Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:25 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The Charleston City Paper makes a good point about the controversial reading of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home at the College of Charleston:
Fun Home continues to be controversial, and despite hopeful actions, our legislature continues to demonstrate its homophobia and its hate.
On Wed. May 7, the S.C. Senate intended to vote on whether to cut the budget of the College of Charleston for offering Fun Home as the 2013-2014 selection for the College Reads! Program. State Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) bravely performed a four-hour filibuster to delay this vote. He felt strongly that the Senate would approve the cut. For him, the cut was a challenge to academic freedom and an act that would shame our state. [...]
It's yet another action that dehumanizes students (and faculty, staff, and community members) who are LGBTQ. Students are frightened because once again they're being told by our legislature that their identities are controversial, pornographic, and offensive.
How often does this happen to heterosexuals? If the College Reads! program at CofC selected The Great Gatsby, would LGBTQ students be allowed to say that the book is offensive to them because it only represents heterosexual lives? If we offered Jane Eyre, would students of color be allowed to say it was offensive because the characters were white? I suspect that our legislators haven't considered this. And I suspect they'd find it problematic. (Alison Piepmeier)
And speaking of set texts, this letter from a reader of The Independent also makes a good point concerning the Russell Brand/Dizzee Rascal A-Levels controversy.
I agree with John Walsh (8 May) that OCR’s plan to include Russell Brand and Dizzee Rascal in the new A-level English syllabus is probably a wind-up. On the other hand, it could be a good thing. After studying the vacuous vapourings of Brand and the pathetic prose of Rascal, discerning students will be better able to appreciate the soliloquies of Shakespeare and the beauty of Brontë.
Stan Labovitch, Windsor
DVD Talk reviews the DVD release of Great Expectations 2012.
Hollywood and independent cinema seems to follow periodic cycles of adapting certain literary classics over the course of several years, hitting all the major players -- Shakespeare, Brontë, Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens -- in clumped succession and then backing off for a few years until they can go at it again. Gauging by the recent releases of Wuthering Heights, Romeo & Juliet, and Jane Eyre, the most current of these cycles has produced entries with two noticeable similarities: for one, aside from the Oscar-nominated production values in Joe Wright's take on Anna Karenina, they've gone under the radar with little to no fanfare; and two, they've tried desperately hard to balance traditional storytelling with innovative updates. (Thomas Spurlin)
We think the latest screen version of Jane Eyre is also the one referred to in this experiment mentioned by Fast Company.
In a later test, Nenkov and Scott showed 119 participants one of three Amazon gift cards: a neutral white card, a cute baby card, and a cute dotted one. The participants made five selections from a list of movies they could use the card to purchase. Some of the movies were lowbrow goofs (e.g. The Avengers, Ted, Hangover II), some high(er)brow (Jane Eyre, The King's Speech, The Artist). Participants with the whimsical dotted card chose more lowbrow movies than those in the baby cute or neutral groups. (Eric Jaffe)
ArtsHub reviews a stage production of The Parricide.
The Parricide [...], written by Diane Stubbings and directed by Karen Berger, chronicles the period in which Fyodor Dostoyevski was writing The Brothers Karamazov. Dostoyevski had just been released from a Siberian prison camp, a punishment for his involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle, a literary discussion group with utopian socialist ideals.
The play deals with Dostoyevski’s ongoing moral struggle with his level of engagement in political activism alongside the pressure on him to complete a novel whilst dealing with his epilepsy. This is overshadowed by his financial difficulties due to a gambling addiction. Add to that complications of the heart and it is a very complex story indeed.
The action begins when his publisher decides to assign him a stenographer, Anna, to facilitate his writing. This sets up a love triangle between Dostoyevski, Anna and his current lover, feminist and intellect, Yelena. Interestingly the romantic liaison between Dostoyevski and Anna has a definite Jane Eyre feel about it. Anna, small and plain, clever and kind, is dealing with a volatile and irrational man who is both dependent on her but also to whom she is duty-bound. Clearly this is a formula which was very effective for Brontë, but it does feel overly familiar. (Jennifer Porter)
The Snowflower Diaries has created a cross-stitch pattern inspired by Jane Eyre. Read. Read. Read posts about April Lindner's Jane. The Reverend Bill Crews writes about visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Tusitala explores the first chapter of Jane Eyre. The Booky Purple reviews Wuthering Heights.

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