Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014 4:36 pm by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
The Sunday Herald reviews Sanctuary by Robert Edric:
The opening scene describes a meeting on Sober Hill between Branwell and a pack man with his "string of Galloways", delivering unmade kersey to Leeds and Bradford. The man's trade is being usurped by the railways: "Everyone talks forever of 'progress'," he says to Branwell, who responds: "meaning they speak of it when they profit from it most?" Sanctuary is full of sleek dialogue like this, and plenty of historical fodder to chew on. (...)
The strangeness of the book is in the feeling the story isn't going anywhere. The plot hangs around like the thick mist that clings to the Yorkshire moors. At this point Branwell's life is also going nowhere. The chapters are occasionally just brief encounters between Branwell and some hapless acquaintance he meets on the road. This is no criticism. The cast is never dull, and Edric is wonderful at creating a sense of place and atmosphere in few words. By the end you need only be reminded of the "call of a distant curlew" on the moors and a panoply of imagery gathers around you again.
It should be tiring to read about a man making the same mistakes over and over, but you rarely feel bogged down. This is not surprising. Edric has written more than 20 novels, and has had plenty of practice in how best to break the rules. His prose can be sentimental and a few phrases, such as "home grown revolutionaries", stick out as too modern. But these are quibbles. Sanctuary slow-burns its way into the mind and sits there, waiting for you to re-read its depictions of the Yorkshire countryside, the poverty of agricultural existence, and of the faltering life of the male Brontë who never lived up to his own or his family's hopes.
The novel's epigraph is an extract from one of Branwell's letters to his friend Joseph Leyland. It captures the mindset of a man resigned to failure: "I am betrayed by my instincts and damned by my desires. It was ever thus." (Nick Major)
The Irish Independent mentions Tom Canton (Heathcliff in the Gate Theatre production of Wuthering Heights):
"Ohmigad!" the tall brunette exclaimed grabbing my arm. "You're not going to believe this but Heathcliff is sitting at the bar!"
Indeed he was.
Or, at least, the Rada-trained actor playing Emily Brontë's literary hunk was.
The Gate Theatre's production of Wuthering Heights, starring Tom Canton as the bold and brooding Heathcliff and Kate Brennan as Catherine Earnshaw, was met with rapturous applause and a standing ovation.
"I think women like Heathcliff's unpredictability, his passion and his recklessness," Canton said. That'll do it, alright. (...)
Author Joseph O'Connor was there to support his other half, Anne-Marie Casey, who penned the stage adaptation of Brontë's book. "It's not every first night you attend where you're in love with the playwright," he said. (...)
It's been 70 years since The Gate staged Wuthering Heights but it's not for want of trying.
"I asked Hugh Leonard to do it before but he said no," director of The Gate Michael Colgan said.
"It's a long and rambling tale but I think we've cracked it. It's got drama, romance and ghosts - what more do you want?" (Kirsty Blake Knox)
Not the only article in the same newspaper where the Gate production is mentioned. The Sunday Times reviews the production:
When old Mr Earnshaw found a young Heathcliff wandering the streets destitute and alone, the child was speaking “gibberish”. Students of Emily Brontë have taken this to imply that the boy, who is taken in as Earnshaw’s son and falls in love with his daughter, Catherine, was a gypsy. In this adaptation of the classic novel, writer Anne-Marie Casey has inferred the nonsensical language to be Irish. It is one of many bold but confident decisions that establish this Gate Theatre production as a thoroughly enjoyable night of entertainment and a thoughtful interpretation of a much-loved tale of tumultuous passion. (Eithne Shortall)
The vision of marriage in Xaluan (Vietnam) is, to say the least, a bit dated:
Nhưng trong suốt những tháng năm tới đây, cả hai sẽ luôn biết đến một mảnh đất gọi là nhà, nơi tôi nặn bánh, nấu cơm, thong thả viết, nơi tôi thêu nốt bức thêu, đọc đi đọc lại cuốn Jane Eyre vào những chiều thật lạnh. Nơi đó, tôi sẽ lại chơi chi chi chành chành với lũ mèo, và người chơi keng với chó. (Vũ Hoài Anh) (Translation)
Let It Be Printed discusses Charlotte Brontë's poetry;  Les Soeurs Brontë (in French) posts about Haworth; JPT Movie Reviews posts about Wuthering Heights 1998; kącik literacki (in Polish) talks about the original Emily Brontë novel.

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