Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013 2:17 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
Financial Times interviews the writer Grace McCleen:
Who are your literary influences?
Virginia Woolf, Marilynne Robinson, Cormac McCarthy, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, WG Sebald, Emily Dickinson, TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Franz Kafka. (Anna Metcalfe)
Helen Dunmore reviews Grace McCleen's novel, The Professor of Poetry in The Times:
Any novel about a highly intelligent, sensitive and physically unprepossessing orphaned girl who finds her deepest fulfilment within the relationship of teacher and pupil must recall Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Villette. Brontë dramatises the eroticism of the mind, fiercely separated from that of the body and yet saturated with the tastes, smells, colours and dark dazzle of a strange city.
Frankly, this Rowling-pseudonym-ohmyGod-soliketheBrontës frenzy in the press is becoming a bit tiresome:
Then it's on to a wide-ranging discussion of pseudonyms, inspired by J.K. Rowling's recent acknowledgement that she'd secretly written a recent book, The Cuckoo's Calling, under the name Robert Galbraith. We talk Stephen King, Alan Smithee, Garth Brooks, GWAR, the Brontë Sisters (yeah, yeah, another discussion of GWAR and the Brontë Sisters), Anne Rice, Harlan Ellison and many points in between — and pause to discuss what separates a pseudonym from a character from a disguise. (Stephen Thompson on NHPR)
The tradition of pseudonymity reached its peak in the 19th century, when women such as the Brontë sisters inhabited male identities (as the Bell brothers, Acton, Currer, and Ellis) not just for their works to be taken seriously, but to be published at all. Marian Evans, intense and cerebral, became George Eliot because she despised what she considered "silly novels by lady novelists." (Carmela Ciuraru in the Wall Street Journal)
There are plenty of reasons that authors seek to disguise their true selves. Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name George Eliot because she knew that men had a better chance of getting published in Victorian England than women. For the same reason, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë began by writing as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. (H Grimes in Gulf Daily News)
Then again, "JK Rowling" was itself a kind of pseudonym. Just as, 165 years ago, the Brontë sisters first published as Acton, Ellis and Currer Bell to dodge the unladylike taint of authorship, so for the Potter series she drew a veil over Joanne to bypass the reluctance of young male readers to pick up girly books. (Boyd Tonkin in The Independent)
His post, entitled “How I Discovered Gender Discrimination,” reminded me of female authors who have used initials and male pen names to cover up their gender, feeling that both publishers and readers are more likely to welcome something written by a man.
To name just a few: P.D. James (Phyllis Dorothy James); George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans); Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell (Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë). (Judy Molland on Care2)
Among the most famous writers to publish under male pseudonyms are the Brontë sisters, who used the names Currer (Charlotte), Ellis (Emily) and Acton (Anne) Bell. Charlotte Brontë’s nominis umbra created quite a frisson in the 1840s as avid Jane Eyre fans — never believing in Currer Bell’s existence — sought to discover “his” identity. (Catherine Judd in The Conversation)
By the way, the latest article includes this description of Rowling's Harry Potter saga:
JK Rowling had struck gold with her Harry Potter series, and deservedly so. Her unique amalgamation of Dickens, Lewis Carroll, George McDonald and Arthurian legend, with a touch of Jane Eyre and The Hobbit, offers the kind of rich and deeply satisfying escapist literature that we have come to expect from the best British writers.
Fay Observer announces an event in Fayetteville, NC:
West Regional Branch Library is hosting a new book club just for romantics. "Rhapsody in Print" will begin by focusing primarily on historical and paranormal romances. These two categories make up the fastest growing areas in romance literature today. (...=
While paranormal romance may be thought of as a more modern theme, some of the older literature, such as Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights," deals with love from beyond the grave. (...)
"Rhapsody in Print" meets at 7 p.m. at West Regional Library, 7469 Century Circle, every fourth Thursday evening, beginning this week. Just bring your favorite romance novel and join in. The first meeting will include some fun get-to-know-you activities, as well as lively discussions. (Billie Norman)
Financial Times talks about the moors, 'far from barren landscapes':
Upland heath is a landscape of contradictions. The literary and cinematic world have long revelled in their dark side: the blasted, barren heath immortalised in Wuthering Heights, the murderous moor of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and the pitch black terror of An American Werewolf in London. (Matthew Wilson)
The Chicago Tribune discusses the books you haven't read (and probably you never will):
Bloggers, including The Paris Review editor Lorin Stein, have tackled the issue with bracing honesty.
Stein, who never made it through "Jane Eyre," agrees that our literary omissions may say more about us than the books we've actually read. (Nara Schoenberg)
The New York Times reviews the Sag Harbor performances of The Mystery of Irma Vep:
With nods to “Rebecca” and “Wuthering Heights,” among other predecessors, “Irma Vep” focuses on the young Lady Enid Hillcrest (Mr. Greenspan), the second wife of Lord Edgar Hillcrest (Mr. Aulino), whose first wife, Irma Vep, was supposedly killed by a werewolf. (Aileen Jacobson)
If you feel like fighting with some Rochester-haters, we suggest a visit to the comments sections of this article on The Gloss; Natura (in Romanian) posts about Jane Eyre.


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