Sunday, August 11, 2013

It will live forever

New York Post asks the writer Patrick McGrath about his favourite books:

Wide Sargasso Sea
by Jean Rhys
Rhys took the character of Bertha Rochester, the madwoman in the attic of “Jane Eyre,” and traces her history back to the island of Domenico (sic), where Bertha, in another life, was a Creole heiress. Rhys shows how a cold man drove this poor woman mad, and why she burned his house down: It’s an extraordinary proto-feminist novel.
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
Here we have a story of romantic love so large, so intense, that there’s no room for niceness or kindness or very much tenderness, even. Heathcliff is a magnificent lover — cruel, passionate, destructive, elemental. A huge masterpiece, it will live forever. (Interview by Barbara Hoffman)
The Independent reviews the Bridget Christie comedy show A Bic for Her at the Edinburgh Fringe:
Christie is a wonderful physical comic, too, acting out to hilarious effect a scene in which the Brontë sisters realise that they can't write their masterpieces because the A Bic For Her, "in a range of pastel shades with an easy-to-hold grip" for delicate little fingers, has not yet been invented. There are some misguided fools who think that feminism can't be fun – Christie disproves that, and how. (Veronica Lee)
Same thing in The Observer:
Feminism may sound like a po-faced subject for comedy, but Christie is fully aware of potential pitfalls, hamming up her outrage at trivial matters – among them the "female-friendly" pen of the title – in order to smuggle less amusing truths past her audience. ("I expect that's why the Brontës were so shit at writing," she declares, indignant, "their pens were so uncomfortable and drab.") The result is a tight, smartly written set loaded with sharp lines and delivered with conviction. It's nothing short of a revelation, and I look forward to much more where this came from (including her forthcoming book). (Stephanie Merritt)
Keighley News summarises some of the activities in Haworth on the recent Yorkshire Day:
And at the nearby Brontë Parsonage Museum, a packed programme of activities included guided walks, a drawing class and old Yorkshire tales from the Brontës’ servant, Tabby. Yorkshire recipe books, walking guides and Yorkshire Tea were top sellers in the museum shop. (Alistair Shand)
The Observer talks with and about Samantha Shannon and The Bone Season:
I ring Bloomsbury's editor-in-chief, Alexandra Pringle, to pin down what captured her about The Bone Season and she confesses it took her by surprise: she is not ordinarily a fantasy fiction fan. Shannon got past her defences – partly because the first book is plaited into reality (some of it is set in Seven Dials, Covent Garden). "It combines a 19th-century Dickensian quality with the futuristic. It is about glory and beauty – she has a fairy-tale imagination that has links with Beauty and the Beast but also with Angela Carter. Her work reminds me of all three Brontës sitting round a table creating an imaginary world." (Kate Kellaway)
The Sunday Times has an article about the upcoming new Laurence Olivier biography: Olivier by Philip Ziegler:
He was hailed as one of Hollywood’s greatest actors but Laurence Olivier was less generous towards his fellow stars. The British actor-director launched a string of vitriolic attacks on other actors in tape recordings that will soon be revealed in a new biography.
Olivier called Joan Fontaine, his co-star in Rebecca, “loathsome”, and described Merle Oberon, who apeared with him in Wuthering Heights, as a "silly little amateur". (Dalya Albergue)
El Litoral (Argentina) interviews the author Marta Rodil:
Y recuerda que, ya casi adolescente, uno de los primeros volúmenes que le puso su madre en las manos fue “Jane Eyre”, de Charlotte Brontë, en la librería Castellví; y que, cuando necesitó escribir una frase para los chicos sobre el tema, apuntó “el libro, cofre que guarda los más preciados tesoros de la palabra, es el amigo que siempre nos espera”. (Revista Nosotros) (Translation)
Sunday's Zaman (Turkey) talks about Orhan Pamuk's The Naive and the Sentimental Novelists:
Nowhere is this feeling of awe and wonder at how an author could write such amazing works as strong as at Haworth Parsonage. This stone house set in the wild hills of Yorkshire was the secluded, sheltered home to the Bronte sisters, who wrote some of the most passionate and moving novels of the 19th century. How could three young women, living in an out-of-the-way corner of the countryside, understand so much of the ways of the big wide world? (Marion James)
Miami Herald lists Charlotte Brontë as one of Jane Austen's detractors; the Sydney Morning Herald and the New Zealand Herald highlight Mia Wasikowska's title role in Jane Eyre 2011; the Brontë Parsonage Facebook covers the recent visit of English Heritage to Haworth:
This week we saw the lunchtime launch of the Haworth – Village of the Brontes English Heritage leaflet and a celebration of the recent conservation work in the area. (...)
After a tour of the village the group had lunch at The Old White Lion where Trevor Mitchell made a speech. It was a very successful event and there were many representatives of English Heritage and Welcome to Yorkshire and Bradford Metropolitan Council. We were also celebrating the work on the streets in Main Street and Church Street which have been successfully mended by Bradford Metropolitan Council transforming the approach to the Parsonage.

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