Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Wednesday, July 03, 2013 5:07 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
© Jonathan Pow
The Daily Mail carries one story that reminds us of that celebrated quote by Albert Einstein: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”:
This parish church’s iconic Victorian clock has been used by locals to set their watches since 1871.
But the time is now 5:20 all day long at the picturesque St Michael and All Angels Church in Haworth, West Yorkshire, due to a health and safety ban that has been imposed on winding the clock.
Retired policeman Jens Hislop has climbed the steps of the church several times a week for 23 years to set the clock - which has been ticking since 1863 and is older than most of the church.
But an insurance inspection declared that Mr Hislop’s stepladder and winding platform - which have been at the church for decades - were unsafe, and the clock has been stuck at 5:20 since February.
Mr Hislop, 73, who has branded the ban ‘barmy and crazy’, cannot touch the clock again until £1,000 of safety work on the joinery has been carried out - which will be mainly paid for by worshippers.
He said yesterday: ‘I have been looking after the clock for 23 years and it has gone like clockwork. Then we had an insurance assessment and now health and safety has kicked in.
‘They say the platform, which has been there for decades, and the ladder, which was there when I started 23 years ago and was there before, are unsafe.
‘I personally don’t think it is unsafe. But they say it’s dangerous. The clock is in perfect working order but has been stopped since February. It is crazy.
‘The platform is only 10ft off the floor and the wooden step ladder was here when I started 23 years ago and is no different now to what it was then.’ (Mark Duell)
Dave Astor discusses orphans in literature in The Huffington Post:
Going further back in time, you won't find more famous literary orphans than Heathcliff in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and the title character in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Jane has to mostly make her own way in the world (with a little help from Lowood teacher Maria Temple), but eventually fares better than Heathcliff does in Emily's tempestuous classic.
Also in The Huffington Post we read a curious article about the use of Shirley as a baby name:
It's time for a fame faceoff: The hottest celebrity names of this generation versus the champion from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Shirley.
Shirley's owes its life as a girl's name to the title character of an 1849 Charlotte Brontë novel. The name's popularity rose over the course of decades, and by 1928, Shirley was a top-ten name for girls. It then settled in at a steady level for several years. But one of the Shirleys born in 1928 was a dimpled actress/singer/dancer named Shirley Temple. By 1934, this young Shirley was a movie star. (Laura Wattenberg)
The Washington Post has some summer reading recommendations:
The Woman Upstairs by Claire Massud. When Nora complains about women like herself who dutifully tuck themselves away, she ricochets from Charlotte Brontë to Jean Rhys to Henry David Thoreau to Ralph Ellison. Wherever she digs, she hits rich veins of indignation.
Alt Film Guide talks about TCM's Star of the Month, Paul Henreid. Talking about Devotion 1946 (which was broadcast yesterday, July 2):
None of tonight’s Paul Henreid movies is considered a masterpiece. Not even close. Devotion (made in 1943, released in 1946), about the Brontë sisters, is chiefly of interest as the last Warner Bros. movie starring Olivia de Havilland (who, by the way, turned 97 yesterday). Devotion was released nearly three years after de Havilland sued the studio — eventually winning a landmark court case. Of note: Ida Lupino is the one who gets top billing in the film. (Andre Soares)
The film is reviewed on Supremacy and Survival: The English Reformation.

Scientific American has an article about TB. Famous deaths are mentioned and the Brontës too but for once with accuracy:
Among its better-known victims: poet Manuel Bandeira, writers Emily and Anne Brontë, and sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. (Sally Lehrman)
77 Square reviews the game Hotline Miami:
Shakespeare, Emily Brontë and a lot of really bad fanfic writers have all used some version of the same vow: "I would die a thousand deaths." (David Wilcox)
Pity it was't Emily Brontë, but Peter Bowker in the 2009 film adaptation.

e-teatr (Poland) informs that the The Nights of the Brontë Sisters production presented at the ITselF Festival  has been awarded with
Ex aequo awardd for the actresses in the main roles go to
(...) and Afrodyta Weselak for the role in the performance “The Nights of the Brontë Sisters” by the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw, Poland
The Herald gives advices to try to seem clever:
Methods range from "talking loudly about politics in front of others" (that's all 129 MSPs accounted for, then) to reading Jane Eyre rather than Dan Brown on the beach. Many of us have affected a preference for Beethoven over Beyoncé, or discussed operas we have never seen. (Russell Leadbetter)
Tages Anzeiger (Switzerland) talks about the Fifty Shades phenomena:
«Fifty Shades of Grey», die fiktive Wunscherfüllung, die Fantasie mit der «(symbolischen) Lösung für soziale Widersprüche» (Eva Illouz), ist ein klassischer Stoff ohne Verfallsdatum: Ana und Grey, das sind Jane Eyre und Mr. Rochester, das sture, etwas einfältige Mädchen und der unheimliche, reiche Mann, der das Mädchen zunächst erniedrigt, bis er ihr seine bedingungslose Liebe gesteht. (Simone Meier) (Translation)
El Mundo (Spain) reviews Pan by Knut Hamsun:
Lo hacen alrededor de un tema: el amor como una fuerza de la naturaleza, no como el empedrado psicológico al que estamos habituados. Un tema con una larga tradición que llega hasta "Cumbres borrascosas" y a "Rosa candida", pasando por las "Palmeras salvajes" de Faulkner, por mencionar ejemplos palmarios. (Alejandro Gándara) (Translation)
Andalucía Información (Spain) reviews the local play Románticos:
No pueden estar todos, pero sí que se nota por ejemplo la ausencia de mención a una novela tan fundamental del género como Cumbres Borrascosas, que seguramente podría haber servido para otra parodia memorable. (Translation)
Random Reads reviews The Tenant of Wildfell Hall;  Epresa (in Romanian-Moldovan) and The Book HUNKY post about Jane Eyre; Sarcasm & Lemons reviews Alison Croggon's Black Spring; Just Simply Words reviews Jane Eyre 2011. Bookish Whimsy shares her enthusiasm about a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum and Jane Eyre-related places (particularly related with the 1973 adaptation which she is an absolute fan).

Finally, an interesting discussion about Polly Teale's Brontë between Dr Charlotte Mathieson from the University of Warwick and Dr Amber Regis from the University of Sheffield, courtesy of The School of English at the University of Sheffield.


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