Blake Morrison in Brussels - *Writer Blake Morrison spoke to the thriving Brussels Brontë Group recently. Helen McEwan sent us this report, which also appears on our sister blog - the ...
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Every young woman I knew at Oxford was listening to Kate Bush – even the chemistry students. For an English student the fact that a new singer could hit No 1 with a cover version of Emily Brontë was proof that poetry, music, feminism and lo-fi would rescue the world from boy bands and electro-pop, dead white males and money.In the Washington Post we found another writer, Siri Hustvedt, wondering what she would like to ask Emily Brontë if it was possible:
Siri Hustvedt asks Emily Brontë:More writers. The Globe and Mail interviews Penny Vincenzi:
How did you devise the diabolical form of “Wuthering Heights?” Did you say to yourself, I will lock up my first narrator, Lockwood, in a piece of the dead Catherine’s furniture, which resembles both a book and a coffin, and in that cramped space, he will read her name on the walls and her diary written in the margins of another book, and there he will dream or hallucinate or actually see the young woman’s ghost? Did you plan to write a book about the ambiguities of the act of reading itself? I am happy to receive messages from beyond the grave.
Which fictional character do you wish you’d created?The New York Times Magazine lists writers that used pseudonyms:
Oh my goodness, that’s a tough one. So many. All those romantic heroes – but not just romantic, dark and difficult – Mr. Rochester; Max de Winter (in Rebecca); Heathcliff… I was in love with them all in my teens.
The Brontë sistersIn the same magazine we find an interview with Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen's designer:
Charlotte, Emily and Anne produced their masterworks of Victorian literature under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. They chose these androgynous monikers because of “a vague impression that authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice,” an impression shared by at least two other great “authoresses” of the day, George Eliot and George Sand.
In her fall show for Alexander McQueen, Burton set all this to life, like a magician of selfhood. A strange, misty moorland — not unconnected to the landscape of her childhood — was the setting for the combination of beautiful tailoring and wild imaginings that characterize the house. There was a sense of romanticism-in-crisis, of the Bronte sisters, of Heathcliff haunted by the cold hand of death scratching at his window, of owls, dreams and the poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom Burton cites. (Andrew O'Hagan)Visit Britain announces that the number of foreign tourists visiting Yorkshire has increased by 37 per cent last summer. The Telegraph & Argus reports:
Ann Dinsdale, of the Brontë Parsonage Museum, said: "It is good news, especially for a museum like the Parsonage because we are independent. We are dependant on visitors coming here.Radhika Sanghani lists books you should read beforing leaving college. In Pubishers Weekly:
"And we are unique. We are the whole Brontë thing. We are the centre for anyone visiting Yorkshire for literature."
She added: "We get a lot of visitors from Japan." (Rhys Thomas)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - This book taught me to grow up. It has a pretty addictive plot, but more than that, it’s the story of Jane’s journey from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. She learns to let go, to adapt and finally, that there are some things you need to just accept. I can’t think of any better time to read this book than when you’re learning to do the same.The Australian reviews The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters:
With the intricate plotting of Dickens and the gothic textures of the novels of the Brontë sisters, Waters blurs the lines of Victorian fiction by bringing the hidden sexual world into the light, reframing erotic secrets in marvels of pseudo-Victorian crafting.The Sydney Morning Herald describes the Leoš Janáček's String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters",
As love stories go, this is definitely a slow-burner. Seven hundred letters, spanning 11 years, resulting in one chaste kiss, suggests way too much ambivalence for Czech composer Leos Janacek and his muse to join the ranks of Romeo and Juliet, Cathy and Heathcliff or Tristan and Iseult in the annals of star-crossed romances. (Kathy Evans)Malorie Blackman retraces her own personal literary history in The Guardian:
Later on she dabbled in westerns and eventually found science fiction, through John Wyndham's book Chocky. "By then I had worked my way through the children's library," she says (she was 11),"so the librarian gave me Jane Eyre and Rebecca, then all of Agatha Christie."What is a Wuthering Heights night? The Toronto Star says:
In Toronto, on one of those Wuthering Heights nights, you’re on your own, braced to be crushed or munched, which is one thing, but you are defenceless, which is another. (Heather Mallick)Dagens Naeringsliv (Norway) reviews The Prime of Miss Brodie by Muriel Spark:
Romanen er på sitt morsomste når denne forestillingsverdenen smelter sammen med elevenes drømmer og gryende seksualitet. Flere av dem lever dobbeltliv i fantasien, befolket av romanfigurer fra «Jane Eyre» og tenkte brevvekslinger med høytidelige vendinger mellom frøken Brodie og den mannlige tegnelæreren, som er gift på annet hold. (Susanne Hedemann Hiorth) (Translation)The Brussels Brontë Blog posts about a (very complete) visit to Patrick Brontë's Ireland birthplace.