Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013 11:26 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Old School Room at Haworth is still at risk according to the Keighley News:
A key part of the Brontës’ family legacy in Haworth remains seriously at risk, according to the group working to try and save it.
The warning comes from John Collinson, of Brontë Spirit, which has taken on the demanding job of raising cash to renovate the rundown Grade II-listed Old School Room in Church Street.
The property was built by Patrick Brontë in 1832 and was extended in 1850 and 1871. The building housed a school where Mr Brontë’s children – Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell – worked as teachers.
Brontë Spirit received £15,000 from English Heritage last year to fund replacement windows. But Mr Collinson said the building’s roof was in an extremely poor condition, adding the full restoration project could cost about £500,000.
“The building is seriously at risk because the roof is on its last legs,” he added. “It must be repaired within the next couple of winters – that’s how bad it is.
“We’re having to chase leaks around. As soon as we deal with one bit of the roof, it starts leaking somewhere else. We have a dehumidifier in there, and we spend what we can to keep the water out.”
Mr Collinson, a retired surveyor living in Oldfield, said: “We’ve had to temporarily close bits of the building for health and safety reasons because of the danger of the roof caving in.
“We’re employing someone who is making stop-gap repairs, but because we can’t rent out certain parts of the building for events like craft fairs and shows, that also impacts on our own income.
“I’m very pleased we’ve received grants from English Heritage and Bradford Council, but we’re still only keeping the building going on a hope and a prayer.
“The money we’ve had so far is a drop in the ocean.”
Brontë Spirit welcome any form of support via the charity’s theoldschoolroomhaworth.co.uk website.
“We’d also be interested in new people with different skills and experiences to join our committee,” Mr Collinson added. (Miran Rahman)
From building diseases to human diseases, as Discover's Fire in the Mind looks at 'Five Great Books About Living with a Consuming Disease'.
Illness as Metaphor
By Susan Sontag (1978)
Sontag contrasted society’s view of cancer with the strangely romantic aura that once surrounded tuberculosis, the previous century’s “dread disease.” Poe, Kafka, the Brontë sisters—the tubercular (the famous ones, anyway) were cast as creative, passionate souls, “ ‘consumed’ by ardor.” Nobody, Sontag wrote, could glamorize cancer. She saw another difference: While tuberculosis was a disease of consumption, cancer ­produced something horrible and new inside the body—like “a demonic pregnancy” or “a fetus with its own will.” A decade later she published a companion essay, “AIDS and Its Metaphors.” Left standing after a round with cancer, she had a new plague to deconstruct. (George Johnson)
The Telegraph discusses reading the classics at school and how students can identify with them.
Personally, I enjoyed reading Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Brontë sisters, Dickens and Shakespeare, but I did long for a broader range of texts.
The few texts we studied that discussed other cultures or races did so from the position of ‘otherness’ – outsiders such as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird reflect the way other cultures and races were mainly presented to us. (Rozina Sabur)
Then again, The Washington Posts's ComPost thinks that, 'All classic books should be banned!' now that a parent has had Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere” put under review.
Or consider “Jane Eyre,” in which that deviant Mr. Rochester is always ejaculating everywhere.
His face was very much agitated and very much flushed, and there were strong workings in the features, and strange gleams in the eyes.
“Oh, Jane, you torture me!” he exclaimed. “With that searching and yet faithful and generous look, you torture me!”
“How can I do that? If you are true, and your offer real, my only feelings to you must be gratitude and devotion — they cannot torture.”
“Gratitude!” he ejaculated; and added wildly — “Jane accept me quickly. Say, Edward — give me my name — Edward — I will marry you.”
(Chapter 23)
“”Mary, I have been married to Mr. Rochester this morning.” The housekeeper and her husband were both of that decent phlegmatic order of people, to whom one may at any time safely communicate a remarkable piece of news without incurring the danger of having one’s ears pierced by some shrill ejaculation, and subsequently stunned by a torrent of wordy wonderment.
(Chapter 38) 
(Alexandra Petri)
The New Yorker's Page-Turner the 1985 novel The Agony of Alice” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
I was in elementary school in the nineteen-nineties when I discovered “The Agony of Alice,” a book that occupied the anxious years and sacred shelf space between Ramona Quimby and Jane Eyre. (Rebecca Davis O'Brien)
Handbag discusses the debacle of a... erm... handbag designed by Kate Spade:
Kate Spade has committed the mother of all errors while celebrating a literary genius.
Yep, on a handbag honouring the great Jane Austen and Brontë sisters, the designer known for delving into the classics for inspiration has a glaring spelling mistake front and centre.
Spotted it? Yeah, we don't think she meant Austin, Texas.
Ironically called the Required Reading Index Organizer, Kate may need to take this one back to the spelling bee.
Mistakes aside however, it really is a lovely handbag. Shame the words are the key feature, eh? (Amy Lewis)
Then again, Brontë is also mispelled as the umlaut has been left out. $298 for a typo-ridden handbag.

And one more eye sore as a Telegram columnist writes,
But even if the Kardashian Empire goes down in flames, or is swept away by Sculptura, Restylane and Botox, what it has all wrought, will be with us for a long time. Reality shows are still scarily trashy. And this all goes back to MTV. To think, the first couple of seasons of "The Real World," which is considered the spawn of reality TV, now look like a BBC miniseries on the life of the Brontë sisters! (Liz Smith)
If you can name two of the three Brontë sisters you already have one point in the Times Free Press mock Challenge Entertainment Live Trivia. Worthwhile Books posts about The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shows a couple of pages from Branwell's Luddenden Foot journal.

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