Saturday, August 10, 2013

Oklahoma Gazette reviews the Blu-ray edition of André Téchiné's Les Soeurs Brontë 1979:
Téchiné brings an auteur’s eye to this quintessentially British (although French-language) biopic, with the placid earth-tone colors of the scenery and the dark interiors; the film reflects the Brontës’ cold existence as a family of tortured, working-class artists.
The Brontë Sisters doesn’t do much in the way of negating the stereotypes associated with each of the women, which have been firmly reinforced by years of literary criticism and fictionalization. Anne is still pious as ever; Emily is as dark as she is narcissistic; and Charlotte is a compliant “survivor.” The historical story pulls from legend and biography, the latter sometimes indistinguishable from the former. (Aimee Williams)
Everyday E-book reviews Lexicon by Max Barry:
A linguistic thriller? Yes, that’s Max Barry’s premise in Lexicon, and boy does he deliver on it! This novel begins with a young, street-savvy hustler named Emily Ruff, who’s recruited by an odd group of wealthy people who seek out manipulators, and educate them for their own goals. She arrives at the special school, where her instructors are named Charlotte Brontë and T.S. Eliot, among other literary luminaries. Along with the classics, she’s taught how to leverage influence over people, by first categorizing them according to 228 personality types. (Traci Cothran)
Crosscut Seattle interviews Dan Brown, the one and only, who reveals himself as an unexpected Brontëite:
Do you have a book or two that you’ve re-read over the years and will no doubt read again?
There are many. For one thing, I tend to re-read books that I think are great examples of the genre I write in, so I will probably read "Seabiscuit" yet again. Maybe Tim Egan’s "The Worst Hard Time." Maybe Sebastian Junger’s "The Perfect Storm." In contemporary fiction, I adore Charles Frazier’s "Cold Mountain" and will read it again simply to enjoy the craftsmanship. And then there’s all that literature I grew up on. In addition to "On the Road", I’m sure I will come back to "Wuthering Heights" at least one or two more times. It’s a much more complex and interesting book than the gothic romance it is often portrayed as. (Interview by Valerie Easton)
 The Globe and Mail interviews the writer Louise Doughty:
When you started to write, which writers did you revere?
I read anything and everything when I was younger: I loved nineteenth-century novelists, the Brontë sisters, Dickens – but a lot of twentieth-century writers too, E.M. Forster, Graham Greene.
The Daily Mail publishes the story of a couple of pensioners who travelled all over England with their free bus passes:
Day five: Buxton to Manchester (Transpeak Service), Manchester to Nelson (The Witch Way), Nelson to Keighley (Mainline), Keighley to Haworth (TransDev).
Total distance: 77 miles and the fare saved £18.40 each
'In Stockport passed massive railway viaduct with 27 arches, still in use after 170 years! Also went past the McVities’s factory and the bus was filled with the delightful aroma of chocolate digestives.' (Stuart Woledge)
They also visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum (picture).

Arifa Akbar in The Independent talks about recycling the same stories in literature:
It's true that contemporary quest narratives such as, say, Life of Pi begin to look a lot like Odysseus's voyage (specifics such as Royal Bengal Tigers notwithstanding) and Jane Eyre or Pretty Woman look like rehashed Cinderella stories, when their plot structures are isolated. But fiction is judged on so much else – the freshness of its characters, the beauty of its sentences, its intellectual or emotional depth – and these are the elements that make each story discrete and innovative.
The comedian James Hamilton uncovers a not very often mentioned passage in Jane Eyre in The Huffington Post:
Races usually make travel fun, as demonstrated in many classic texts from the headquarters' library: Crime and Punishment's climactic Tour de France chapter, The Great Gatsby's laugh-a-minute comedy balloon race sequence, and Jane Eyre's laugh-a-minute comedy balloon race sequence.
Buzzfeed anticipates some of the new events at the fourth season of Downton Abbey:
Michael Gregson (Charles Edwards)’s mad wife Lizzie is less Bertha Rochester and more Sylvia Plath. (...)
The thing which he said which I thought was so cool was that it was a kind of Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes madness as opposed to a Jane Eyre madness, because my initial image on the reading of it was ‘woman in the attic.’ David was like, ‘No. Let’s think about this story and these two fiery writers again in London, and actually what constitutes lunacy in those days could be a woman with a brain on her.’” (Jace Lacob)
The Washington Post seems surprised by something that happens quite often on this blog:
Let literary snobs mock. (Madame Bovary Blue, anyone? Jane Eyre Ecru?) New authors who want to find readers will find creative ways to attract them. (Ron Charles)
Like, for instance, this article in The Independent about the best autumn womenswear:
Wide-sleeved white shirt; £250
White shirts are staple items in most wardrobes so it’s well worth updating them from time to time. This widesleeved, high-collared version by Acne is Jane Eyre-style for the 21st century. (Eliisa Makin
Financial Times goes to Kentisbury Grange:
The drive from Minehead to Kentisbury Grange is famously one of the prettiest in Britain – glorious Somerset and North Devon coastline, Porlock Hill, the deep-cut wooded valleys behind Lynton and Lynmouth. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any of it. It was the last weekend in June but the moors and cliffs were wrapped in thick coastal fog. As we drove up to the Grange, the feeling was more Wuthering Heights than Lorna Doone. (Sue Thomas)
The Age reviews the trilogy The Secret Lives of Emma by Natasha Walker (aka John Purcell):
''There's a bit of Hardy, a bit of The Count of Monte Cristo, it's got a bit of Les Miserables and the craziness of the Brontës.'' And, yes, Dickens. ''A lot of guys I know will stay in the men's section. They'll read their Cormac McCarthy and their Martin Amis and they will return again and again to this cul-de-sac of maledom. But once I crossed over to reading women authors, I never crossed back. The greatest propagandist for moral behaviour is Jane Austen. I fell in love with Fanny Burney, Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës, then I found George Eliot - the list goes on. (Linda Morris)
Grantland satirises the 2002 'historical' New York Times photoshoot of the US soccer team. One of the categories for describing the picture is 'If he were a character in an Emily Brontë novel". As if you could choose the novel...

Unputdownable Books reviews Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy; Daisy Dolls is preparing a Jane Eyre dress inspired by Jane Eyre 1983; Pocahontas recenzuje (in Polish) reviews Jane Eyre 2011; La mano que escribe con pluma (in Spanish) does the same with Wuthering Heights 2011.

Finally, a tweet from Oxford Classics:
#Onthisday in 1824 Charlotte Brontë, aged 8, was sent to Cowan Bridge School by her widowed father.


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