Thursday, May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:45 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Guardian shares what Alice Walker said at the Sydney writers' festival about reading shaping her.
It's reading that she credits with the ability to develop political empathy. "If our children could just read everything and feel themselves into everything they're reading, things would be very different when they grew up," she says, recalling a particular fondness for Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. "I recognised myself in Jane Eyre. It amazes me how many white people can't read themselves in black characters. I didn't feel any separation between me and Jane. We were tight." (Van Badham)
At the same festival, David Malouf also referred to the Brontës. His words are relayed by The Guardian as well:
When he was 12, he tells us how he “read a whole bunch of books that changed my life.” Laughing, he relays these aren’t the books you would think typical for a 12-year old boy to find life-changing: Wuthering Heights, Vanity Fair, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. These books, he says, “kept telling me the most extraordinary things about the world, and I couldn’t wait to grow up and get into it.” (Jane Howard)
The Atlantic features the book The Novel: A Biography by Michael Schmidt:
By the time of the Brontës in the middle of the 19th century (we’re a fourth of the way through the book), “the form had become versatile and capacious: Scott filled it with history, the Gothic writers with dream.” Chronology is change but also enrichment; fashions and phases will get our understanding only so far. Every novelist is free to reach back into history, pull out an old trick, and make it new. (William Deresiewicz)
The Chicago Tribune's Change of Subject columnist continues to listen to Jane Eyre with his daughter while in the car:
A little solace came at tea-time, in the shape of a double ration of bread—a whole, instead of a half, slice—with the delicious addition of a thin scrape of butter: it was the hebdomadal treat to which we all looked forward from Sabbath to Sabbath.  I generally contrived to reserve a moiety of this bounteous repast for myself; but the remainder I was invariably obliged to part with....from Chapter VII of "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë
Annie and I are listening to this novel every day on the drive to school, as previously noted, and today, one paragraph gave us two words I'd never used -- would never dare to use -- in speech or writing.  As near as I can tell, "hebdomadal" is just a $20 synonym for "weekly" and adds no particular nuance.
"Moiety" (MOY-eh-tee) means "portion," usually half. It appears in "Tom Sawyer" ("Tom divided the cake and Becky ate with good appetite, while Tom nibbled at his moiety"), King Lear (" But now in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most, for equalities are so weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice of either’s moiety.")  and "Antony and Cleopatra" ("The death of Antony / Is not a single doom; in the name lay / A moiety of the world."), but not in my active vocabulary. (Eric Zorn)
An alert from the London and the South East Brontë Society:
British Library and recital in St. Pancras Parish Church.
An opportunity to view treasured Brontë manuscripts displayed in the Treasures Gallery.  
A Book So Fathomless posts about Jane Eyre. Paranoias Rikanna writes in Spanish about Wuthering Heights and Mother Daughter Book Club reviews briefly Always Emily by Michaela MacColl.


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