Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 8:09 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian has begun a series on 'the 100 best novels', the first of which is John Bunyan's Pilgrim Progress.
The Pilgrim's Progress is the ultimate English classic, a book that has been continuously in print, from its first publication to the present day, in an extraordinary number of editions. There's no book in English, apart from the Bible, to equal Bunyan's masterpiece for the range of its readership, or its influence on writers as diverse as William Thackeray, Charlotte Brontë, Mark Twain, CS Lewis, John Steinbeck and even Enid Blyton. (Robert McCrum)
Flavorwire has compiled another list: '10 Impressive Uses of Borrowed Characters in Literature'. Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea makes it to number 1.
Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (1966) The backstory of Mrs. Rochester, the madwoman in the attic in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, is the subject of this slender, exotic, pointed story, which involves voodoo in the Caribbean. Wide Sargasso Sea is not just an attempt to fill in a blank, but engages in a debate with the assumptions of the original book. I think this kind of approach is very fruitful. Rhys plainly admires Jane Eyre, but wants to make us think about the marginalized monstrous woman and wonder if the passionate, bipolar Antoinette is not as admirable and victimized as the meek yet determined Jane. It’s not a simple reverse view but a complicated, flavorful-in-itself engagement with what little we are told about Mrs Rochester in the original. (Jason Diamond)
The Times of India looks at writers who have used pseudonyms:
Emily Brontë aka Ellis Bell Emily Brontë (1818-1848) wrote as Ellis Bell. Her reason for taking up a male pseudonym was the same as for many other female authors of her time. Publishing her work under a male pseudonym meant having a chance of being considered 'important' and being successful in the world of literature. Wuthering Heights, which was published under the pseudonym, was one of her popular novels. But after Emily's death, the novel was republished with her real name and today, it's one of the most important novels in literary history.
Charlotte Brontë aka Currer Bell Widely known as the author of Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë is one of the most renowned female authors know. But in her time, Charlotte wrote under the male pseudonym of Currer Bell, to be taken seriously and to be successful as an author. Under that male pseudonym, her work was widely read by the masses, especially the men, at that time. (Archita Bisht)
The Deccan Herald (India) looks at the emergence of the new Indian woman:
Representations of women in western literature were responsible for creating the model of the liberated female subject for the bourgeois Indian woman, opined New York University Global Distinguished Professor Dr Rajeswari Sundar Rajan.[...]
"The disciplinary literary studies in India has for the most part focused on canonical British literature. The connections between the study of English literature and feminism in India are not far to seek, and they are not limited to the academy. The literary representations of an Antigone, a Nora Helmer or a Jane Eyre have led to the rallying cries for the emergent new Indian woman," said Dr Rajan.
Even Western women are still hoping for more liberation. As Julie McDowall writes in The Herald (Scotland):
If I ever have a daughter I hope she has some steel in her blood so she can do what I never managed to do and laugh in the face of our philistine culture and just - say it - just be herself. If she wants to hang around the Brontë Parsonage on a Saturday instead of in a thumping nightclub then I hope she does it, and that she tells the chattering females exactly what she did with her weekend. She doesn't exist and maybe she never will but, daughter, please be braver than me because life is terrifyingly short.
The Leeds Sudent recommends a few trips 'Outside the Leeds Ring Road' such as
2. Haworth Home to the Brontë sisters, Haworth is a must-visit for all literature lovers. The English Society run an annual trip to the famous village, but it is also worth a visit by yourself, even if only to roam the surrounding countryside shouting ‘Heathcliff!’ in a suitably tragic manner. You might even persuade a friend to stand just out of sight and reply ‘Cathy!’ in an equally theatrical tone. Amateur dramatics aside, the village itself is a wonderful place to visit, with a jumble of quaint tearooms, bookshops and cobbled streets to wander around, as well as the parsonage (now a museum) where the sisters wrote the majority of their novels.
Getting there: Get the train or the number 760 bus to Keighley, then change to the number 665 or 721 bus to Haworth.
While e-tid shares a comment made by the VisitBritain marketing director:
Joss Croft, VisitBritain marketing director, commented: ‘With our rich history and culture, Britain has some of the most iconic buildings in the world that visitors want to come and see.
‘As an all-year-round location we know that people are drawn here by the chance to see castles like those at Alnwick [which features as Harry Potter's Hogwarts], Conwy, Edinburgh and Windsor. Alongside that, adaptations of classic novels by Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters – as well as the growing success of period dramas such as Downton Abbey – are helping to increase interest in visiting stately homes across the UK.
‘Britain’s built heritage is a fantastic asset and one of the key strengths of our visitor experience. As we look to entice 40m overseas visitors a year by 2020, we will be increasing our promotional activity in key markets around the world by using images that highlight the mystical charm of castles and romantic appeal of historic houses.’
Above the Law discusses law lectures where
you might have noticed that as much as Gelbach wants you to read and come to his class, he also likes giving homework assignments like people are in high school and need to prove that they really thought about Heathcliff’s complicated relationship with Hindley Earnshaw in real time. (Elie Mystal)
WP (Poland) has a short article on the Polish biography Charlotte Brontë i jej siostry śpiące. MSN describes this photoshoot for October's issue of Style as showing a Brontë heroine (?). Teen Ink recommends Jane Eyre while Look Back in Candour shares a lovely drawing of staying up all night reading Jane Eyre at age 13. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shares a few more pictures of the recent walk to Ponden Hall. And the Brontë Parsonage website remembers Robert Barnard:
Ann Dinsdale, the Parsonage Collections Manager remembers "Bob Barnard’s vibrant personality and wicked sense of humour made him great company. He was a popular figure with staff at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, and some of them have figured as characters in his novels. The Brontë Society was privileged to have enjoyed twenty years of Bob’s involvement and he will be sadly missed by many people."
Ann Sumner, Executive Director of the Parsonage, said ‘We were all so very sad to hear this news about Bob. Many people here at the Museum and in The Society have such fond memories of him and his years of dedicated support have been much appreciated. We send our deepest sympathies to his wife, Louise, at this sad time’.

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