Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Stoke Sentinel reviews the first episode of BBC1 The 7.39 which contains a Brontë reference (although Sally's reading seems not be going vey well):
Guilty about haranguing her over an empty seat, he sparked up a conversation, becoming entranced by her world. "You inspired me," he told her, unveiling his Anna Karenina to her Jane Eyre.
A good case of going from one extreme to the other with no equilibrium intended is found in these two articles about education in Australia read on SBS:
Authorities such as the VCAA increasingly show a resistance to the alternative perspectives, in favour of retaining inert relics that are taught for the sake of tradition, as dictated culture to the distanced youth. Novels by Dickens, Brontë and James, plays by Shakespeare and Wilde, poetry by Tennyson and Owen are routinely circulated so as to propagate the canonical, to keep students studying the same elitist, authoritative texts deemed worthy enough. On the rare occasion alternative perspectives are offered, they end up with a short life span. (Craig Hildebrand-Burke)
Which is a reply to this other one:
I teach in one and I teach serious, classically demanding literature. Yes, it is elite, consciously so, but anything is elite if it is not pandering to the lowest common denominator. How can a book about a vacuous Sydney teenager reflecting on school, like Melina Marchetta's Looking for Alibrandi, be compared with Jane Eyre? It can't. (Christopher Banting in Sidney Morning Herald)
The Oregonian talks about the season of Downton Abbey:
Lady Edith's affair can't end well. Heaven knows, Edith's love life is already a series of disappointments, and she seems due for another one, with her dalliance with her married editor. Plus, how ridiculous is it that he can't get divorced because he has an insane wife? "Jane Eyre" used that plotline quite a while ago, and it hasn't gotten fresher -- or more plausible -- with age. (Kristi Turnquist)
The Voice also joins, from a different perspective, in criticising the British 'obsession' with the Brontës:
This country is still in denial regarding the history and impact of enslavement. This is reflected in no major costume dramas on television or feature films (or even Dr Who) which examines enslavement compared with our Americans cousins. We are still fixated with programmes like Call the Midwife, Downtown Abbey, Brideshead Revisited or Bronte Sisters. (Patrick Vernon)
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune interviews Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of reddit:
 Q: People debate whether anonymity is helpful or hurtful in online discussion. Most Reddit users don’t use their real names. What’s your take on anonymity online?
A: Pseudonymity, anonymity, have played an important role in communication since the beginning of time. We may not even have had an American Revolution without anonymous publishing because it was rather treasonous to write the things that Thomas Paine and others wrote during and leading up to the American Revolution. Furthermore, you look at the great works of literature we wouldn’t have. Look at what the Brontë sisters were able to produce, only because they had pseudonyms. Whether it’s anonymity or pseudonymity, they’ve been around in publishing since forever and there are plenty of examples where they have provided a huge asset in allowing great ideas to spread. It’s a gift and a curse, obviously, but it’s nothing new. (Katie Humphrey)
Moira Redmond discusses fictional diaries in literature in The Guardian. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is not mentioned but Wuthering Heights is:
It's easily forgotten, but Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Brontë has a skeletal framework of a diary: "I have just returned from a visit to my landlord … Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold". Mr Lockwood will learn about true emotion day by day as he finds out and writes down the story of Heathcliff and the Earnshaws. 
We love this metaphor in The Portland Mercury about buildings which will not stand an earthquake:
 Next to the four illustrated buildings, imagine a fifth—this one as thoroughly deconstructed as a Charlotte Brontë novel in the hands of a post-colonialist writer. (Nathan Gilles)
The Patriot Post makes a somehow artificial distinction:
There is the “popular” fiction brand (think Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, and Stephen King) and the “literary” fiction brand (think the classical authors, Austen, Dickens, Brontë and their modern descendants.) (Bill Franklin)
The Edmonton Journal announces the upcoming Edmonton theatre season:
 Whaaaaat the …? (The Irresistible Premise): Of the plethora of examples, here are a couple for your consideration. One is Send In The Girls’s A Brontë Burlesque. The troupe that addressed themselves to the wives of Henry VIII last time out unlaces the corseted 19th century literati at the Roxy (Jan. 23 to Feb. 2). (Liz Nicholls)
Moviepilot also quotes Graham McTavish (Axin in The Hobbit) talking about his Brontë passion and, regrettably, repeating some faux clichés about Emily Brontë:
I read a book about the Brontës. I’d always been interested in them, not just because of what they wrote but the fact that they were women writing at that time, and surmounted these incredible odds to become best-selling writers of their day. And Emily in particular; she only wrote Wuthering Heights… well, that was the only novel that was published… And she was this tiny woman; but she was incredibly stubborn! Apparently when she was dying she refused to lie down — so she just walked around and basically died on her feet. So that gives you an idea of the kind of woman we’re talking about.
WFPL talks about Old Louisville Conrad-Caldwell House Museum new Victorian bookclub:
“With the different genres that we’re doing it reaches out to different people,” says Wroblewski. “Guys might be more interested in it when we do the sci-fi Jules Verne-type books. Then there’s also some of those wonderful love stories, we have ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Great Expectations’.”
Michelle Dean discusses the film Frozen on Flavorwire:
 Elsa’s creators are picking up on a recurring theme in the girls’ coming-of-age genre as a whole. Obedience is required of all children, of course, but from Jane Eyre down to Elsa, the specter of the “good girl” is a major psychological ball and chain. Most of us aren’t locked in a room, of course, exactly; we just become lonely and angry because the thing is, being the “good girl” never works out in the end.  You will never please everyone, because “everyone” doesn’t have the kind of clear desires you can reformulate into a personal set of rules. The only solution is to figure out what it is you want, and run after it.
AFP (France) announces that the film director Jane Campion will be the next president of the Cannes Film Festival. She is described like this:
Jane Campion, passionnée de littérature romantique anglo-saxonne avec une prédilection pour Emily Brontë et Emily Dickinson, ou encore Virginia Woolf. (Margaret Alwan) (Translation)
I Believe We Have Already Met (in Polish) reviews Agnes Grey; I Believe in Story posts about Jane, the Fox and Me; luck of a kennedy posts a Jane Eyre 2011 collage; alessandro yuri alegrette (in Portuguese) reviews Wuthering Heights.

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