Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
15 hours ago
Surprised classic lit inspires death metal? You have to admit Wuthering Heights author Emily Brontë’s penchant for violence, dark passion and gothic morbidity is totally hardcore. And Triptykon, acclaimed for its genre-defying, avant-garde metal stylings, is the perfect band to make the connection.The Telegraph is still defending Michael Gove and his latest controversy. Sadly, attacking others in order to defend someone never seemed to us like a very clever move.
“In the Sleep of Death,” a song on Triptykon’s recent album Melana Chasmata, speaks directly to Brontë like a long-lost love.
“Emily, how long may this dismal moment last/ Here in this world was your life/ Emily, how can I find serenity,” frontman Tom Gabriel Warrior growls on the dirge-like track.
The song “is an homage to a woman of exceptional beauty, both in her words and as a person,” Warrior writes in liner notes. “[Brontë’s] writing is stunningly beautiful and deeply reflective, and portions of it have become a considerable inspiration for my own, infinitely inferior efforts.”
These “efforts” include Warrior’s earlier gig fronting the seminal extreme metal band Celtic Frost in the 1980s. The influential band’s 1987 album Into the Pandemonium included a song with lyrics borrowed from Brontë’s “Sleep Brings No Joy to Me” poem—without crediting her.
Triptykon’s new song is partly an attempt on Warrior’s part to make up for Celtic Frost’s use of Brontë’s words. “As if she didn’t suffer enough in the course of her all too brief life,” Warrior self-mockingly writes in the liner notes. He adds that the title “In the Sleep of Death” alludes “very respectfully” to the last line of “Sleep Brings No Joy to Me.”
Brontë has other fans in obscure corners of the metal world, including a lesser-known Danish metal outfit called Wuthering Heights. Bandleader Erik Ravn tells Paste he picked up the title after hearing English singer/songwriter Kate Bush’s 1978 hit song “Wuthering Heights” covered by the Brazilian metal band Angra on its 1993 debut album.
The very word “wuthering,” with its connotations of “stormy” and “windy,” was perfect for the band’s name. “My band has been through a lot of turmoil,” Ravn says. “The music is sometimes like a whirlwind of moods and emotions, chaotic at times—and dark … [At] its core, the music and lyrics of [Wuthering Heights] are grim. My worldview is about as bleak as the English moors.”
“Also, I sympathize with the author herself,” Ravn explains. “Brontë was not a schooled writer or a part of the artistic establishment. She wrote this one, strange piece — then died. But amazingly, the piece still lives. We still read it. It’s considered a masterwork.” (John Ruch) (Read more)
But perhaps most importantly, “Of Mice and Men” is boring. It’s just 180 pages, so I can see why it has appeal in classrooms – a book even the most distracted teen can get through. But we should worry about the the kind of saccharine, single-note class discussion it inspires. Neither can I imagine debates around “To Kill a Mockingbird” going in many interesting directions. It’s too obvious a moral parable – there is little more to say. Give me Wuthering Heights or Middlemarch any day. (Martha Gill)The Irish Times interviews writer Janey Fraser:
Who is your favourite fictional character? Jane Eyre. As a schoolgirl, I was drawn to her because we had the same first name and were equally conventional. at least, on the surface. (Martin Doyle)The Wire lists 'The Greatest Music Cues from Richard Curtis Movies', including:
Film: By Chance (written and directed by Richard Curtis)The Scranton Books Examiner discusses 'Healthcliff [sic] and His Villainy'. DEBtastic Reads! interviews Michaela MacColl and gives away a copy of her novel Always Emily. Finally, an intriguing tweet from @caterpillarpoet:
Song: "Wuthering Heights"
Artist: Kate Bush
The Scene: Just when it looks like David (James McAvoy) has finally reached his limit with neurotic Simon (Domhnall Gleeson), Simon chases after David in the rain, and David realizes that just because they come from completely different worlds — he a university librarian; Simon a famous, glass-closeted stage actor — they can't simply throw their love away, no matter how bumbling and disastrous it was at their engagement dinner when their mothers (Kristin Scott Thomas and Emma Thompson) revealed they'd once shared a scandalous holiday while at university.
Effectiveness: The world had waited a long time for Richard Curtis to deliver a gay love story, and he did not disappoint. And while Kate Bush might seem like an odd choice for a mainstream romantic comedy, the song not only paid off the recurring Bronte references throughout the film but also reached an emotional crescendo when Simon and David kissed in the rain. (Esther Zuckerman, Joe Reid, David Sims)
Another good day at the wonderful @BronteParsonage yesterday in preparation for our film on Branwell Bronte. Watch this space!Maybe, not so intriguing after all.