhys offered Jane Eyre’s Bertha a chance to tell her story in Wide Sargasso Sea. . . (Edan Lepucki)
Finally, the Yorkshire Evening Post looks at 'a range of great bottled beers which each had a literary connection'. One of which is
Next up was Withens Pale Ale (3.9%) ** named after the remote Yorkshire farmhouse which was the influence for Emily Bronte’s first – and last – novel, Wuthering Heights, published in 1847. This pale ale comes from the Little Valley Brewery in the Calder Valley, and our tasters commented on its floral aroma and easy-drinking nature. More Cathy than Heathcliff, we thought. (Simon Jenkins)


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