Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014 11:19 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Atlantic's Twitter book club @1book140 is choosing the April read among several candidates: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James, Middlemarch by George Eliot, Germinal by Émile Zola and
Villette by Charlotte Brontë
At this point, I have to admit that I stacked the deck for realism this month. But bookies on Twitter called for a Brontë novel, and a recent review by Lucy Hughes-Hallett in The Guardian has piqued my interest. Arguing that Villette is better than Jane Eyre, Lucy makes her case:
  1. It's an "astonishing piece of writing, a book in which phantasmagorical set pieces alternate with passages of minute psychological exploration"
  2. George Eliot apparently loved the book, writing that it "it is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre"
  3. Virginia Woolf called it Brontë's "finest novel"
  4. It's a "funny, penetratingly observant realist novel"
A story of romance and adventure, the novel follows 23-year-old Lucy Snowe from England to teach at a girls' school in the fictional French-speaking city of Villette. (J. Nathan Matias)
EDIT: Regrettably Villette was not chosen by a few votes:
 1book140's April Read (Poll Closed)
'The Portrait of a Lady' by Henry James  20%
 'Middlemarch' by George Eliot  37.14%
 'Germinal' by Émile Zola  11.43%
 'Villette' by Charlotte Brontë  31.43% 
The Guardian interviews actress Sophie Ward about gay marriage:
So when I grew up to be a lesbian, I refused to accept that that meant I could not take part in the big love stories. That my love was to be the art-house classic and not the main feature. I had sucked at the narrative marrow of our culture's bones and I did not want to be starved in the specialist sections of our closing libraries. I wanted Shakespeare. I wanted Emily Brontë. I wanted Richard Curtis.
In a way she had it as she played Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights 1992.

According to CNHI:
Wuthering Heights” is the classic 1847 novel written by Emily Brontë under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell. This masterpiece of British literature – set in the Victorian era – is a tale with the themes of revenge and redemption; jealousy and juxtaposition; morality and manipulation. “Wuthering Heights” is wholly applicable to 21st Century American politics. Let’s call this situation withering heights. (Rev. Arthur L. Jones III)
The Guardian reviews the upcoming film Divergent:
Beatrice, who wears baggy skirts, boots and her hair in the loose bun of an Emily Brontë fan, jumps ship at her initiation ceremony and chooses Dauntless over her native Abnegation, and very soon, she is running and jumping for moving trains, too, all the while harboring a secret: her aptitude test revealed her to be “divergent”, a freakish original thinker, fated to be hunted and killed if she is ever found out. (Tom Shone)
Ipswich Times interviews interior designer Jules O'Dowd:
My granny, Muriel ‘Bobby’ Lax, lived in a Wuthering Heights style house, the kind of place where they changed the curtains with the seasons. (Liz Nice)
Contra Costa Times talks about a Danville teacher with an imaginative way of teaching literature:
"She is amazing. She is crazy," agreed Lauren Dowling, 18, beaming with enthusiasm. "Because she'll be so excited about things like 'Jane Eyre,' that it gets us to be excited, too." (Joyce Tsai)
The Kate Bush comeback tsunami leaves some Brontë-related comments here and there:
In the early Eighties every impressionist thought they could “do” her by larding on the eyeliner, flailing arms in a floaty frock and keening Wuthering Heights, but they never came within a mile of her peculiar appeal. (Jenny McCartney in The Telegraph)
I ’ve been a fan of Kate Bush ever since I first heard Wuthering Heights.
I read the book on the strength of her song. (Rarken in South Wales Evening Post)
Zoom News mentions again the (wrong) idea that Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights are the genesis of the romance novels:
Puestos a buscarle antepasados ilustres, los defensores del género se remontan a novelas de la talla de Orgullo y prejuicio, de Jane Austen, Cumbres borrascosas, de Emily Brontë, y Jane Eyre, de Charlotte Brontë. (José Luis Ibáñez Ridao) (Translation)
The Times (Ireland) has an article on the comedian Síle Seoige where apparently Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights is mentioned. Lady Godiva and Me reviews the poem Jane Eyre in Derry by John McAuliffe (from Of All Places, 2011, Gallery Press). A Mulher que Ama Livros (in Portuguese) reviews The Professor. Majkenst posts on flickr a Jane Eyre inspired photograph.


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