Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 9:56 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
These words from The Herald (Scotland) will ring true for any book lover:
When I read The Road, I swore I had radiation sickness and wobbly teeth. On reading Gone With The Wind my hair was singed by the burning of Atlanta. My feet got damp once from wandering the moors in Wuthering Heights.
Yes, the finest works of literature and film can pull you into their world completely. (Julie McDowall)
Financial Times, however, is glad that some things are not quite like in old books:
Women’s employment prospects have changed considerably since Charlotte Brontë vented her frustrations in her novel, Jane Eyre, that 19th century females were confined to “making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags”. (Helen Warrell)
The Atlantic is having a poll on which book to read in December for the 1book140 book club. One of them is
Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Nathan makes the case better than we ever could for this under-appreciated Brontë in the original late 19th Century Novels post: “[A] recent review by Lucy Hughes-Hallett in the Guardian has piqued my interest. Arguing that Villette is better than Jane Eyre, Lucy makes her case: 'It's an ‘astonishing piece of writing, a book in which phantasmagorical set pieces alternate with passages of minute psychological exploration.’ George Eliot apparently loved the book, writing that it ‘it is a still more wonderful book than Jane Eyre.’ Virginia Woolf called it Brontë's ‘finest novel.' It's a ‘funny, penetratingly observant realist novel.' A story of romance and adventure, the novel follows 23-year-old Lucy Snowe from England to teach at a girls' school in the fictional French-speaking city of Villette.” From late 19th Century Novels month. (Jeff Howe and Alexis Ditkowsky)
The poll is open until tomorrow (Wednesday).

Scroll (India) shares an excerpt from Aatish Taseer's new novel The Way Things Were.
“Oh, they were! He called me in to give me a little lecture about the canon, if you please. ‘I.P., my boy, we want our young students, embarking upon the noble discovery of literature, to be acquainted with the canon. There will be time later for other things. But first, they must know the canon. The canon, I.P.’”
“I said, ‘Sir, what is uncanonical about Kalidasa?’ And, Toby, he gets this tortured expression on his face. Literally I thought he was going to burst a blood vessel. Nothing coherent comes out of his mouth. He just grips the table and says, as if the words were being wrung from him, “Sentimental poetry . . . English . . . The greats: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, the Romantics. The boys are giggling, I.P. The boys are giggling. I will have complaints from the parents soon.’”
“What did you say to that?”
“I said, ‘Sir, if giggling is what you”re concerned about, there”s plenty to giggle about in Shakespeare.’”
“‘But I.P.,’ he says, ‘they won’t mind if it is Shakespeare; they will if it is Kalidasa. They don’t spend good money to send their boys to Doon School only to learn Kalidasa.’”
“Conversation over?”
“Pretty much. Can you imagine, Toby, in a country like ours, talking of canons? Where history has played such tricks with us: to talk of canons! The thousand years of Persian writing in India. Is that canon? The Sanskrit dramas and poems, the epics . . . Not canon? The Brontës canon? I wanted to say to him, Sarkar, the Yanks are on their way up now. So, what? In fifty years, is our canon going to consist of Twain and Emerson and Melville . . . Out with the Angrez, in with the Yanks?”
Fangoria reminisces about actor Keith Prentice:
Prentice was cast as Morgan Collins on Dark Shadows for the show’s final storyline. With Joel Crothers long gone from the DS soundstages and DS superstar David Selby dealing with some health issues, Prentice, who was only on the show for two months, became the series’ final leading man. His storyline was a cross between Shirley Jackson’ The Lottery and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. (David-Elijah Nahmod)
El Mundo (Spain) features the Spanish soap opera El Secreto de Puente Viejo:
Puente Viejo ha tenido que prescindir de Pepa, a pesar de que el proyecto de Guerra se había ideado en torno a ese personaje. "A la serie la llamaba en los comienzos La partera, por el papel de Megan Montaner", recuerda Cister. "Mi idea era hacer una serie sobre una mujer a la que le arrebataban a su hijo, con un aire de novela de las hermanas Brontë»" expone Guerra, que admite que, en origen, Antena 3 "no quería una serie de época". (Eduardo Fernández) (Translation)
Ovb Online (Germany) has a short piece on the Brontës. The Book Bag reviews the upcoming Thornfield Hall and nudge newbooks interviews its author, Jane Stubbs:
Do you think Charlotte Brontë neglected her other characters because of the focus on Jane?
I’m not going to accuse her of neglect! I’m the greatest admirer of her as a writer. I think she puts in as much as necessary to build the world of the book. Take the character Sam, as an example – there’s a footman called John in Jane Eyre, who is quite regularly mentioned but suddenly a Sam appears, who I’ve turned into a ex-sailor and becomes involved with another member of the household. But in Jane Eyre he’s just a name – he shows Jane into a room at one point and then she dismisses him. He’s there as much as Brontë needed him to be.
Apart from re-reading Jane Eyre what other research did you undertake? What did you need to know in order to recreate this world for yourself?
I did quite a lot of reading. I’m not a historian but I used books written by historians and I like to see things written in at least three different books to be sure of it. I researched the clothes that the characters would have worn – in fact, I made a costume that matches the one worn by Mrs Fairfax so I could feel what it was like to be her and wear these clothes. She had a small, frilly pinny that was more of a token gesture really – it showed she was staff but also a member of the family. I read a lot about women and marriage in the nineteenth century.
FringeReview posts about the Peter McMaster adaptation of Wuthering Heights.


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