Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Aquila Theatre production of Wuthering Heights comes to Fairfax, VA:
Actor Michael Ring has a special challenge in bringing Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” to life with the Aquila Theatre Company: He’s not only playing two roles, but also both genders.
Ring is playing the dual roles of Hindley Earnshaw and Isabella Linton in the production — a major challenge for him.
“To capture the emotions of a child at first and descending into adulthood is something that has a ton of challenges,” he said. “As well as playing Linton, who is a female character — that required a lot of research for me at least. I had to do quite a bit of research into the character and to portray a girl in that time. It was incredibly difficult.” (Tripp Laino in Fairfax Times)
Stage Whispers reviews another Wuthering Heights production, the Shake & Stir one in Brisbane, Australia:
Nick Skubij has pared down Emily Brontë’s dense Gothic novel to focus on the families and romantic relationships. Ross Balbuziente, with his smouldering Latin good looks, was born to play Heathcliff. In a moment of inspiration the company approached Jerry Connolly to play narrator Nellie Dean. He accepted, and becomes a trump card in this production. (Jay McKee)
The re-opening of Elizabeth Gaskell's house in Manchester in The Guardian:
Charlotte Brontë described it as “a large, cheerful, airy house, quite out of the Manchester smoke”. Now the home of Elizabeth Gaskell, one of the most important and best-loved Victorian novelists, is reopening on Sunday after a multi-million pound refurbishment.
In a painstaking and costly renovation, the Grade II* listed property, pictured right, on the outskirts of Manchester city centre has been brought back to life as it was in the mid-19th daughters. Modern day visitors can walk in the footsteps of Gaskell’s friends, who included Brontë, Charles Dickens, John Ruskin, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the conductor Charles Hallé. (...)
According to Allan, Gaskell’s biography of her friend Charlotte Brontë “was a very difficult thing to get right. She was writing it very soon after Charlotte had died. There was the threat of a libel suit and the whole of the first edition had to be completely withdrawn.” (Helen Nugent)
BBC News adds:
The famous orchestra conductor Charles Hallé gave piano lessons to Elizabeth's daughter Marianne in their drawing room.
Other visitors included the critic John Ruskin and the American author Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. Elizabeth also welcomed her cousins, the Wedgwood pottery manufacturers.
But Jane Eyre author Charlotte Brontë, uncomfortable in large gatherings, hid behind the Gaskells' curtains when their doorbell rang.
Dickens invited Gaskell to contribute to his magazine Household Words and addressed her "Dear Scheherazade", after the storyteller in Arabian Nights. (Rumeana Jahangir)
And The Guardian's Quiz is... well... Do you know who this is?
1. Which novelist wrote the first biography of Charlotte Brontë?
The Telegraph reviews the film Gone Girl by David Fincher:
Suburban noir might be the publishing buzz-word du jour but the genre is nothing new; Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca remains the definitive husband-with-a-secret novel, and that was published in 1938. Jean Rhys’s 1966 novel Wide Sargasso Sea is a forensic examination of the toxic marriage that overshadows Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and is a brilliant portrayal of a wife by turns misunderstood, neglected and abused until she becomes the madwoman in the attic, the ultimate enemy within. (Erin Kelly)
Debbie Taylor discusses the use of dialect in novels in The Guardian:
Hilary Mantel opted for "dialect lite" in the first two volumes of her Tudor trilogy, layering in vocabulary and syntax with delicate brushstrokes, "so the past just touches the reader on her shoulder as her eyes pass easily over the lines". Sarah Waters took a similar approach in her early historical novels, adding a subtle archaic flavour to the narrative and confining dialect to the dialogue. Indeed, this is a strategy most authors use: Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Andrea Levy all follow Charlotte Brontë's example, when she toned down the dialect in her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights to make it more acceptable to "southerners".
Also in The Guardian a review of the novel The Quick by Lauren Owen:
The first hundred or so pages of Lauren Owen's novel seem to be setting out her stall as a historical novelist, with nods to Charlotte Brontë and Charles Dickens and a rather vague sense of Victoriana, characterised by balls and grime and hats. (Jane Housham)
Screen Daily interviews the film director Ann Hui:
What is Xiao Hong’s [author of the novel The Golden Era, which Ann Hui has adapted in her latest film] significance to Chinese literature?
She would be somebody like Emily Brontë or Herman Melville – focused on the elemental forces of nature and very poetic. She only wrote three or four novels and the structure is very non-traditional. (Liz Shackleton)
In the Huffington Post Xaque Gruber interviews he Director of the Goethe Institut-Los Angeles, Fareed C. Majari:
XG: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland have collectively won Oscar's Best Foreign Language category a total of seven times, and nominated 22 times. This year you have both Austria and Germany's entries in the category - any early predictions?
FCM: Hard to say. Beloved Sisters [Die geliebten Schwesterncertainly appeals to those members of the Academy who like period pieces like the many films based on novels by Jane Austen, Emily Brontë or Thackeray.
Tom Ricks makes a curious Brontë reference in an article on Foreign Policy:
In this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, James McPherson, author of my favorite book on the Civil War, describes his favorite history books. Together, this makes a great reading list for anyone interested in American history. That said, I am surprised he doesn’t like Gibbon. Maybe it is like Wuthering Heights—you just have to read it at a certain age.
Radio Times reviews the film Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe by Luis Buñuel:
Considering what director Luis Buñuel did with Wuthering Heights, this is an astonishingly restrained adaptation of Daniel Defoe's classic castaway tale. Gone is the surrealism one expects of Buñuel, and in its place comes a heartfelt optimism about the salvation of humanity. (David Parkinson)
The Toronto Star interviews the writer Nora Roberts and asks about her favourite books.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
It’s the grandmother of every Gothic novel. The characters: Rochester and Jane and the mad woman in the attic and the atmosphere at Thorndike Hall (sic) — all of it beautifully, beautifully written. I don’t even know how many times I’ve read it. And at the end, she’s back, it’s triumphant. (Deborah Dundas)
London Theatre News interviews the actor Robert Duncan:
You have performed in numerous stage productions. Can you choose two of your favourites and what did you enjoy most about them?
I have always enjoyed Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre. I played that at Theatr Clwyd. That was at the start of my acting career, and I have never forgotten it, as it was my first link with Bill Kenwright, as it was his production. (Neil Cheesman
The Hindu reviews the novel A Town like Ours by Kavery Nambisan:
To reconcile that problem, writers set up a peculiar kind of narrator, the person steeped in the rough life who somehow has the vocabulary and wider perspective to tell the stories. It is the kind of construct we find in old fiction, like Nelly Dean from Wuthering Heights or the flamboyantly criminal Moll Flanders. Nowadays, it seems an unnecessarily elaborate way to get to the stories. Readers are primed to accept them without that explanatory frame. (Lathan Anantharaman
The Bellingham Herald reviews Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen:
I’ve always been fascinated with the work of writers who have wrested away the secondary creations of another author, adopted them as their own, and fleshed them out to become protagonists in their own stories. Myriad examples abound — among my favorites are Jean Rhys’s exploration of Jane Eyre’s nemesis in “Wide Sargasso Sea”[.] (Barbara Lloyd McMichael)
A couple of Heathcliff sightings. In a review of Dance of the Dark Heart by Julie Hearn in The Guardian:
Dark, moody characters can be very attractive, and few come much darker than Jack Orion, the anti-hero of Julie Hearn’s powerful new YA novel, a tale she has woven from two legends – that of a demon fiddler and of a wedding party that upsets the devil. There’s more than a touch of Heathcliff about Jack, although the brooding bad boy of the moors is a pussycat in comparison. Jack has good looks, loads of charm, talent – and a voice in his head prompting him to commit acts of extraordinary evil. (Tony Bradman)
Bustle talks about the HeForShe campaign. Beginning with the opposite trend:
So often in books and literary culture, we turn the lens toward bad men. It’s not an inconceivable tendency; after all, who doesn’t love to hate a good bad guy? There are meticulous villains, domineering fathers, and volatile, tempestuous lovers (I’m looking at you, Heathcliff) all throughout the pages of lit, contemporary and classic alike. (Adrienne Westenfeld)
La Gazette du Sorcier (France) interviews Matthew Lewis about his attachment to the Brontë biopic project. It seems that for the moment there are no news:
Qu’en est-il du projet The Brontë dans lequel il devait apparaître ?(GdS)
Il espère toujours faire partie du projet, mais il n’a malheureusement pas de nouvelles. Ce qui lui fait dire qu’on fait bien de lui rappeler, pour qu’il pense à en demander. (Translation)
Librópatas (Spain) lists writers' houses to visit in England:
Y puestos a peregrinar, nada mejor que los páramos. The Brontë Parsonage Museum abrió en una época tan temprana como los años 20 y es la casa en Haworth con su padre y el desdichado Branwell. Se puede visitar desde la cocina (en la que Emily estudiaba alemán) hasta las habitaciones de las hermanas o el estudio de su padre clérigo. Puede ser además la excusa perfecta para hacer una ruta por la Inglaterra de las Brontë. (Raquel C. Pico) (Translation)
The Brighouse Echo talks about German students who has visited among other places the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth; a German blog (LovelyBooks) and A Pugly Life review Wuthering Heights; Vonnie's Rading Corner and Lost Generation Reader participate in the Jane Eyre readalong organized by A Night’s Dream of Books and Babbling Books. Michelle Psaltakis reviews Jane Eyre.

The Anglophile Channel uploads a video where the costume designer Andrea Galer talks, among other things, of her work in Jane Eyre 2006. Folklings posts the Out in the Winding, Windy Moors series of pictures.


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