Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
14 hours ago
Katherine Rue made sure the book’s New York illustrator had an idea of where 12-year-old Carly Keene is from.The New York Times reviews Sarah Ruhl's 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write:
“I sent him a picture of my XTRATUFs. Then I sent him a picture of a tent set up in the marsh in Alaska. ‘Here’s the kind of mountains I’m talking about. Here’s what the water and the mountains and islands look like together. And just so you know, people from Juneau don’t use umbrellas. We all make fun of them. She needs a raincoat on the front’ – that kind of thing,” Rue says lightheartedly.
Published by New York-based In This Together Media, the book begins and ends in present day Juneau. It takes an interesting turn when Carly is walking downtown with her best friend Francesca.
“They go into a bookshop they’ve never seen down a little alleyway they’ve never seen when they’re walking home from getting hot cocoa downtown. And she’s reading a first edition of ‘Jane Eyre’ and falls asleep, and wakes up in 1846,” Rue says.
Carly finds herself in the home of the Brontë sisters in England as Charlotte Brontë is trying to write the classic “Jane Eyre.” Carly is stuck there until she can solve a mystery involving the literary family. (...)
Braving the Brontës is geared for kids ages 9 to 14. Rue warns there is some challenging vocabulary that parents may need to decipher. The book also references many other great works of literature besides those written by the Brontë sisters. But Rue doesn’t expect her readers to have read “Jane Eyre” or to know who the Brontë sisters are. (Lisa Phu)
Judged by its title, Sarah Ruhl’s book might seem the very embodiment of Woolf’s prophesy, though its defensive flippancy, nearly a century later, might have surprised her. For a woman who confesses to a moral loathing of the word “quirky,” Ruhl comes alarmingly close, at first glance, to appearing just that: Does a successful female playwright (“In the Next Room; Or, The Vibrator Play,” “The Clean House”) and intellectual, offering a collection of her pensées in 2014, really still feel the need to reassure the public of her cute, harassed harmlessness? When the likes of Adam Phillips bestow their fragments on the world, it is with all due self-importance, and while Ruhl’s title is mindfully unpompous, it also asserts — though somewhat apologetically — a connection to living too vigorous for a pristine set of cleaned-up, embalmed reflections. That note of apology, thankfully, does not persist. “If one is interested in longevity as a writer,” she asks, “how does one respond to the cultural obsession with newness? Or to the sinking and perhaps paranoid feeling that women writers in particular, as soon as they are no longer perceived as potentially seducible daughters but instead as repulsive, dry menopausal mothers in need of lubrication — wait, Virginia Woolf said that Charlotte Brontë wrote badly when she was angry.” (Rachel Cusk)We clearly disagree with Jacquie Moore when she says in The Calgary Herald:
I devoured Jane Eyre in the greasy lunchroom at the hotel. As it turns out, it’s not a terrifyingly Important Book after all but—as Ann-Marie MacDonald writes in her response to our required-reading survey on the following pages—simply a story that encourages one to ponder what is in one’s own attic. (...)We really loved this story in the Glens Falls Post-Star:
A book that should be required reading for most humans.
Jane Eyre, because everyone should ponder what’s in their attic. (...)
Ivan E. Coyote
A book you said you read but didn’t.
Wuthering Heights. I was in my blue-collar pride phase. I still am. It just didn’t work for me, the poor boy being rescued by the rich family. It gave me a bad attitude.
Abigail came through the door and collapsed into a heap.
She had held it together at school. Acted tough. But now home, the heartache poured out.
Life had dealt the poor child a severe blow.
It took a while, but finally she pulled herself together enough to find the words.
“They ... they decided ... (tears wiped, snot sucked) ... they decided on which play they are going to do for 5th grade drama club. It’s ... it’s the Velveteen Rabbit!”
I hugged her and offered my condolences.
I asked her which story she was hoping they’d do
Girl after my own heart, she said, “Jane Eyre.” (Martha Petteys)
To this extent, FFTMC has a classic "marriage plot". A misguided heroine overlooks or misunderstands sensible Mr Right, goes off with imprudent Mr Wrong, learns the error of her ways, and returns to settle safely. Even when this story is told the other way round – it's the man who has been with Miss Wrong and must be converted (think Jane Eyre or Rebecca) – the marriage plot is nearly always told from the woman's perspective; it served to protect inherited wealth, no doubt, and warned many a young heiress away from an unreliable husband. When the man is the protagonist, on the other hand, he is rarely shown to pass over the sexy beauty for the plain Jane. Quite the opposite. He is encouraged to aim high and win the girl who seems impossibly out of reach – as with Gabriel Oak in FFTMC.The Destin Log discusses the importance of playing in childhood:
Playing games develops innovation and creativity. The authors indicate that when children are not told what to do by an adult, they have to figure out their own fun activities. The Brontë children created an imaginary world called the Great Glass Town Confederacy. This time spent in imaginary play became the backbone for the imagination the three sisters used in writing their classic adult books. (Tommy Fairweather)The Daily Jeffersonian talks about the last performances of the Cambridge Performing Arts Centre Jane Eyre production:
In just his second show with CPAC, Heath Chaney -- who plays Edward Fairfax Rochester -- shares Roberson's sentiments.The Washington Post reviews the novel The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue:
"I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work with friends and the people in the community that are so brilliantly artistic. It has been a reunion of sorts," he said.
Chaney describes the show as, "a timeless story about redemption." He adds that "Jane Eyre" is a perfect story for this time of year. "'Jane Eyre' is a dark story. There are secrets about Rochester. The music is dark."
Danielle Zaborski, who plays the role of Mrs. Reed, says that she sees Jane Eyre as the perfect production for Jane Austen fans and romantics, "It is right up their alley."
"I love the music," Zaborski said. "The music is difficult but beautiful once it comes all together." (...)
[Brent] Miller explained that "Jane Eyre" differs from other shows CPAC has done in the past. "This is more of an operetta than a musical, a lot of the dialogue is sung."
Many of the musicals that the Cambridge Performing Arts Centre has done in the past have featured stand alone songs that the audience is often familiar with. The music and songs in "Jane Eyre" are unfamiliar but as many of the people who have seen the show have said, it is beautiful. (Stacy Mathews)
Atmosphere and atmospherics are crucial to the success of gothic fiction. “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “Wuthering Heights,” “Rebecca” and “The Haunting of Hill House” have at least this quality in common, that their protagonists inhabit and move through a largely unknowable world that darkens around them. “The Boy Who Drew Monsters” could not be improved upon in this regard. (Peter Straub)The Daily Nebraskan reviews the film Gone Girl by David Fincher:
Once again, looking at the stories we tell is a surefire way to get at the heart of our cultural beliefs. Historically, it isn’t difficult to see the commonalities linking our fictional accounts of passion. Almost always, the unifying factor in our stories of passionate love is an element of danger or uncertainty. Lancelot and Guinevere. Romeo and Juliet. Heathcliff and Catherine. The names and the details are different, but we’ve always been telling stories of incredibly troubled love, the most tragic of which we use as our most iconic examples of passionate love. (Sean Stewart)George Mason's University Student News Outlet reviews the Aquila Theatre production of Wuthering Heights:
The play was enrapturing and I found myself falling in love again with this classic tale. The actors continued to outdo my expectations as the play progressed; the acting became more intense and the emotions were synced with my own.The Waikato Times (New Zealand) talks about Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca:
The last scene stood out to me. I felt that the play had its own heartbeat and crescendo — thumping rapidly at this pivotal point. (Richard Termine)
Rebecca is a rich character study. Maxim de Winter epitomises the "Byronic Hero". Arrogant and brooding, he is the Heathcliff or Rochester of the 20th century.Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews the fifth season of Downton Abbey:
Temat för säsongen, som tar sitt avstamp 1924, tycks vara tvåsamhet, ett ämne som ligger genren starkt om hjärtat - trånande blickar över vidsträckta salsgolv är själva motorn i brittiska mästerverk som ”Stolthet och fördom” och ”Jane Eyre”. (Erika Hallhagen) (Translation)Libero Quotidiano (Italy) reviews the TV series Un'altra vita:
Nel frattempo, il marito corrotto, dalla Svizzera, chiede a Vanessa -che a quanto punto è una sorta di Moll Flanders del basso Lazio- di testimoniare il falso. Ovviamente la puntata successiva si risolverà tutto per il meglio. Inutile citare la solita struttura iterativa che affonda nei classici del melò tra le sorelle Brontë e Daphne du Maurie. Cotroneo, a passeggiare affondando nei sentimenti, è maestro. (Translation)Matheikal's Blog posts a poem with the title Heathcliff on his deathbed; Stiles Kicks Ass, Yo posts a beautiful meme using Wuthering Heights 2011; Saylingaway publishes an interesting entry: Clothes in Jane Eyre's Time by Luccia Gray; Toastwig reviews Jane Eyre.