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Classic tales are often retold, much to the delight of readers who just cannot get enough, but it was still a surprise to see Minae Mizumura’s A True Novel (Other Press, Nov.), which imaginatively sets Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights in postwar Japan. (Interestingly, award-winning Japanese author Mizumura did both undergraduate and graduate work at Yale, studying not English but French literature.) We actually meet Taro Azuma in 1960s New York but are then flashbacked to his upbringing as a poor orphan obsessed with a rich girl at a time when Japan was rapidly westernizing. In translation, the narrative is colloquial, loose-limbed, and finely detailed; it’s anything but a slavish imitation of the original. (Barbara Hoffert)
"Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell" was a collection of poetry written in male pen names chosen by the Brontë sisters. Each sister used the first initials of their first names and adopted men's names instead so they could preserve their identities and avoid the sexist views of those who didn't take kindly to female writers.Although it is well known that the sisters did publish their novels under pseudonyms too.
The Brontë sisters are known for their poetry and novels written in their own names, including "Jane Eyre" (Charlotte), "Wuthering Heights" (Emily), and "Agnes Grey" (Anne). (Melissa Stanger)
By historic contrast, Jane Austen’s acerbic romances first surfaced as the creation of simply, A Lady, and Anne, Charlotte and Emily Bronte’s words appeared via Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell. As they commented: “We had a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice.” Smart cookies, these Brontes... (Helen Brown)CNN:
The Brontë sisters (Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell)Der Standard (Austria) is on the same subject:
Perhaps the most successful literary dynasty of all time, Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë collectively produced some of the world's best loved novels during the 19th century. Publishing works under male names beginning with the same first letter as their own, Currer, Acton and Ellis Bell produced their first offering -- a collection of poems -- in 1846, before going on to publish individual novels shortly after.
"Charlotte really believed in their talents, and was actually very controlling about the publication of their work," says [Carmela] Ciuraru. "She was incredibly bold for an unmarried woman, but she was determined that they would publish as men in order to get reviews that wouldn't be condescending." (Charlotte Lytton)
Ob es Amis also auch einmal mit dem Pseudonym versuchen sollte? In guter Gesellschaft befände er sich allemal: Neben Rowling hält die englische Literaturgeschichte vor allem das Beispiel der drei Brontë-Schwestern Charlotte, Emily und Anne bereit: Deren Romane erschienen ursprünglich unter dem Namen der drei Brüder Acton, Currer, und Ellis Bell. (Sebastian Borger) (Translation)
Perhaps this mid-July week holds some significance to high schoolers across the region. This is the time that honors students--north, west, south, and east of the ’burg--think about how they should probably soon crack or click open the requisite summer reading assignments. Brontë, Faulkner, Thoreau, Tan, Steinbeck, Orwell await perusal and the concomitant reader’s journals and response essays.Cheshire Patch suggests an unexpected classic for book clubs:
But these and other classic writers can wait a bit longer; after all, it is another six weeks until the new academic term arrives. Plenty of time remains to read and reflect. (...)
Wuthering Heights can encourage a healthy examination of society and suffering, certainly, but devoting a couple of days to a Patricia Cornwell mystery can provide a needed escape from life-as-it-is, a diversion that can be salubrious. (Lloyd Sheaffer)
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë.
Ok, so you’re probably wondering, “What about Wuthering Heights? Or Jane Eyre?”. Wuthering Heights, frankly, is terrible. And Jane Eyre is scores better, and would definitely make another “Top 10 Classics List” were I to write another. Agnes Grey is a gem, a diamond in the rough. So much time is spent reading her sister’s books, that Anne is often overlooked. And I would argue that she is the true heroine of the Brontë sisters. What takes Emily and Charlotte more than 400 pages to describe, Anne takes less than 300 hundred to tell a fabulous story of perseverance and responsibility. (Cheshire Library)
Jane Eyre - if you haven’t read it already then shame on you, she’s the ultimate literary hero(ine)!The Independent talks about the Sony Young Movellist of the Year Awards:
Despite the astonishing amount of talent on show, one thing was notable by its absence among the candidates: the presence of any boys. This could be explained at least in part because the sorts of novels that inspired this year’s shortlisters – which ranged from Jane Eyre to Twilight – on the whole tended to be more typically girl-friendly stories. (Rebecca Davies)Michael Cunningham talks about James Joyce and Virginia Woolf in The Guardian:
Let's pause to remember that the novel, in English, is less than 300 years old. Given its youth, its track record is remarkable. We've had, in relatively short order, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The House of the Seven Gables, Moby-Dick, The Golden Bowl, The Sound and the Fury, and The Great Gatsby – just to name a few (Middlemarch and Bleak House have probably been sufficiently acknowledged already).Liternet (Romania) thinks that Cate Shortland's Lore is inspired by Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights:
Există ceva la Cate Shortland ce aminteşte de filmele Andreei Arnold - posibil interesul pentru adolescenţă sau dorinţa de-a injecta tuşe de senzualitate chiar şi-n situaţii nepotrivite. Filmul Wuthering Heights (r. Andrea Arnold, 2011) pare a fi o sursă de inspiraţie pentru virajulbucolico-romantic într-o dramă de război. Dacă în această peliculă vom vedea numeroase motive lirice - raze de lumină ivite printre codri înnegriţi, fire de iarbă adiate de vânt sau numeroase scene de scăldat - este clar că regizoarea Cate Shortland este ataşată de tot ceea ce ar putea fi simboluri ale spiritului adolescentin. (Mădălina Dumitrache)(Translation)Ocio y Cultura Canarias recalls the contemporary critical reception of Wuthering Heights:
En cuanto a Cumbres Borrascosas se dijo que se trataba de una novela confusa, inconexa e improbable cuyos personajes eran primitivos y más brutos que el hombre prehistórico, amén de que se trataba de una obra impropia de haber sido escrita por una mujer. (Hipólito Sánchez) (Translation)
Heathcliff is a character unlike any that we’ve seen before, but he’s not completely foreign to us. He has aspects of a hero, but he also has aspects of a villain. We root for Heathcliff as he struggles to overcome the class barriers that keep him from marrying Cathy. We feel sorry for him when he is beaten by Hindley. And we are utterly caught up in his passion, his deep love for Cathy. But at the same time, Heathcliff disturbs and frightens us. He’s violent. He’s cruel. He’s obsessed with revenge. And he seems irredeemable. When I set out to retell Wuthering Heights, I wanted to capture that with my book. I took some pretty heavy liberties with Brontë’s tale, but my goal was always to be able to provide the kinds of characters that she does—confusing, deep, real characters, full of flaws but still captivating. A retelling can never truly hope to encapsulate the brilliance of the original, so I know that my book is not even close the masterpiece of Wuthering Heights. But I hope that my Heath is absorbing. - See more at: http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2013/07/wuther-by-vj-chambers-giveaway.htmlAlthough mrdavidwhitley seems not to like it, we find it rather amusing: Keep Calm and Read the Brontës, indeed:
Whoever put this up outside the Bronte Parsonage Museum should be sacked, then jailed without hope of parole: pic.twitter.com/ycEYgDU4Ro — David Whitley (@mrdavidwhitley) July 17, 2013
Here is the cover for Red Room - I hope you like it. Designed by Rachael Carver, of Green Door Designs, the font on the front is based on Charlotte Brontë's handwriting, and the text mirrors how Victorians used to make use of paper (a valuable commodity) - by writing one way then turning the paper ninety degrees and continuing to write. As Rachael says, it gives a lovely quilted effect. It's a great idea and I'm thrilled with how it's turned out. As you can see on the back the book contains new stories by some great writers: Alison Moore, David Constantine, Carys Davies, David Rose, Rowena Macdonald, Tania Hershman, Sarah Dobbs, Vanessa Gebbie, Elizabeth Baines, Zoë King, Bill Broady and Felicity Skelton - plus a poem by Simon Armitage. It should be a great read and will be available for pre-orders soon. The book is out in November and we're already starting to get some events in place to promote it.