Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 3:26 pm by M. in , , ,    No comments
The Guardian highlights the broadcast tonight (BBC4) of the The Secret Life of Books episode devoted to Jane Eyre:
The Secret Life Of Books
8.30pm, BBC4
This engaging series of personal critiques of canonical British literature gets around to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Bidisha, who presents this episode, says that as a teenager she regarded Brontë’s heroine with admiration: Eyre comes from nothing and gets the life (and the man) she wanted. Now, the journalist finds the novel “more disturbing”. Bidisha delves back into Jane Eyre via the archive of Brontë manuscripts and letters and finds a more ambiguous protagonist, still capable of starting illuminating arguments. (Andrew Mueller)
Radio Times adds:
When broadcaster and novelist Bidisha first read Jane Eyre as a teenager, she was taken in by the romance between the novel’s forthright heroine and the brooding Mr Rochester. However, on returning to the book as an adult, her reaction was one of frustration. Why was Jane so happy to submit to Rochester’s every whim? And is author Charlotte Brontë’s attitude to race, explored through the “dark-skinned” character of Bertha, problematic for a modern reader?
Bidisha’s search for answers takes her to the British Library, where she pores over Brontë’s original manuscript and learns of the real-life heartbreak that may have inspired her most famous work. Bidisha’s thoughtful and eloquent conclusion will leave even the most ardent Jane Eyre fan reconsidering the literary classic. (Ellie Austin)
The Mary Sue follows the Peter Nunn harassment on Twitter and casts the following curse:
May your days be full of the Brontë sisters moaning about the moors, Mister. May Shelley interrupt your amorous passions for all of eternity. (Carolyn Cox)
The Star-Observer presents a new production of Wuthering Heights that will be premiered tomorrow, October 1, in Brisbane, Australia:
Shake and Stir Theatre Company are raucous on stage: loud, bright and visceral. This year’s earlier production of George Orwell’s 1984 showed how far society might go to control its citizens. This time they’ve slipped back a few hundred years to retell Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Nothing is safe on this moor.
It doesn’t matter where you are starting from — Kate Bush incanting the title as a chorus, one of the myriad television or film adaptations, or even its origins as a novel — the story of Wuthering Heights has a point of entry for every generation.
Yet the love story between Heathcliffe and Cathy isn’t the only thing driving this story along.
So what makes Shake and Stir’s version different?
“Their courageous choice to cast a man. I just relished the idea, the offer of investigating a Georgian housekeeper,” Gerry Connolly says.
“The staff of these big houses were uneducated and superstitious, and they influenced the children of the estate with their stories of ghosts. Heathcliffe believes in ghosts, and there is a sense that this is a ghost story.” (...)
“This production has a narrative style with a masculine frame and a feminine centre. I play her completely asexually,” Connolly says.
“She is, as a housekeeper, a completely neutral figure. I have played many female roles before: housekeeper, nursemaid, mother. But I suppose I haven’t played many feminine women. Having played the Queen and Margaret Thatcher, I haven’t had to use any female sexuality.
“Yet the femininity is present in Nelly as it is in any gender: a caring, nurturing side.” (Andrew Blythe)
Transformation gives tips to make your Internet experience more empathic:
According to a recent study, people who read fiction tend to have a greater ability to empathize. This may have to do with readers’ skill at understanding characters’ thoughts and feelings. Whether it’s Twilight or Jane Eyre, works of fiction require this ability—granted, some more deeply than others. (Liz Pleasant and Jim McGowan)
David Clarke reviews in Broadway World the OCR of Tess of D'Urbervilles (Stephen Edwards):
Songs like "Birds of the North Star" and "River of Regret" will dance in my head from time to time much like "Sirens" and "Farewell Good Angel" from Jane Eyre once did. Then, after seeing Tess on stage, I'll find this album much more satisfying and that will perfectly mirror my experiences with Jane Eyre.
The Buffalo News presents a local performance of the Béla Bartók opera A kékszakállú herceg vára (Bluebeard's Castle):
The naive young woman and the man with secrets are a couple who have haunted artists through the ages. “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Phantom of the Opera” give the pair a supernatural edge. “Rebecca” and “Jane Eyre” were both about young women in love with men with forbidding mansions and closed doors.
Bluebeard’s bride, in Bartók’s opera, longs to be his sunshine, to light his castle and his life. It’s easy to think of “Wuthering Heights,” and Isabella Linton’s desperate plea: “Heathcliff, let me love you. I can make you happy.” (Mary Kunz Goldman)
Isabella never said such a thing in the book, by the way.

Stixs has suggestions for Halloween:
You and your partner may be fond of books and like a couple from one of them. For example, Harry Potter; the series includes a lot of couples to choose from. They are witches and wizards, so you can go for a traditional Halloween makeup. If you want to go something more serious, then choose classic characters such as Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. (Catherine Streams)
Christian Book Review Blog interviews the author Brenda Anderson:
Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?
I love Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Jane is such an unusual heroine. She isn’t attractive, wealthy, or athletic, attributes that seem to draw the reader, yet she is a true hero. She’s gutsy, intelligent, wise, and passionate. The story is dark, yet it offers hope.
The New Dork Review of Books posts about Jane EyreIn the Forest Clearing... reviews Wuthering Heights.


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