Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Arts Desk publishes a review of Playhouse Presents: Psychobitches:
Equally good were the scenes involving the bickering Brontë sisters; Anne (Sarah Solemani) was meek but knowing, while Charlotte (Selina Griffiths) was withering about Emily (Katy Brand) needing to lose her virginity, or, as she put it in her broad Yorkshire vowels, “She should fuck off to Keighley on a Friday night and lose it to a cowhand and do us all a fucking favour.” (Veronica Lee)
The Times has two reviews. One by Alex Hardy:
The three Brontë sisters appear as human heads on tiny puppet bodies, their weeny hands creepily expressive as they variously honk (Katy Brand as Emily) and whisper (Sarah Soleman as Anne). 
The other by Caitlin Moran:
[L]ikewise the foul-mouthed, screaming internecine war of the Brontë sisters ("Just f*** off into Keighley on a Friday night, and don't come back util you've lost it to a cow-hand," Charlotte screams at Emily.) Anne, meanwhile, gives off the creepy, smirking, almost-silent vibes of a secret poisoner.
Oliver Cross writes in The Yorkshire Evening Post about his visit to the Parsonage:
Last week, when the weather was awful, I made my first proper visit to the Brontë Parsonage museum in Haworth.
I’ve been twice before, but then the place was so crowded that if I stopped for more than a few seconds to examine an exhibit, I caused a tourism jam and felt obliged to move on.
This time, with most tourists, apart from some very hardy Koreans, having retreated to their storm shelters, there was time to gawp – and really, seeing the possessions of a rather private and close-knit family being exposed to the common gaze in what was once their home, does feel a little like gawping. (...)
There is also, in the Parsonage, an extract from one of Charlotte’s letters in which she describes her daily life. She calls her midday meal ‘dinner’ and her evening meal ‘tea’, which I found very inspiring – a giant of world literature who talked like a northerner.
On today's Independent Saturday Quiz we find a very easy question.
5. Currer Bell was the pen name of which leading 19th-century novelist? (Simon O'Hagan)
Margaret Reynolds makes a case in The Guardian for teaching the classics in its right historical and literary context. But we found this example a bit forced:
I said that students sometimes muddle their Janes. But there might be more to this than mere sloppiness. Charlotte Brontë did not admire Jane Austen. Of the ever popular Pride and Prejudice she complained: "And what did I find?… a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers; but no glance of a bright vivid physiognomy, no open country, no fresh air, no blue hill, no bonny beck." So she put her own heroine in exactly that preferred setting, and called her … "Jane" Eyre. 
Country Life talks about the decline of the Strand in London quoting from Villette:
In the 19th century, the road seemed to represent, to Charlotte Brontë's heroine Lucy Snowe in Villette, ‘the heart of city life'. (Clive Aslet)
After some quiet months we were hoping that the housing plans to build hundreds of houses in Haworth fields and ruin a good part of Haworth's turistic appeal were dead. But we were wrong, they are alive and (sadly) kicking. In The Telegraph & Argus:
A businessman still plans to build hundreds of houses on fields at Haworth, despite little movement on the plans for more than six months.
Pervez Abbas first announced plans for up to 300 houses on land he owns at Weavers Hill in September, and on several occasions since then has said a planning application is imminent.
Yesterday he revealed that plans are still moving ahead, with an application for the first wave of 97 houses and a meeting with residents due next month.
The site is used for grazing, and next to moorland that inspired the Brontë sisters.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the area is still being considered for new homes as part of Bradford Council’s Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), which is out to consultation.
Weavers Hill is listed as one of 19 potential housing sites in Haworth.
Mr Abbas, of Bradford, said if his initial application was successful he would submit a further application for another 200 homes. (...)
But the scheme is opposed by many in the village, including the Brontë Society.
Responding to the site being included on the SHLAA, the society’s heritage officer, Christine Went, said: “We were disappointed, but not very surprised.
“Nobody wants this particular site developed.
“We understand there is a need for housing, and certain types of housing. Not everyone wants to live in a quaint cottage on Main Street, but there are places you put houses and there are places you don’t.
“When people come here to go to the museum or to walk on the moors, they don’t want to see a huge housing estate.” (Chris Young)
The Times publishes the obituary of the Japanese actor Rentarô Mikuni (1923-2013), who was Lord Takamaru Yamabe (the equivalent of Mr Earnshaw) in the Yoshishige Yoshida 1988 fascinating adaptation of Wuthering Heights, Onimaru.

The Globe and Mail reviews Perdita by Hilary Scharper:
Like the Brontës and many fine writers before her, Scharper is also captivated with the morbid Spiritualism of the Victorian age (there is even a scene with a gypsy psychic, which greatly recalls an iconic plot turn in Jane Eyre). Young Marged’s dreamlike forays into the spirit world are believable, charming and genuinely hypnotic to read, mainly because they fit into our understanding of the era. (Lucy Silag)
The New Straits Times interviews the author Hilary Mantel:
What’s the best book you’ve ever received as a gift?
When I was 9, I was given a set of slightly abridged classics for Christmas, and the same again when I was 10. My mother got them from a mail-order catalogue. We weren’t a household that owned many books, so it was a novelty to fill a whole shelf. There were plain cloth bindings and no pictures. (That’s just the way I like it. I make my own pictures, thanks.) That’s when I became enthralled by R.L. Stevenson, and failed to like Dickens, and met the Brontës.
The Guardian talks about the renaissance of narrative ballets:
Nineteenth-century classics like Swan Lake, along with ballets based on familiar plots like Cinderella, Jane Eyre, even Dracula, have always drawn the widest audience – and in recessionary times the appeal is obvious. The problem is that there may be a disconnect between the kinds of narrative that audiences and critics expect to see, and the kind that choreographers want to present. (Judith Mackrell)
The Telegraph gives you clues to spot a female vampire:
She adores literature! Twilight's Bella Swan is still fixated on Wuthering Heights, but Lena in Beautiful Creatures is into Charles Bukowski, for heaven's sake, while Becca in The Moth Diaries approaches Sheridan LeFanu's Carmilla, her class set-book, as though it were a self-help manual. (Anne Billson)
Yahoo! On The Road is asking for books that change lives. Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are on the list:
While plenty of nonfiction titles influenced readers, science-fiction classics like "Stranger in a Strange Land" (Robert Heinlein) moved Sarah M, among others, to "redefine traditional gender roles at a time when those roles were being developed in my subconcious." "Jane Eyre" (Charlotte Brontë) runs in a very different Gothic vein, but that titular character resonated with frecklemaggie for being a strong female who is "independent, strong, morally centered and intelligent, but also warm and willing to be loved." (Vera H-C Chan)
The Times Union looks for one-hit wonders in anything:
Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights" is a true classic, and the only one to her name.
OpEd News lists ways of supporting financially 'your writing habit':
In the first corner, we have "the day job," anything from Charlotte Brontë's governess gig to Charles Bukowski's or Lawrence Durrell's civil servant Band-Aid. In life, there's the work that needs to be done, which incidentally, doesn't usually pay, and the work corporations want you to do to exploit humanity and the environment. That's usually the day job. (J.L. Morin)
Newsarama interviews comic author Paul Pope:
Young people are reading graphic novels. They might not be picking up Jane Eyre, but a graphic novel is a great gateway into literature. The roots of comics are always going to be the likes of comic shops and conventions, but having the book be available for young readers in libraries, in bookstores, is very cool. (Zack Smith)
DVDFr reviews the DVD French edition of Wuthering Heights 2011:
L’obsession, le désespoir et le destin tragique des personnages (des acteurs remarquables) plongés dans des paysages désolés, dans une nature sauvage omniprésente - avec laquelle le caractère des protagonistes s’accorde…à moins que cela ne soit le contraire - magnifiquement filmée (la photo est splendide, le cadre 1.33 atypique) et restituée grâce à un gargantuesque travail acoustique (la pluie qui martèle, le vent qui souffle en rafale), épuré, sans aucune musique, aux dialogues rares, sont donc au centre du quatrième, sensoriel, minéral, organique et superbe long métrage d’Andrea Arnold. (Sabrina Piazzi) (Translation) 
tvblog (Italy) interviews the actor and director Pino Insegno:
Il film più bello ed il più brutto che tu abbia mai visto
Il film che io adoro è “Cime tempestose” di Laurence Olivier, al pari di “La vita è una cosa meravigliosa” di Frank Capra. (Hit) (Translation)
The Italian social book magazine Libreriamo has chosen the best classical love stories. In the top ten, two Brontës: number 5 is Wuthering Heights and number 7, Jane Eyre. Another interesting list we have discovered via GalleyCat is the  most popular works of fiction available in English for free at Project Gutenberg as of Spring 2013. The list has been made by Christopher Pound using the Gutenberg catalog and cross-referencing its titles with Goodreads ratings (details here):
2. Jane Eyre
21. Wuthering Heights
106. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
144. Villette
200. Agnes Grey
226. Shirley
A young Brontëite in the Frankfurter Allgemeine; TeenInk reviews Jane Eyre 1996; Matryoshka (in Indonesian) reviews Jane Eyre; Pure Textuality posts about Eve Marie Mont's A Breath of Eyre; Shanna's Journal revisits Wuthering Heights; The Misfortune of Knowing is giving a Villette-inspired giveaway and is hosting a Villette readalong (on Twitter, #villettealong)

Finally it seems that the Stanmer Park Kate Bush massive reenactment of her Wuthering Heights videoclip (which is featured in the German Rolling Stone magazine or in Chicago Reader) will not be recognised as a Guinness record. As we read in The Argus:
Mean-spirited Guinness World Record bosses have refused to recognise last weekend’s Kate Bush extravaganza as an official record – because the chosen song was not iconic enough.
Saturday saw 300-plus Kate Bush lookalikes perform the dance moves to her 1978 hit Wuthering Heights in Brighton’s Stanmer Park. (...)
Fringe director Julian Caddy described the decision as “outrageous”, adding: “Why Guinness will not recognise 300 people dressed as Kate Bush dancing in a field I will never know.”
And a final appeal from the Friends of of the Brontë's Church as published in The Telegraph & Argus:
The Friends of the Brontë’s Church with the Haworth Parish Church Council are trying to organise a rota for stewarding the church at weekends between May and September. A list for volunteers to enter their names is the back of the church.

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