Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014 1:22 pm by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews The Golden Fleece by Muriel Spark:
There are several essays on each of her biographical subjects, Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë and John Masefield. The most entertaining one looks at the Brontës, who posed as martyrs in their tutoring posts, from the viewpoint of the families which employed them. (Desmond O'Grady)
Paula Byrne vindicates Jane Austen in The Telegraph and particularly Mansfield Park in spite of Charlotte Brontë's opinions:
Like many Northern girls, I grew up adoring the Brontës: storms, wind, rain, Cathy and Heathcliff. Austen didn’t cut it for me. I agreed with Charlotte Brontë, who found her style anaemic: “What did I find?” she wrote after reading her novels, “a carefully fenced, highly cultivated garden, with neat borders and delicate flowers – but no glance of a bright vivid physiognomy – no open country – no fresh air – no blue hill – no bonny beck. I should hardly like to live with her ladies and gentlemen in their elegant but confined houses.”
But then my odious English teacher refused to let me sit English Literature O-level. I set out to prove him wrong. At night school, I discovered Mansfield Park – a story about a girl born in a small house and an urban community, not the Austen I was expecting. I fell in love. And it changed my life.
How wrong could Charlotte Brontë have been? Passion, eroticism, danger, illicit love and incest simmer below the surface in Mansfield Park. The anti-hero, Henry Crawford, is every bit as sadistic and sexy as Heathcliff; he just has more charisma (more sinister altogether) than Brontë’s charmless hunk.
KCET visits Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills:
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again... or was it Wuthering Heights, or Henry James' Bly House, home of the ghostly children of "Turn of the Screw?" No, it was not a fictional English country estate, filled with regrets and windswept gardens. And it was not a dream. It was Greystone, the awe-inspiring, grey-green estate built by the oil rich Doheny clan in the 1920s. (Hadley Meares)
Le Monde talks about the mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa, who debuted in the Montpellier performance of Bernard Herrmann's Wuthering Heights in 2010:
Rien de frondeur pourtant chez cette grande femme brune au maintien sage mais non réservé, qu'une ascension fulgurante a menée en moins de cinq ans de Montpellier à Salzbourg, en passant par l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Paris, et qui a déjà surpris son monde plus d'une fois. La première ? C'était le 14 juillet 2010 au Festival de Radio France et Montpellier. La jeune femme, alors inconnue, avait provoqué la stupéfaction admirative des spectateurs de l'opéra Wuthering Heights de Bernard Herrmann. Elle y interprétait Isabel Linton, l'épouse méprisée d'Heathcliff, l'infernal amant de Cathy, d'après le célèbre roman d'Emily Brontë.
Au début de l'acte III, elle s'était levée pour jouer au piano une mélodie langoureuse et triste, avant de s'accompagner quelques minutes plus tard dans Love is like the Wild Rose-briar. Le public, conquis, avait découvert une voix rare, merveilleusement projetée, au timbre profond, émouvant, sensuel, le double mystère d'un don et d'un talent rares. (Marie-Aude Roux) (Translation)
The Debutante Ball interviews the writer Kay Kendall:
My favorite novel of all time—first read when I was twelve—is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I rarely re-read books (my motto is “so many books, so little time”), but Jane Eyre is the exception. I’ve read it five times and watch every film version available. Originally I had no idea why this novel appealed to me while another Brontë sister’s equally famous Wuthering Heights did nothing for me. However, now I understand. Even in my early teen years, I was subconsciously drawn to the themes of Jane Eyre—feminism, social inequality, moral justice, religious concerns (of atonement and forgiveness), and family. I’m amazed that even today, this important book by Charlotte Brontë still tallies with my own views. Plus, it’s a danged fine yarn. For me there is no more thrilling line in all literature than the one that begins the final chapter—“Reader, I married him.” Jane, who had sought only to marry her equal, had finally drawn even with Mr. Rochester. (Lisa Aber)
Finally, an alert from the Romance Writers of America 2014 Conference:
Angst and Affability: Using Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice to Craft New Adult and Contemporary Romance (CRAFT)
Speaker: Megan Frampton
How can the classics be used to shape modern fiction? Megan Frampton will teach how to pinpoint common themes and tropes found in both New Adult and contemporary romance by examining Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice.


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