Saturday, July 06, 2013

Heathcliff and Cathy Taxes or Branwell in the Notes

Let's begin by this Jane Eyre discussion held on the latest episode (July 2) of The Book Club (ABC1, Australia):
Considered by many to be ahead of its time, Jane Eyre explores the changing fortunes of its main character after she is orphaned at the age of ten. With a subtext of social critique, Jane Eyre is more than just a coming-of-age story as it examines sexuality, morality and religion through the prism of the nineteenth century.
Host: Jennifer Byrne
Regulars: Marieke Hardy and Jason Steger
Guests: authors Benjamin Law and Carrie Tiffany

The Spenborough Guardian promotes one of the new sources of income of the Red House Museum - weddings:
Red House Museum will host a Wedding Open Day this weekend. The event, on Sunday from noon-3.30pm, will be a chance for couples and their friends and families to view this new wedding venue – complete with stunning gardens - in all its glory. Red House in Oxford Road, Gomersal, is a Grade II Listed 1830s cloth merchant’s home with connections to the Bronte family. Charlotte Bronte was a frequent visitor and featured Red House in her novel Shirley and the Yorke family was modelled on her good friend Mary Taylor and her family.
Financial Times, most fittingly, discusses David Cameron's plan of giving financial incentives to marriages:
We had no excuse. We were not naive teens but supposedly sensible thirtysomethings. We’d read Wuthering Heights but somehow we hadn’t absorbed the haunting passage in which Cathy spurns Heathcliff because they were ineligible for a transferable tax allowance. The lack of a married couple’s dowry is, of course, the unstated reason why Humphrey Bogart sent Ingrid Bergman packing at the end of Casablanca. It’s a shame, but hey, they’ll always have Paris. (Robert Shrimsley)
Yorkshire humour in the Yorkshire Post:
From: G Marsden, Buxton Avenue, Heanor, Derby. It is a shame about the Brontë Clock (Yorkshire Post, July 3) and the fact that it has stopped due to a health and safety ban on winding it up again. It is a pity it did not stop at five minutes past eleven. That would be a fitting gesture to the health and safety executives.
Another letter with a sense of humour can be found in Financial Times concerning the Austen bank notes:
While I would not like to debate the relative merits of Agatha Christie versus Katie Price, I believe that Miss Austen would be a worthy candidate, as of course would the Brontës (especially en bloc): but would the Bank of England then include brother Branwell? And, if not, why not? (Matthew Wesley)
The Yorkshire Post announces some of the highlights of this year's Ilkey Literature Festival (October):
Kirsty Wark, best known for fronting BBC2’s Newsnight, will be talking about her first novel, and the influence the Brontës have had on her writing.
Playbill celebrates the fourteenth anniversary of the Broadway opening of Gordon & Caird's Jane Eyre. The Musical:
1999 Composer-lyricist Paul Gordon and librettist-director John Caird's musical, Jane Eyre, based on the Charlotte Brontë novel, opens at Southern California's La Jolla Playhouse tonight. The story of an impoverished governess who falls in love with her employer will make its way to Broadway Dec. 10, 2000. Despite a handful of major Tony Award nominations, a Drama Desk Award for lead actress Marla Schaffel and a donation by songwriter Alanis Morrisette of $150,000 to keep it running, the show ends its journey June 10, 2001.
Bayou Buzz looks at Kate Middleton's pregnancy:
But we already know that a story by the governess about a mother kept prisoner in an attic while someone else plays the parenting role just sells and sells and sells, and made all the Brontë sisters famous. So, if there really is a pregnant surrogate waiting in the rafters a la Jane Eyre, eating off trays sent up impersonally by dumbwaiter, the Mids don’t need an observant servant to make a note of that! (Sarah Whalen)
Well, Jane only made Charlotte famous, but anyway. Hamptons presents a local production of The Mystery of Irma Vep:
The satirical play lampoons several genres including Victorian melodrama, farce, and the penny dreadful, as well as some specific works such as Brontë's Wuthering Heights and the Alfred Hitchcock film Rebecca. (Andrew Nachemson)
ScreenRant publishes a list with the worst films of 2012, including House at the End of The Street:
Screenwriter David Louka recycles parts from Jane Eyre and Psycho - and used them in a tale about modern teenagers - to create last year's forgettable Jennifer Lawrence thriller House at the End of the Street. (Sandy Schaefer)
Télam (Argentina) interviews the poet Juan Gelman. The interviewer really has to work on his English classics:
T: ¿Un tema con perfiles borrosos que desborda la capacidad de expresarlo?
- G: Depende. Emily Brontë (se refiere a la escritora estadounidense (!!) del siglo XIX, autora de la novela "Cumbres borrascosas"), una mujer austera de quien no se conoce pasión alguna salvo la compasión por el hermano borracho y drogadicto, escribió (sobre el mal).
- T: Lo cual resulta una paradoja…
- G: La paradoja consiste en que los escritores o poetas que no han sufrido el Mal en carne propia -el Mal no es sólo el dolor que causa, sino todo lo que produce ese dolor, la pérdida, el mundo que vivimos, etcétera.- pueden describir el Mal tan profundamente como Emily Brontë. (Translation)
Cotidianul (Romania) reviews Kate Morton's The Distant Hours:
Kate Morton ştie foarte bine că într-o lume invadată de tehnică, de multimedia şi care se globalizează în ritm alert, oamenii au nevoie de poveste. De povestea care eo combinaţie reuşită între realitate şi fabulaţie, cu personaje credibile şi deznodământ surprinzător, evident fericit, ca în romanele surorilor Bronte sau ale lui Jane Austen. Astfel de ficţiuni trebuie să înglobeze însă şi o doză de mister, în descendenţa romanelor gotice, şi să aibă, în succesiune alertă, descinderi în trecut care luminează prezentul. (Victoria Anghelescu) (Translation)
This is something we would like to know more about. Diario de Ibiza (Spain) reports that the artist Sarah Nechamkin (living in the island) illustrated once Wuthering Heights. Regrettably we have been unable to find out whether that edition was ever published or not. The Writers' Lens interviews the author Nancy Means Wright:
Describe the best writer you know and something wonderful he or she has written. I guess I’d go back to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The novel came out of her early life in a grim girls’ boarding school (I could relate, having spent five years in a girl’s boarding school after my father died.). I’ve read the book four or five times at least, and seen every film. The first person narrative is written with such intensity and sensitivity that I’ve lived every moment of it. The novel has something for everyone: romance, passion, empathy (with Mr. Rochester—especially in his blindness). Suspense, yes, when their wedding is called off, a gothic sense of horror as the mad, desperate wife Bertha burns down the manse. Most of all, it’s the brilliance of the writing itself that draws me in. I could never, ever hope to emulate it. I can just keep re-reading it.
Keighley News reports the preparations for the Tour event next year;  Wonderland reviews Villette; Scribbles & Wanderlust posts about Marta Acosta's Dark Companion; Bazpierce reviews Jane Eyre. Via the Brontë Sisters we have found this interview in Dutch with Jolien Janzing, author of De Meester:
In haar nieuwe historische roman ‘De Meester’ belicht schrijfster en journaliste Jolien Janzing een onderbelicht gebleven episode uit het leven van Charlotte en Emily Brontë: hun verblijf in het Brusselse Pensionnat Heger en de liefde van Charlotte Brontë voor de schooldirecteur, Constantin Heger. Binnenkort kunt u in onze papieren editie Janzings reportage over het Brussel van de Brontës lezen. Michiel Leen stelde Janzing alvast enkele vragen bij de voorstelling van haar boek in de neogotische zaal van het Brusselse Stadhuis.
‘Op zoek naar een nieuw romanonderwerp, botste ik op het verhaal van Charlotte Brontë en Constantin Heger,’ zegt Janzing. ‘Fictie is echt mijn ding, maar tegelijkertijd ben ik ook journaliste. Het leek me leuk historische fictie te schrijven, zodat ik me ook in het detectivewerk kon smijten. Ik begon historische figuren te googelen die ooit in Brussel hadden verbleven, en zo kwam ik bij de Brontës uit. Over hun verblijf in Brussel was nog maar weinig bekend.’ (...)
Intussen wordt er luidop gedroomd van een verfilming, en is er ruime interesse van Engelstalige lezers. Komt er een Britse vertaling?
'De interesse vanuit de Engelstalige gemeenschap in Brussel is erg groot. Een producent van BBC heeft al interesse voor het boek getoond. Concrete plannen zijn er nog niet, maar de vooruitzichten zijn goed.' (Translation) (Read more) (Michiel Leen)

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