Friday, June 21, 2013

True for Wuthering Heights, true for coleslaw

The Province reviews Blake Morrison's We Are Three Sisters, currently on stage at the Jericho Arts Centre, Vancouver.

The sisters themselves are somewhat formulaically differentiated. Anne wants love; Charlotte, who calls Jane Austen’s novels “narrow and airless,” wants to be useful and help others; broody Emily (MariaLuisa Alvarez) wants passion. They’re framed by two other very good female characters: Tabby, the maid with attitude (Emma Middleton), and rich bitch Mrs. Robinson (Helen Martin), who loves Branwell and then dumps him.
Director Sandra Ferens keeps the action moving along nicely on Carolyn Rapanos’ handsome drawing room set, even through the long, draggy second act where Morrison shows unequivocally that he is no Chekhov. Nice period costumes from Elliott Squire. The acting is uniformly strong on the women’s side, although Lyons needs to be louder. Navaratil, the best of the mostly good men, could give her voice lessons. Abel and Preston are fine. Allan and Secunda overact their eccentric characters.
Throughout the play we hear, ominously, about Anne’s and Emily’s coughs (oddly, the actors never cough). None of the five Brontë sisters (two died in childhood) or their brother lived past 38. In real life, tuberculosis took them all. (Jerry Wasserman)
Not Charlotte, though.

The resident Brontëite at The Huffington Post, Dave Astor, discusses literature in literature.
Literature in literature happens more often than we might think, and it's an effective device. We get a sense of a character's tastes, which helps open a window into her or his psyche and intellect. Heck, people who love books are usually smart and curious.
We not only get a sense of what literature is enjoyed by a character, but also what literature is enjoyed by the creator of the character. After all, authors often put some of themselves in their protagonists. And if the authors are from long ago, it's nice when the writers they cited back then continue to be well known today.
That's the case with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Jane Austen's Persuasion -- all of which positively mention Sir Walter Scott and his still-read work. [...]
And, like orphans Homer and Melony relating to Jane Eyre in The Cider House Rules, Christopher Snow of Dean Koontz's Seize the Night identifies with the shadowy title character of Gaston LeRoux's The Phantom of the Opera because he has a physical condition that forces him to go out only at night.
The Pilot pays a tribute to James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano:
In spite of everything we loved him. I loved him, the empirical way a bystander loves Heathcliff or Atticus Finch. The way one pities Hamlet. (Deborah Salomon)
The Boston Globe reviews the film Augustine.
Though not quite on the level of the bond between Jung and Sabina Spielrein in “A Dangerous Method,” (Spielrein, after all, was from a respectable family), Charcot and Augustine walk together through misty hospital grounds reminiscent of Rochester’s estate in “Jane Eyre.” He talks, she listens, and an intimate connection haltingly forms beneath their mutual illusions. (Peter Keough)
The A.V. Club features I Walked with a Zombie and describes it as follows:
Tourneur’s I Walked With A Zombie sounds, no doubt deliberately, like a cheapo creature feature, but it’s really a melodrama in horror-movie disguise, more kin to Wide Sargasso Sea than Night Of The Living Dead. (Sam Adams)
More on films, as Cineblog (Italy) discusses Queen Victoria and the films made about her. The article begins by stating the importance of her long reign:
Regina di Gran Bretagna e Imperatrice per 64 anni: Alexandrina Vittoria, in oltre sei decadi ebbe il tempo e la statura di influenzare profondamente la sua epoca e gli artisti che la vissero: Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, e le sorelle Brontë. Fu un’era di grande progresso scientifico ed espansionismo imperialista e non furono pochi, tra cui il grande Joseph Conrad, a denunciare gli abusi e l’ipocrisia di una società dipinta come interessata al mero profitto ad ogni costo. (F. Colla
The Telegraph features that great British tradition: school uniforms.
Cloaks Innocence, mystery and drama all wrapped into one useless garment. Yes, they still exist, from windswept Wuthering Heights cloaks for the girls at Lancing College to Falkner House London’s more urbane four-panel flared cape with contrasting collar. (Janette Wallis)
And now here's one of the weirdest comparisons we have read in all these years (and we have read plenty of them!). Courtesy of TH Online:
Great romances -- "Phantom of the Opera," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," "Wuthering Heights" -- prove you can't always tell what's inside by looking at the packaging. But who thought that was true for coleslaw or a million other packaged "healthy" foods that fill grocery-store shelves? (Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz)
Storytelling Rules (formerly Drunk Writer Talk) asks readers to pick between Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet. Reading in Reykjavík continues posting about reading Shirley while The Never Dusty Bookshelf has just finished it.

Finally, from the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page:
Any last takers for our special performance of 'Wuthering Heights' (on Tuesday, June 25) at the Ilkley Playhouse? I'm afraid the drinks reception is now full, but if you turn up at 7pm you can catch the pre-performance discussion between playwrights Walter Swann and Yvette Huddleston, Bronte Society Director Professor Ann Sumner and Bronte scholar Patsy Stoneman. 

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