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In the upper reaches of the National Portrait Gallery in London, Branwell Brontë’s oil painting of his sister Emily is cracked and fissured. The paint barely sits on the canvas. In front of it, an American woman employed by the gallery is delivering a lunchtime talk about the Brontës. She is knowledgeable and efficient, and she quotes from a contemporary review of Wuthering Heights, written by a critic who found the book barbaric, shocking and disgusting; beyond the pale of respectability.
But Emily Brontë is now the accepted face of the wild moors, and we cannot think of the Yorkshire moors without her. The savage
ness of her work has become polished by our preconceptions. It needs to be renewed; we must reclaim our moors from cream teas and see them from the vantage point of the raptors wheeling overhead.
William Atkins does that, gloriously, in his disinterment of the English moors. His book, which has an affecting section on Emily – who was called “the General” by her family and who emerges as fairly barbaric, too, not above whipping her own dog – approaches those mythic wastes in the way she did, walking over them, and populating their wilderness (which covers 6 per cent of the country) with the humanity that shaped it. (Philip Hoare)
|© Packet file photo |
A scene from Jane Eyre: Life at Lowood.
[A] melodrama based on a Charlotte Brontë novel, Robert Johanson’s “Jane Ayre: Life at Lowood,”(sic) [was] performed on a simple set, evocatively lit by Gordon Cooper. Very fine work came from four female principals: the mature, reflective Jane, who is the ever-present narrator (Mackenzie Dove), the young and fiery Jane (Brandy Murphy), the pretty and friendly but ultimately doomed Helen (Laura Chaytor), and an abusive, old battle-axe, who finally gets what she deserves (Kaitlin Critch). (Gordon Jones)The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reviews the novel The Vacationers by Emma Straub, unveiling a Brontë reference:
Although Carmen has moments of redemption, her behavior adheres to stereotype, like when she buys a see-through plastic dress. She offers a sharp and refreshing contrast to "people like the Posts," sophisticates who quote Joan Didion and can't wait for the next day's panzanella. Sylvia reads Brontë. Charles complains about how exhausting it is to fly coach because Lawrence didn't want to pay for business class at the very least. "What was he saving the money for, if not transatlantic flights?" (Christi Clancy)What Sylvia reads is, in fact, Villette:
"Sylvia, who was curled into one of the living room sofas with a book three inches from her face. She was on Villette, working her way through the Brontës."And there is another curious Brontë reference:
"I think Anne Brontë is really underrated. In terms of the Brontë family. Don't you think so?"Another Brontë reference in recent a novel appears on The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. The Aspen Daily News reviews it:
Goth girl Molly is a Penobscot Indian whose father is dead and mother is in prison. Molly has been in and out of several foster homes and things are not going well in her current placement. She is very bright — her most recent offense was stealing a copy of "Jane Eyre," her favorite book, from the school library. The parallels between her life and Vivian's are clear, and their common experiences bridge the generational gap between them. (Carole O'Brien)The Bookseller (and the Financial Times) announces that Foyles will offer literary trips in the near future:
Foyles will also run domestic trips to UK literary destinations from July 2014 in partnership with Cambria Literary Tours.The official Tour de France website has unveiled their Grand Départ 2014 section:
The UK destinations include Haworth, the home of the Brontë family; Shakespeare’s Stratford; Great Missenden, the village where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for much of his life; and various locations in South Wales where Dylan Thomas worked and wrote. (Lisa Campbell)
Through a Tour of Yorkshire, during two stages, the pack will have a taste of what this sensational territory has to offer: stunningly pure nature once in the Yorkshire Dales, a constantly renewed vitality in the heart of the cities that has marked the history of the country. The Yorkshire atmosphere takes the visitor back into time at the heart of the novels written by the Brontë sisters that might even inspire some riders as they cross through the village of Haworth.The Huddersfield Daily Examiner talks about a new exhibition taking place at the Huddersfield Art Gallery:
Celebrating the county’s diverse scenery, from the bleak Brontë moorlands and rugged coast to the natural beauty of the Dales and the industrial landscapes of its many mill towns, the exhibition has been put together from works in the Kirklees Collection and encompasses a range of artistic styles.YourTango's Love Buzz lists the top dysfunctional couples:
Open until September, ‘Yorkshire Landscapes’ can be seen from Monday to Friday, 10am until 5pm, and on Saturdays from 10 am until 4pm. (Hilarie Stelfox)
1. Catherine & Heathcliff - Wuthering Heights, Emily BrontëThe Montreal Gazette reviews the TV series Penny Dreadful:
This couple proclaims to be in love, but spend the majority of the novel torturing each other by marrying others and using spite and jealousy to drag not just themselves, but their spouses, into a spiral of despair. Yeah, that's a healthy situation.
2. Mr. Rochester & Bertha Mason – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Speaking of healthy situations, nothing says 'functional' like locking your certifiably crazy wife up in the attic while trying to woo a sweet young governess. Mr. Rochester might be the victim (being duped by Bertha's family and all) but that still not a smooth move.
As art, Penny Dreadful plays more like Jane Eyre than it does camp productions such as Dark Shadows and Tales from the Crypt. (Alex Strachan)e-teatr (Poland) presents the new Polish National Opera production of Lohengrin at the Teatr Wielki. The stage director, Antony McDonald says:
Reżyser mówi: "Pamiętajmy, że Wagner określał Lohengrina mianem opery romantycznej^ Właśnie dlatego świat Elsy kojarzy mi się z postacie Jane Eyre z powieści Charlotte Brontë". Jak bohaterki romantycznych powieści, Elsa marzy o wielkim uczuciu i jest gotowa przyjąć przeznaczenie. Początek trzeciego aktu - przygotowywanie łoża dla oblubieńców i ich rozmowa - to jedna z najpiękniejszych scen miłosnych, jakie widział warszawski Teatr Wielki. (Hanna Milewska) (Translation)Taz (Germany) reviews Jane, der Fuchs und ich, the German translation of Jane, le renard et moi:
„Jane, der Fuchs und ich“ ist im Berliner Reprodukt-Verlag erschienen. Für die kanadischen Künstlerinnen Fanny Britt und Isabelle Arsenault ist es die erste Comicarbeit. Sie erzählen eine sehr stille Geschichte, die Ina Pfitzner aus dem Französischen übersetzt hat. Die Ich-Erzählerin ist Außenseiterin. „Hélène wiegt hundertzehn!“, haben die anderen Mädchen an die Klotür geschrieben, dabei wiegt sie nur 42 Kilo. (...) In „Jane, der Fuchs und ich“ ist vielleicht ein etwas kitschiger pädagogischer Schluss enthalten ...- wohl möglich. Aber den gibt es wirklich, kann ich sagen. Und es ist ein gutes Gefühl zu erleben, wie so ein Mensch zuerst misstrauisch und zurückhaltend, aufblüht und glücklich, selbstbewusst und mutig wird. Und aus einem Freund werden mehrere. Sie werden mutiger, halten zusammen und irgendwann verschwinden die Mobbingversuche und aus den Mobbern und ihren Opfern wird eine Gemeinschaft, die so etwas blöd-primitives nicht wieder zulässt. (Margarete Stokowski) (Translation)Libreriamo (Italy) makes a list of literary orphans:
Jane Eyre di Charlotte Brontë. Un altro motivo per il quale amiamo gli orfani della finzione è la loro totale mancanza di autocommiserazione. La maggior parte di loro, infatti, non ha il lusso di trascorrere del tempo a lamentarsi del loro destino. Jane Eyre è un esempio di questa visione lucida e disincantata della vita. La piccola Jane viene accolta da alcuni suoi parenti dopo la morte dei genitori e la zia incaricata di prendersene cura, invece di coccolarla e di alleviare le sue sofferenze con gesti dolci e amorevoli, la renderà vittima di terribili maltrattamenti. Ma Jane non si piangerà mai addosso, piuttosto concentrerà la sua attenzione sugli studi e diventerà insegnate. Questa professione la renderà libera e indipendente e le permetterà, inoltre, di trovare un’occupazione presso la dimora della famiglia Rochester, dove svolgerà il ruolo di istitutrice per la piccola Adèle.The writer Annette K. Larsen introduces herself on readalot:
Cime Tempestose di Emily Brontë. L’unico romanzo scritto dalla celebre sorella Brontë narra la storia di Heathcliff e del suo amore incondizionato per Catherine. Un amore appassionato ed eterno che alla fine li distruggerà. Heathcliff è un uomo incredibilmente romantico e insieme distruttivo. All'inizio della storia è soltanto un bambino orfano raccolto dalla strada e ospitato a "Wuthering Heights". Un ragazzino vendicativo e passionale che esaspererà queste sue doti innate fino a distruggere la sua famiglia. Heathcliff è l’incarnazione della distruzione, ma è un personaggio estremamente affascinante e indimenticabile. (Martina Brunetti) (Translation)
I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself.ArmenPress introduces the Armenian bestsellers list. This week, Wuthering Heights is on the fifth position; Cúmulos y Nimbos (in Spain) talks about the recet Intelligence Squared Brontë vs Austen discussion; A Forte For Fashion is delighted with her new Spineless Classics Wuthering Heights poster.