Friday, December 12, 2014

The New York Times interviews Anjelica Huston about books:
Who is your favorite novelist of all time? [...]
I’d have to say, for sheer force of beauty, Leo Tolstoy. It’s a while since I read “War and Peace,” but I reread “Anna Karenina” not too long ago, and it is mighty. I must confess I love female writers: Jane Austen, Isak Dinesen, Colette, Willa Cather, Dawn Powell, Joan Didion. I grew up on the Brontë sisters, and Daphne du Maurier. I gravitate to love stories. I love the way Elizabeth Bowen writes, and I’d have to say I take Edith Wharton over Henry James. She’s fruitier. Thomas Mann’s “The Magic Mountain” is a classic. And of course, for sheer language and character, Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations” ranks very high. I loved Yukio Mishima’s The Sea of Fertility tetralogy: “Spring Snow,” “Runaway Horses,” “The Temple of Dawn” and “The Decay of the Angel.” Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is such a powerful book, and “Love in the Time of Cholera” is so strangely, brilliantly optimistic.
Another Brontëite (well, sort of) is this 17-year-old columnist from The Huffington Post.
The only books that I have read in high school that left me astonished were Wuthering Heights, Crime and Punishment, To Kill a Mockingbird and Les Miserables. I felt that all the others I had to read were simply in the curriculum to fill the specified quotas (i.e. one book on race, another on religion and several from Shakespeare). Basically, these often abstract books just did not interest me, a regular teenager just trying to get through the maze of high school unscathed. (Mackenzie Patel)
Wuthering Heights may appeal to teenagers because, apart from the general sturm und drang of it,
 All the juicy bits in Wuthering Heights are near the beginning. (Charlotte Runcie in The Telegraph)
The New York Daily News book blog Page Views questions Minae Mizumura's view of A True Novel as a retelling of Wuthering Heights,
Firstly, yes, Minae Mizumura’s “A True Novel” has been compared to “Wuthering Heights” and “The Great Gatsby.” But the riveting and languorous tale, first published in Japan 12 years ago, has just as much in common with “Cloud Atlas” (or should I say, seems to have influenced the latter, which came out two years after) and “The Pillow Book,” the 11th-century collection of single lady Sei Shonagon’s often hilarious writings that muse upon romance, annoying one-night stands and court life. [...]
We start with fictional Minae’s preface set near the time the book was published in 2002, then skip to her adolescence as a Japanese expat in Long Island in the ‘60s, and after that fast-forward through her career to the moment she meets a young man who knows someone she once knew.
That “someone” is Taro, and his story is eventually taken back to the beginning— not by him, but by maid Fumiko, who eventually comes to work for Taro after lengthy servitude with the family of his childhood girlfriend, Yoko. Fumiko is the analogue to Nell from “Wuthering Heights,” but that’s as specific to Emily Brontë’s classic as “True Novel” gets, at least in my opinion. Class-crossed lovers, humble protagonist getting rich, wealthy families falling into genteel poverty, an epic comprising several decades, even the Three Crones (here, aged sisters of a nouveau riche postwar Japanese family): these are common tropes. [...]
When “True Novel” winds down, we feel the triumph and agonies of love and personal success as keenly as Taro, Yoko, Fumiko, Minae, Yusuke and the Saegusa sisters, and practically have implanted memories of Japanese small town Karuizawa, so richly described are its seasons, foliage and denizens. Confused now? No worries — it’s a joy to witness everything become clear. (Eydie Cubarrubia)
Jane Eyre is one of The Arbiter's 'reads to match the winter mood'.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë: For those readers looking to catch up on their classics “Jane Eyre” is definitely a good place to start. Largely considered a revolutionary work of fiction for its use of a female heroine who shares her intense emotions and does not apologize for her sexuality, no one’s literary repertoire is complete without a reading of “Jane Eyre.” (Patty Bowen, Justin Kirkham, and Emily Pehrson)
The Huffington Post rightly claims that.
Inverting the classics is nothing new; while The Last Ringbearer is a well-conceived semi-sequel to Tolkien, Gregory Maguire (Wicked), Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea), and John Gardner (Grendel) have done this sort of thing much better. Not only do these three novels work brilliantly as free-standing literary works, none of them has, to my knowledge, produced ressentiment-infused subcultures (though Maguire, in providing the inspiration for the shlock anthem "Defying Gravity," is guilty of much worse). (Eliot Borenstein)
The Mirror sums up the latest goings-on on EastEnders:
Anyway, we FINALLY got to meet the Carter’s errant matriarch, Sylvie, who’s been tucked away in Aunt Babe’s spare room like something out of a Brontë novel. (Katy Brent)
But of course life isn't a Brontë novel, as Natasha Bolter well knew. The Daily Mail (of course) and the Evening Standard discuss the text messages sent back and forth between her and Roger Bird.
Are we really so busy now that even our love gets abbreviated? Life is not a Brontë novel, Bolter notes in another message. It certainly doesn’t seem like one reading these. (Rosamund Urwin)
Arte (Italy) features Magdalena Tomala's exhibition Maddy.
Ma è proprio la burrasca che conferisce vigore alle opere e alla visione –artistica e non solo- della Tomala, che ama citare Emily Brontë: “...solo gli inquieti sanno com'è difficile sopravvivere alla tempesta e non poter vivere senza”, dove l’unica ancora di salvezza è costituita dall’ironia e dall’autoironia –ribadita anche dal titolo della mostra- dal ridimensionamento della sofferenza attraverso il gioco, la leggerezza, l’accettazione di eventi che non si possono cambiare, ma trasfigurare ed esorcizzare attraverso un’espressione artistica cinica e sarcastica. (Translation)

Ask the locals - Brontë from gVisions media on Vimeo.
Via the Brontë Parsonage Facebook page, we have found this trailer for Ask the Locals - Brontë, a documentary made by the grandson of Joanne Hutton, the first female curator of the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Newstalk shares an interview with the actors of the Gate Theatre production of Wuthering Heights. Tattoos A shows a tattoo with a Wuthering Heights quote.


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