Friday, August 22, 2014

Women on their own

Nashville Scene explains the origins of the David Olney song, Millionaire:

And when he set out to write a love song for his eventual wife Regine, a German immigrant who was married to another when she began dating Olney, what came forth was "Millionaire."
At first blush, it seems impossible to imagine the song as a romantic overture. But Regine's favorite book at the time was Wuthering Heights. To impress her, Olney wrote what is essentially a missing chapter that supposes how Heathcliff might have accumulated his wealth before returning as the novel's antihero. The tactic proved effective. The pair married 27 years ago and have two grown children.
After ghost-writing Emily Brontë, what remained but the ultimate Nashville mission impossible: a co-write with Shakespeare. (Skip Anderson)
Sarah Paretsky, in The Independent, vindicates George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss as a great story of siblings. A Brontë reference slips in:
The sibling bond isn’t written about often in English or American fiction. We’re more engaged by the loner hero, by Pip or Huck Finn’s voyage of self-discovery. Even the heroes of the close-knit Brontë sisters are for the most part women on their own.
Another vindication comes from The Huffington Post. The subject now is Kate Bush:
Much of her oeuvre defies definition but through her work, one could discover what it means to be human. Who else had the ability for such diverse narrative viewpoints in their songs, and with such astonishing aplomb? She was a mix of Brontë, Keats, Kubrick and Mozart rolled into one; a musical auteur in an industry of vapid puppets and one-dimensional mundanity. (Robert Ince)
And The Herald more or less agrees with that:
If untutored, you might only recall something about Kate's high notes, along with images of a lassie in a long white dress warbling aboot yon Heathcliff out of Wuthering Heights.
Fair enough. It's what set her, in 1978 at the tender age of 19, on the road to stardom. But it also set her on the path to creative freedom and an extraordinary body of work that means such a lot to so many people. (Robert McNeil)
Yahoo Movies quotes Chloë Grace Moretz saying:
So, what are Moretz’s favorite teen love stories? “Wuthering Heights,” she said without blinking. “I’m super dramatic — when I was younger, especially. I kind of love the tragedy of it and the drama.” (Meriah Doty)
Nora Roberts's Inn BoonsBoro features once again in the news. We read in The Baltimore Sun:
On the other side of the state, the Inn BoonsBoro in Western Maryland is owned by best-selling author Nora Roberts, who undertook a restoration of the historic building. Many of the inn's eight graciously appointed rooms and suites bear the names of literary lovers. Think Elizabeth and Darcy from "Pride and Prejudice," Jane and Rochester from "Jane Eyre," as well as Shakespeare's Titania and Oberon from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." (Donna M. Owens)
Carolyn on Autostraddle seems to have liked Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg
I got an advanced copy of Texts From Jane Eyre and at one point laughed so enthusiastically that I sustained bruises.
Keighley News publishes the monthly Brontë Society activities article by Hermione Williams:
Throughout August we have enjoyed a busy summer programme. There have been craft workshops where children have created miniature moorland gardens and felt landscapes.
We have also been holding talks about aspects of the Brontës’ lives and took walks onto Penistone Hill. The visitors were thrilled to see the landscape which inspired the famous Brontë novels, and to have an opportunity to walk in the sisters’ footsteps.
Der Spiegel (Germany) reviews Jane, le Renard et Moi :
Wer würde schon die ehrwürdige literarische Figur "Jane Eyre" mit Mobbing in Verbindung bringen? Nicht unbedingt jeder. Und doch macht die Autorin Fanny Britt in ihrer zauberhaften Graphic Novel "Jane, der Fuchs und ich" genau das. Ihre Protagonistin Hélène entdeckt als begeisterte Leserin den Klassiker der viktorianischen Romanliteratur und findet dort Trost. Sie steht nämlich seit kurzem auf der einsamen Seite ihrer Schulklasse. Die Mädchen, die einst ihre Freundinnen waren, kichern jetzt hinter ihrem Rücken und schreiben fiese Sprüche über sie an die Klowände. (...)
In der Bücherwelt findet sie Trost und Schutz, ausgerechnet die leicht angestaubte Jane Eyre wird zur ihrer einzigen Verbündeten im täglichen Spießrutenlauf durchs Klassenzimmer. In ihr entdeckt Hélène ein Vorbild für den Umgang mit aussichtslosen Situation. Es sind die einzigen Farbausflüge, die Arsenault den Lesern in den vorherrschenden Grau- und Brauntönen des Buches gönnt, oft Naturskizzen oder Auszüge aus "Jane Eyre" in Hélènes Worten nacherzählt.
In der gebeutelten Jugend der Romanheldin erkennt sich Hélène wieder. Aber auch Charlotte Brontës feministische Ikone ist auf Dauer kein Ersatz für echte Freundinnen. In kleinen, feinen Sätzen wie diesem gelingt es Britt, die ganze Verzweiflung des gemobbten Mädchens unterzubringen: "Ich habe selbst eine blühende Fantasie, aber trotzdem bin ich immer wieder überrascht, wenn ihr eine neue Gemeinheit eingefallen ist." (Moritz Piehler) (Translation)
Another review can be found on An Education in Books Blog.

Life in the Classroom talks about Jane Eyre and several of its film adaptations;  A Culpa Dos Livros (in Portuguese) posts about Wuthering Heights. Lancashire Evening Post presents the ChapterHouse Theatre Wuthering Heights production at the Grand Theatre in Lancaster. Helena Fairfax discusses literature inspired by the Yorkshire moors after listening to the recent BBC Radio 4 programme Open Book. Charlotte Blackwood reviews Jane Eyre.

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