Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014 1:52 pm by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Robert Colvile explores in The Telegraph the Mitford sisters new mythology, now that the last Mitford sister, Deborah Devonshire passed away yesterday:
The Mitford graves? I’d known, in a fuzzy sort of way, that the Mitfords had grown up nearby. But I wasn’t aware of their new status as the west Oxfordshire equivalent of the Brontë sisters – the people with whom our neck of the woods was implicitly identified.
Boston University talks about one local trivia night:
After the answer sheets were tallied, we were tied for second place. The tiebreaker (What is the name of Batman’s car?) was by far the easiest question of the night. We shouted, “the Batmobile” first to come in second (thus earning a free hardcover book). After careful deliberation, we chose a special edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and walked out onto Newbury Street excited by our surprise victory and satisfied with a Friday night well spent. (Samantha Pickette)
USA Today interviews the writer Sarah Brees Brennan:
Favorite gothic romance story?
Sarah: The Secret Garden.
... No, no, wait, hear me out!
Nobody loves Jane Eyre more than me: I wrote an affectionate parody of it!
When reading The Secret Garden, though, I realised how like Jane Eyre and other works of Gothic fiction it was. A shadowy ancestral manor full of shadowy ancestral secrets, marked by tragedy. A hidden place. A hidden and trapped person, who sometimes screams the place down. Moors, obviously. There are always more moors in these books. (...)
Favorite villain?
Sarah: I would say Heathcliff (of The Postman's Sexy Adventures. No, OK, of Wuthering Heights). He's so interesting because culturally we think and talk about him as the hero. Kate Bush sings about being Cathy and coming home to him. He gets romantic monologues, and initially he is very sympathetic — he's hard done by, and the world is cruel to him, which makes him cruel. But the book actually engages with that: on how far someone can lash back at being victimised before becoming a villain, and Heathcliff does. By the time he's hurting innocent people, he has clearly become a toxic person and for the last half of the book he is the major — the only — antagonist. The book poses some really great questions by showing us Heathcliff's changing position in the narrative: How far do you go before you are irredeemable? What if you do not even want to be redeemed?
Heathcliff kidnaps Catherine Linton (our heroine since her mother, Cathy Earnshaw, is dead) and he keeps her from her dying father until he can force her into marriage with his own cruel (and dying! Those moors, not healthy places!) son, in order to get her inheritance. This is classic villain stuff: depriving the innocent young girl of her liberty in more ways than one, regarding her as chattel and a means to the end of greed. More classic villain stuff — he hits his wife and he hangs a puppy. I'm just saying. PUPPIES. How can Emily Brontë make herself clearer?
The villain of the Lynburn Legacy series is based on Heathcliff, in a way that isn't made clear until the last book, so: spoiler manor. Spoiler moor. (The Gothic equivalents of "Spoiler city.") (Jessie Potts)
The Philippines Sun-Star talks about the Batan island:
Its rugged landscape and obvious isolation are often compared to the setting with which Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights was based. But if you are not a certified literati (or presume to be one), and if you haven't read the novel, you will have no sense of what this otherworldly, oft-overlooked little piece of Eden really is. (...)
Anyhow, Batanes should not be just a footnote. It deserves more than just a comparison to a literary pieces' setting. Maybe, had the British Empire laid claim to the islands before the Spanish Crown did centuries ago, it would have figured prominently in Brontë's work. Who knows.
Siobhan Thompson, from the YouTube channel Anglophenia, is interviewed on BBC America:
Q: What other British lit are you interested in?
A: I love all British literature! I don’t really like modern literary fiction. I love the Brontës. I read a lot of plays. I love George Bernard Shaw. Contemporary playwrights are great.
Keighley News remembers the artist Joe Pighills:
Haworth Parsonage produced a postcard showing one of Joe’s paintings of the access to the Brontë Parsonage. The copyright is that of local photographic artist Simon Warner, who photographed the image. (David Knights)
Wall Street Journal reviews The Fame Lunches by Daphne Merkin; Les Manuscripts Ne Brûlent Pas (in French) reviews Wuthering Heights.


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