Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Toronto Star asks some Canadian politicians about their Christmas reads. The Ontario New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath turns out to be a bit of an (eclectic) Brontëite:
Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is currently reading Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Saleema Nawaz’s Bread. But Horwath may re-read Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre this holiday and has Rumi’s Whispers of the Beloved and Charles Bukowski’s South of No North on her bedside table as well.
Lauren Sarner discusses in The Huffington Post one of those new words for old concepts that have become ubiquituous these days: 'dysfunctional' families in literature:
I was not able to include all of literature's dysfunctional families, but if you're looking for more, you can find them in most of the Brontë's work, Tolstoy's, Tom Perrotta's, Lisa Carey, and many more that you can add in the comments.
The Boar has a nice article on book covers. Anna Laycock talks about covers of Wuthering Heights editions:
Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has to be my favourite book of all time. I own three different copies of the novel, all with different covers. The first copy I came across was a 1995 Penguin Classics edition that was sitting unread on my mum’s bookshelf; the cover features a simple yet mysterious blue and grey watercolour painting of the Yorkshire moors. The second copy I received was a Bloomsbury Classics edition as a Christmas present when I was 14. This cover is bright orange and purple and features the image of a blue lightning strike. My last copy was a 21st birthday present and is a hard back Barnes and Noble Leather-bound edition; it is easily my favourite as with its golden lettering and satin ribbon bookmark, it is a beautiful addition to my bookshelf.
My three copies of Wuthering Heights all have distinctly different covers, and those are just a fraction of the many covers that have graced Wuthering Heights over the 165 years since it was published. As Wuthering Heights does not fit neatly into any genre of literature, the various different covers indicate what the publisher is trying to market the novel as. Some covers suggest it is a romance, others a gothic horror story, some highlight it to be a novel of manners and others do away with images, allowing only the title and the author’s name on the cover, emphasising the novel’s place as a classic of English Literature.
It is fascinating to look at how the covers of Wuthering Heights have altered as culture, fashion and literary criticism have changed across the decades. A 1944 copy gives the protagonists, Cathy and Heathcliff, a Hollywood makeover on the front cover. A blond haired Cathy with red lips and dark curly eyelashes cuddles into a tall, dark haired and handsome Heathcliff – an image very reminiscent of the 1943 Casablanca movie poster. In 2009, Wuthering Heights got caught up in the Twilight frenzy when a new edition was released with a Twilight-esque cover. The awful black cover featuring a white flower, the clichéd phrase “Love Never Dies” and a sticker labelling it “Edward and Bella’s favourite book” is clearly an attempt by the publisher (Harper Collins) to cash in on Twlight’s success by aiming Wuthering Heights at Bella Swan wannabes.
With all these various covers, we have to ask ourselves whether the cover of the book affects the way we read it. If it is marketed as a love story then are we more inclined to believe the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff is based on love? Also, we could question whether the cover we choose says something about us. Perhaps our choice of cover highlights what we want the book to be about, be it a love story, gothic horror or a Victorian Twilight. Moreover as material objects, books have ornamental qualities. I for one want my copy of Wuthering Heights to be a gorgeous decoration on my bookshelf as well as an accessory whilst I read it sipping a cappuccino in Starbucks!
A couple of news outlets still talk about Jane Eyre 2011 being broadcast on BBC Two:
Cary Fukunaga, director of the Mexican gang thriller 'Sin Nombre', was the unlikely though inspired choice to helm this sharp new take on Charlotte Brontë's eternal classic. (Irish Independent)
Mia Wasikowska is Jane Eyre and Michael Fassbender is Mr Rochester in Cary Fukunaga's take on Charlotte Brontë's classic novel. Released back in 2011, this is perfect evening viewing for those who like to cosy up in front of a period drama. (Simon Reynolds in Digital Spy)
The film, by the way, is described as a 'Recent overlooked gem' by Entertainment Weekly. Capsule in Space reviews the movie as well.

Leah La Rocco writes an open letter to Target in The Huffington Post:
Ladies, I don't know about you, but I am always on the lookout for a great fun t-shirt that is hip and can be worn anywhere. So I was thrilled to see how many licensed tees Target has in stock this year! The prices are reasonable, there are lots to choose from, they are fun, nerdy, and hip... so what's the downside?? They're made for men. There are a couple (as in 2) in women's sizes, which was so disappointing. (...)
I can think of a dozen women off the top of my head who would totally buy some better graphic tees with characters like Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Catwoman and old school pics of Jane Austen or Virginia Woolf, or vintage book covers of Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre. And it might surprise you to know that some girls also love Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Avengers, rock bands and cars too!
Ipswich Star announces next year's Theatre in the Forest by the Red Rose Chain theatre company:
“It couldn’t be more perfect,” [Joanna Carrick] says, as talks turns to next year’s Theatre in the Forest double bill, again at Jimmy’s Farm.
A Comedy Of Errors and Wuthering Heights; one absolutely ridiculous comedy and the other very ghostly and romantic so they’ll be amazing contrast.”
The plan is to start with Errors, then after three weeks introduce Heights. From then on, there will be weeks where you can see both on alternating nights. (Wayne Savage)
Vulture interviews the actor Ralph Fiennes:
Ralph Fiennes: If someone has made their mark and defined a role and later on you take it on, you’re under the shadow.
Interviewer: Like Heathcliff?
Ralph Fiennes: Yeah. Exactly like Heathcliff! (Bilge Ebiri)
The Observer continues to list the 100 best novels. Now is Thackeray's Vanity Fair's turn:
Vanity Fair jumps out of this list as a great Victorian novel, written and published deep in the middle of a great age of English fiction. Indeed, so commanding was Thackeray at the height of his powers (some say he never wrote as well, or as sharply, again) that Charlotte Brontë even dedicated Jane Eyre (no 12 in this list) to the author of Vanity Fair. (Robert McCrum)
HP De Tijd (Netherlands) announces also some films to be aired on Dutch TV. We dont' know if Wuthering Heights 2011 is exactly approppriate for Christmas but here it is (Film1, Sundance Channel, 25 December 21.00 h,  29 Dec. 07.00 h and 4 Jan 10.55 h):
Emily Brontë schreef deze beroemde roman in 1847. Film 1 zendt een verfilming uit op 1e kerstdag om 21.00 uur. Het verhaal draait om de jonge Heathcliff die wordt opgenomen in het rijke gezin Earnshaw. Hij raakt verwikkeld in een ingewikkelde relatie met zijn pleegzus Catherine. Liefde, wraak en obsessie gestoken in een prachtig jasje. (Annelies Beltman) (Translation) 
aquatique reviews both The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and its 1996 TV version.  


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