Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sublime

Varsity has an article comparing three Wuthering Heights film adaptations: 1939, 1992 and 2011.

It’s fascinating how Wuthering Heights has achieved the status of a classic when few people actually know the full story. Ask someone who hasn’t read the novel and they’re likely to mention the passionate, doomed love affair between Cathy and Heathcliff, but that only takes up half the book. The rest of the plot is not so much a love story as a revenge story. Heathcliff avenges the bullying he suffered from Cathy’s brother, Hindley, as a child by raising Hindley’s son as a dullard, only to have his plans thwarted by the forces of true love.
Wuthering Heights is sublime; it’s one of my favourite books. But it’s a deceptively complex work. It has no central protagonist, only an ensemble of characters, all despicable in some way (though all the more compelling for this reason), within a plot that requires a family tree to understand, and using a framing device that only really works in writing. For a movie to adequately tell this tale, it either needs to dispense with this complexity, or rush through the story at the expense of pace and atmosphere. (...)
All three versions are interesting in their own right, and somewhere between the acting of the 1939 version, the plot of the 1992 version and the atmosphere of the 2011 version, there is the possibility that a future adaptation could perfectly capture the story. But for now, the magic of the moors can only be found in the pages of Brontë’s novel. (Jamie Rycroft)

The Telegraph publishes a fascinating piece of history. The newspaper of a hundred years ago can be seen online and contains the announcement of an auction of Brontë items (to be held on June 19, 1914 at Sotheby's) which included among many others the original manuscript of the unfinished novel Emma.

A new review of William Atkins's The Moor appears in The Guardian:
As a boy in Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire, William Atkins took possession of what he thought of as a miniature moor close to his home, spending all his dusks there, and many of his before-school dawns. It was the subject of the GCSE geography inquiry that he wrote at 14, the aim of which was to predict its future, though this seems mostly to have been a way of making a teenage virtue of his growing preoccupation with its atmosphere, an "ill- omened", "sombrous" mood he recognised in the novels he'd begun to read: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Lorna Doone, Wuthering Heights. (...)
The Brontës are in this book, of course – Atkins is particularly interested in the fearsome day in 1824 when the bog above Haworth burst, and Patrick Brontë feared his children drowned – and Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, who made pilgrimage to Top Withens, the farmhouse widely (though possibly wrongly) considered the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. But he has turned up many others: Mad Grimshaw, the Reverend William Grimshaw, Patrick Brontë's predecessor as priest at Haworth, who preached up to 30 times a week at the moor's scattered farmhouses[.] (Rachel Cooke)
The Times also reviews the book.

The Huffington Post lists the best tweets (by women) this week:
Although some do resort to danger, others are simply a bit discouraged with certain realizations about their love lives. Erin Whitehead came to such realization this week when she tweeted, "All the men who seem worthy of my love are fictional and written by women." We'd take Emily Brontë over a man any day. (Alanna Vagiano)
The Yorkshire Post reports the publication of Voices from the Asylum by Mark Davis:
Based in Haworth, Davis can often be seen tramping the cobblestones in all weathers to record the hills and moors made famous by the Brontës. But it is the asylum that draws him like a magnet. (Tony Earnshaw)
The Sunday Herald reviews the TV series Penny Dreadful:
Penny Dreadful has set out to scare us, but really it is a little bit scared itself.
What it's scared of is being different, and so this Victorian monster drama has included a little of everything in its set-up and execution: there is Hammer horror, Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, Bram Stoker, Frankenstein, Dickens, James Bond, Nosferatu, The Matrix, CSI, Guy Ritchie, Saw and even the Western. It is a mash-up disguised as a work of originality; a greatest-hits compilation disguised as a new album. (Mark Smith)
The New Indian Express recommends books:
Get a Hemingway for your headache or a Brontë to mend your heart. Pick what suits your fancy for every book is a window to another world. 
Xaluan (in Thai) also makes a list of indispensable books:
3. Đồi gió hú - Emily Brontë
Kinh điển trong từ câu chữ, dù được viết cách đây hơn cả thế kỷ nhưng những gì Emily Brontë mang đến cho độc giả không hề phủ bụi. Đồi gió hú không chỉ là một cuốn sách hấp dẫn về tình yêu, mà còn hơn thế, nó là tác phẩm văn chương đầy chất nghệ thuật, có thể làm say mê bất cứ ai. Tình yêu ngang trái của Catherine và Heathcliff đem đến cái nhìn thật ám ảnh. Tình yêu của họ hoang dại, cũng giống như chính vùng đất đã nuôi dưỡng con người họ, hoang dại và mãnh liệt. Mặc dù cuộc đời của họ tràn ngập những bi kịch, những ghen tuông, những đau khổ giằng xé nhưng kết cục họ vẫn được chôn cất bên nhau. Tình yêu ấy sẽ theo họ, ngấm vào miền đất Yorkshire hoang vu kia. Đó cũng có thể coi là một kết thúc đẹp ám ảnh trong lòng người đọc. (Translation)
A Life you Love vindicates Anne Brontë;  A Life Among the Pages is not liking his reading of Wuthering Heights; EISA Book Club reviews Jane Eyre.

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