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The first reaction to the Gate production of Anne-Marie Casey's adaptation of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights is a sense of profound relief: this is Brontë's novel, not a jumble of 21st century slang and jargon in a story framework that matches the original only in an occasional point of contact.The same newspaper also wonders whether 'modern women' can 'reach the 'Wuthering Heights' of having two partners'.
It could be claimed that Casey had an easier task than some adaptors in that Wuthering Heights is an outrageous Gothic tale, its language straightforward and unadorned by fashionable style and thus presenting fewer possible pitfalls. But such advantages have not prevented other adaptors of period classics, here and elsewhere, from torturing them into a slow and mangled death.
Casey's adaptation is faithful from the first. Mr. Lockwood is the man who has rented the ill-fated house in which so many of the protagonists have died, from the wild and tormented Cathy to her betrayed and desperate husband Edgar Linton. And the tale unfolds as it does in the book: as told to him by the housekeeper Nelly. She has kept the dreadful secrets of a fierce and impossible love to herself for 20 years, watching Heathcliff, the man despised even by the crude Yorkshire society into which he was adopted by Cathy's father, howl himself towards the grave to which he has driven his wild lover in the impossibility of their almost unearthly passion.
Casey has added a fantasy of her own: in her text, Heathcliff's "gibberish" when he is picked up as a small and filthy boy on the streets of Liverpool is actually Irish, a doubtful fantasy, since Patrick Prunty, father of the famous sisters, was always at some pains to disguise his own Irishness (even changing his name to the more "refined" Brontë.) [...]
Wuthering Heights sure ain't cheerful, but it is an excellent piece of theatre, even though somewhat downbeat as a Christmas offering. (Emer O'Kelly)
Anna Funder's Stasiland made it to the new list of prescribed English texts for Higher School Certificate study as did the filmmaker Jane Campion, the science fiction novelist Ursula Le Guin and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.The Yorkshire Post has an update on the plans for a wind farm in Brontë country.
But for these exceptions women writers are a vulnerable species on next year's senior English reading list, according to University of Notre Dame's lecturer in literature and communications, Dr Camilla Nelson.
At least 70 per cent of texts authorised for senior study in years 11 and 12 by the NSW Board of Studies from 2015 to 2020, are authored by men. [...]
The notion that the best books are written by men is absurd but that's precisely the message the gender imbalance sends, says Nelson.
"Among the texts we have lost are Austen's Northanger Abbey, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Emily Dickinson's poetry which rather supports my suspicion that as the classic nineteenth century texts are taken off the curriculum there's a tendency to replace with contemporary male, rather than contemporary female writers.
"I am certainly not saying that we should necessarily bring back all the classic nineteenth century writers who basically dominated the novel last century. I can certainly see the sense in engaging students with contemporary texts. But the gender politics at work are astonishing." (Linda Morris)
Councillors are being advised to refuse a bid to install two wind turbines on a farm in the heart of the countryside made famous by the Brontës.An Ottawa Sun columnist writes about a late member of the community:
The move to construct the turbines on 18-metre high masts at Old Oxenhope Farm, Oxenhope, Keighley, has divided opinion.
Bradford Council has received seven letters in support of the scheme and 10 letters of objection. Oxenhope Parish Council is among its critics.
Coun Neal Cameron, the chairman of the parish council, said: “We tend to look at every case on its merits with special regards to the aesthetics of the locality. We are very much an area of outstanding natural beauty.
“The Brontë sisters’ countryside is very important historically and affects a lot of tourism.
“We tend to treat everything how it will sit in its environment and unfortunately in this application the turbines would be very prominent on the horizon in the locality.
“The farm is equidistant between Haworth, the home of the Brontës which attracts a lot of visitors, and the Brontë waterfalls. We support wholeheartedly the fact that we have a dairy farm in the village. We are very keen to support and retain agricultural activities.”
Critics fear the turbines will adversely affect tourism in the area. However, supporters say the development is vital to the farm business and the application will help the farm so it should be supported.
They say that government policy is to reduce carbon emissions from the dairy industry. They claim that “without allowing farms to develop they inevitably decline and ultimately environmental stewardship declines with them”.
Members of Bradford Council’s Area Planning Panel for Keighley and Shipley will be advised to refuse the application when they meet on Thursday.
The farm is next to a public footpath which is part of the Brontë Way and The Railway Children Walk.
Amidst that chaos -- and just two doors down from the bordered-up crack house -- I found Jean-Marc Jubinville. He was sitting on his front porch, dressed in his going-to-mass pants and collared shirt, drinking tea and reading an Anne Brontë novel. [...]Classic Movie Favorites reviews Wuthering Heights 1939. Words for Worms posts about the original novel. Babbling Books continues reading Jane Eyre. Fanda Classiclit also post about Charlotte Brontë's novel. Finally, Dr. Harrison Solow explains 'Why We Still Read Jane Eyre'.
And that quiet grace -- can you come up with a better definition than reading Anne Brontë next to a crack house? -- amazing how often it wins. How often it saves our communities. (Ron Corbett)