Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Wednesday, April 02, 2014 8:26 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Susan M. Wyler, author of the just-released Solsbury Hill, tells why she wrote a sequel to Wuthering Heights in The Huffington Post.
It's easy to imagine oneself the Creator when one seems to wring human beings and landscapes from mere pen and ink, but I wonder if writers aren't tapping into something that already exists, like our dream world seems to exist. At any rate, that's what writing for me has always been like. And when I began writing Solsbury Hill, when I sat down to that first empty page, Eleanor Abbott (the heroine of the novel) was already there, sitting in a Manhattan cafe sipping coffee.
I knew I was writing a book connected to Wuthering Heights. My editor had proposed the idea: the notion of a contemporary novel with a connection to this classic novel we keep reading. I'd just finished writing two novels about troubled young people in deeply troubled families and, as I finished reading Emily Brontë's novel again, I felt an unmistakable kinship with the author. When, as a teenager, I had read Wuthering Heights, I had the feeling I was missing something, or seeing something no one else was seeing. Teacher and students alike had seen the love between Catherine and Heathcliff as a great love, some exalted meeting of souls, while I saw it as a childhood love gone terribly wrong. I saw sibling loyalty, then jealousy and pettiness, then viciousness and cruelty in a story that became increasingly mired in its gothic sensibility.
Wuthering Heights is a labyrinth of Emily's preoccupations. One can trace the threads, though they're buried in twists of contradictions and emotional confusion, through the endless repetition of themes. She's preoccupied with obsessive and possessive love, with filial loyalty, with laws for passing wealth and land, with an isolating family life, with violence and cruelty, and with a concern that what happened to the mother might continue in the daughter.
Emily Brontë was a passionate writer all her life, but left none of her compulsive writing, no journals, no poetry, from the last few years of her life. And no one will ever know the extent of complication in the relationship between Emily and the drug-addled brother she cared for those last years, but Branwell and Heathcliff share qualities, this much is sure. What is less certain is what Edgar Linton stood for. The outsider, the stranger living in a well-lit house, the kind and refined young man who invited Catherine Earnshaw to join him at Thrushcross Grange and settle into adulthood there.
For at the heart of Wuthering Heights - topographically and emotionally - was a brightly lit home with gentleness and decency inside. I imagined or maybe intuited that there was a secret hidden inside the novel - that in it Emily had left a clue to something in her life - that she had had a chance to know a kind and gentle love, something separate from her family, something completely her own, before she died. (Read more)
À voir à lire (France) reviews the also recently-released DVD of Jane Eyre 1944 and gives it 2 out of 4 stars.
Voilà une sortie DVD qui ne risque pas de passer inaperçue dans le monde des cinéphiles épris de classiques : Jane Eyre tourné en 1944 avec Orson Welles et Joan Fontaine dans les rôles titres. Ce film adapté du roman de Charlotte Brontë, paraît en DVD pour la première fois en France, grâce à Rimini Éditions. Une œuvre plus que déjà représentée dans le septième art, mais qui bénéficie ici de la prestance du prodigieux Orson Welles et qui par la même occasion nous offre une interprétation à sa juste mesure. Il est accompagné de la belle et délicate Joan Fontaine, disparue en décembre dernier, et actuellement sous les feux de la rampe avec la sortie en blu-ray de l’un des chefs-d’œuvre de Max Ophuls : Lettre d’une inconnue.
Bien avant l’excellent Edward Rochester du ténébreux et séduisant Michael Fassbender dans le récent Jane Eyre de Cary Fukunaga, Orson Welles s’est glissé dans le rôle, qu’il a voulu théâtral aux accents shakespeariens. Il lui donne une apparence rugueuse et misanthrope à souhait, comme le veut le personnage du roman, et en fait l’un des éléments clefs du succès de ce film. Pourtant, contrairement à Fassbender pour lequel les femmes se damneraient, Welles ne réussit pas à nous faire pâmer et échoue dans sa partie « séduction ». On se demande alors comment Jane Eyre peut en tomber amoureuse ? Une héroïne, que Charlotte Gainsbourg a interprété sous la direction de Franco Zeffirelli, qui se veut être une femme douce, fragile, mais non moins certaine de ce qu’elle désire. Ici, Jane Eyre prend les traits de la douce Joan Fontaine, mais peut-être est-elle justement trop douce et un peu trop langoureuse ? Qui plus est, ses expressions de jeu restent classiques et ne déclenchent pas les émotions nécessaires pour rendre son personnage attachant. Cependant, il faut se remettre dans le contexte d’une époque où les sentiments ne se dévoilent pas ou alors avec parcimonie. Aussi, nous ne retiendrons pas le manque de romantisme, essentiel à toute fleur bleue qui se respecte, et apprécierons de manière plus large le récit de ce mélodrame.
Jane Eyre filmé en studio, tire avantage d’une technique photographique qui rend certains plans ou séquences, poétiques. On apprend ainsi dans les bonus, qu’Orson Welles a contribué à la réalisation et que certaines scènes lui sont attribuées. Pourtant, le jeu de lumière sur le visage de Welles, qui le noirci afin d’insister visuellement sur sa part sombre n’est pas satisfaisant. Car le fait de vouloir trop marquer le protagoniste et d’appuyer aussi lourdement, lui fait perdre toute subtilité et crédibilité. Aussi, comme nous l’avons souligné précédemment, c’est bien grâce à l’aura et la qualité d’acteur d’Orson Welles que ce Jane Eyre reste un film à (re)découvrir.
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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an article of a performance of Jane Eyre The Musical at Nerinx Hall High School.
From the moment "Jane Eyre" started singing the audience’s attention was captured. This show really caused people to understand what things in people’s lives can cause them to act the way they do. It taught the audience to not to judge people on first meetings.
Natalie Hunt did an absolutely stunning job as Jane Eyre. She captured everyone’s attention and never let it go for the entirety of the show. Michael Schimmele did a spectacular job as Rochester. He was able to command the stage and change people’s affections toward him throughout the show. The chemistry between the two of them was spectacular. Everyone could really believe they were falling in love with each other.
Morgan Einwalter kept the audience laughing the entire show with the quirkiness of Mrs. Fairfax. She was able to keep her energy up for the entire show. Gabe Miller did a wonderful job as Mason. He really helped move the story along. Sam Krausz also did a fantastic job moving the story along as St. John Rivers. Annelise Moloney, who played Bertha Rochester, did a lovely job playing up the madness of her character.
The technical aspects of this show were wonderful. Everyone was able to work around the set pieces really well. The costuming was very accurate to the time period portrayed in the show. The use of younger children was nice because it really helped make the show.
There were only a few missteps in the show. There were times when the ensemble was narrating and you could not here what was being said. There were other times when there was not enough light during a scene to see the facial expressions of the people on stage.
This performance of "Jane Eyre" was truly outstanding. The audience was entranced for the entire show. It is a show that should not be missed. (Kayla Schieffer Francis Howell High School)
Elle has '12 great female authors recommend their 40 favourite female authors'. Jeanette Winterson, a well-known Brontëite, mentions the Brontës though rather in passing:
Read Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own (1929). Ask yourself how much, really, has changed. When I did my degree at Oxford University in the 1980’s, Woolf was not taught—on quality grounds—and we were told that in the nineteenth century there had been only four great women novelists: Jane Austen, George Eliot, Emily Brontë, Charlotte Brontë. (all childless, i.e., weird). As a woman who was determined to be a world-class writer I had to learn that subjectivity = objectivity if you are a man, and lack of rigor if you are a woman. Thank God for feminism. 
Buzzfeed talks to three writers, Durga Chew-Bose among them, who says
Though I cringe when women go nuts about Jane Austen. I’ve always been more prone to Brontë: dark, disobeying women who are so-called “out of control.” (Ayesha Siddiqi)
The Times has an article on child abuse and comments on how young fictional victims usually tend to have a happy ending:
Cinderella had a happy ending, don’t forget. The Brothers Grimm may have had her sweeping floors, sleeping by the hearth and wearing wooden clogs, but she developed an amazing work ethic, acquired a love of shoes, became determined to make something of her life and married a prince. Snow White triumphed over her stepmother. Harry Potter managed to flourish despite being brought up by the Dursleys. The orphaned Jane Eyre found her Mr Rochester. (Alice Thomson)
Now that there are 100 days left until the Tour de France Grand Départ, The Telegraph and Argus lists the 100 best things about Yorkshire.
18. Haworth and Brontë Country: Historic Haworth appears very much as it was when its most famous residents, the Brontë sisters, lived there in the 19th century. The cobbled Main Street still winds its way through the village where admittedly more modern shops, cafes and pubs welcome the throngs of visitors who soak up the history throughout the year.
68. Brontë Parsonage, Haworth: The Parsonage, built in 1778-9, was the lifelong home of the Brontë family. It was opened as a museum in 1928. Now it is one of the major focuses of the brisk tourist trade to Haworth. (...)
82. Penistone Hill Country Park, near Haworth: Set among the rolling hills and undulating moorland above Haworth. You can take a gentle walk along the footpaths and take in some marvellous views of Brontë Country as well as learning a little about the area’s industrial past – the area was widely quarried for stone and you can still see evidence of the old workings. (...)
85. Top Withens: Top Withens Farm (above) was the supposed location for Wuthering Heights in Emily Brontë’s famous novel, and you can visit the ruins of the old place but only on foot, although you can park at the West End car park a little way out of Haworth. A real taste of literary history come to life.
Actualidad Literatura (Spain) recalls that even Emily Brontë got very bad reviews with Wuthering Heights. The Northern Echo carries the story of a vintage charity shop who is trying to solve the mystery behind a World War Two letter which was found tucked inside a copy of Villette. Obsessive Mom posts about Charlotte Brontë. There's a lovely tour of Charlotte Brontë's Brussels to be found on Dr Charlotte Mathieson's blog. The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page showed yesterday the image of the sampler that Charlotte Brontë finished at the age of 11 on April 1st, 1828. Mallory Ortberg on The Toast is thrilled to see one of the first copies of her book Texts from Jane Eyre (that will be published in November).  laurenlooksatbrilliantbooks reviews Jane Eyre. obsessivemom posts about the Brontës.


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