Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015 1:31 pm by M. in , , ,    No comments
The daily dose of Brontë sightings in Fifty Shades of Grey film reviews (thanks to alert reader Michael K.):
Is this really better? If being rescued by the equivalent of Prince Charming is an enduring theme in literature, then capturing and reforming the Bad Boy is its dark twin refrain. Heathcliff, Hamlet, Mr. Rochester, James Dean, Dylan McKay. The Bad Boy, or Demon Lover, brings out a woman’s nurturing and empathetic side and, well, other sides of her, too. As Taylor Swift has said, “I think every girl’s dream is to find a bad boy at the right time, when he wants to not be bad anymore.” (Allison Elliott in The National Review)
Fate lands her an interview with Christian Grey (Dornan) but what could possibly attract her to this billionaire businessman with the looks of a model and the physique of an athlete? Jane Eyre's Mr Rochester was never so glowering or mysterious. (Allan Hunter in The Daily Express)
She may be virginal, but she's not naive, and her defiant back-and-forth with Christian successfully evokes the literary heroines Ana idolises. Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester are clear forebears, but James's barely-literate prose made this tough to notice. (Emma Dibdin in Digital Spy)
She literally falls into his office. He stares at her without blinking for 10 straight minutes. She asks him if he’s gay. He says something about “harnessing people.” She admits to being an English lit student; he asks if it was Hardy, Austen or Brontë that attracted her. She says Hardy. Nope, he says, you are a lady — definitely Austin (sic). She gets up to leave. He steals her paperwork. She is intimidated by him. Boom. Romance. (Rebecca Tucker in National Post)
Christian Grey, the billionaire at the center of "Fifty Shades," isn't a vampire like Edward from "Twilight." He doesn't have a crazy wife locked up in his attic like Mr. Rochester in "Jane Eyre." But like both of them, Grey's relationship puts the woman he is involved with in danger, physically and emotionally. (George Covanis in Detroit Free Press)
Here, that magical force is Christian’s shady kink. He’s not into love. He’s into contractual relationships where pleasure is derived from a kind of pain and sense of control, and virginal Anastasia, who seems to have spent her college years reading Jane Austen and Emily Brontë while avoiding Marquis de Sade’s more descriptive writings, prefers even just the littlest bit of emotional bond while in bondage. (Oggs Cruz in Rappler)
So the fantasy of learning about a man’s true nature became the center of almost all erotic literature (not to mention classic literature as well, from Jane Eyre to Gone With the Wind.)  (Eliana Dockterman in Time Magazine)
We're told early on that Anastasia is an English major, with a particular love of Hardy. Too bad. What the movie really needs is a good dose of Brontë - a tall dark lover with a scowl like a thundercloud, and lots of passionate back-and-forths on the edge of rough cliffs. (Stephen Whitty in New Jersey Star-Ledger)
A “9 1/2 Weeks” for a new generation, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is an attempt to make multiplexes safe for soft-core. Thank heavens, it isn’t in 3-D. Part “Cinderella,” part “Beauty and the Beast,” part “Jane Eyre” meets “Story of O,” the film is based on the 2011 best-selling fangirl fiction sensation by pseudonymous Brit E. L. James, and it is a giggle-inducing letdown after all the heavy-breathing buildup in a media desperate for something people want to hear about. (James Verniere in Boston Herald)
Take away the sex and the story is as archetypal as they come. Anastasia (Dakota Johnson, who’s really good) is the beauty; Christian (Jamie Dornan) is the beast. Or Anastasia is a pretty woman; Christian is Richard Gere with issues. Or Anastasia is Jane Eyre; Christian is the brooding, Byronic Mr. Rochester. Or Heathcliff – but with a twist. She wants a ring on her finger. He’d rather see her hands in a knot. (Baradwaj Rangan in The Hindu)
But even the sex stuff is absurd! Dude has a "playroom" full of whips and handcuffs that looks like the haunted red room from Jane Eyre. Not to mention their S&M stuff, which is supposed to be so intense it requires written consent, amounts to him tying her to a bed, blindfolding her, and kiss-swapping some white wine into her mouth.
Lauren, you're forgetting about the peacock feather. (Lauren Bans in GQ)
At heart this is another story of an inexperienced young woman feeling drawn to a dangerous man. Like Beauty and the Beast, Wuthering Heights, and Bella and Edward, whose Twilight story and the spontaneous fan-writing that followed led to this one. It’s porn but delivered in high style and much softened from the book. (Volkmar Richter in Vancouver Observer)
Il giovanotto non è solo un guru della finanza, ma deve aver letto molto se, ribaltando i ruoli, chiede all'intervistatrice: «Lei è stata conquistata da Emily Brontë, Jane Austen o Thomas Hardy?». (Massimo Bertarelli in Il Giornale) (Translation)
Y sin embargo Fifty Shades of Grey, despreocupada del lastre de todo realismo, casi consigue hacer con todo eso una historia divertida, sin culpas, un juego donde fantasear con lo más recalcitrante de los estereotipos que además conecta con el cuento del hombre poderoso que consumimos desde la infancia en Austen, en Brontë y tantas otras historias, ese que no quiere sentir pero cae rendido ante una chica a pesar de sí mismo. Lástima que a Anastasia, formateada para la monogamia, nos quiera aguar la fiesta con demasiados reclamos de pareja. (Marina Yuszczuk in Página 12) (Translation)
The Wall Street Journal reviews The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville:
Katherine Coville very sensibly does not pretend that Jane Austen shared in writing “The Cottage in the Woods” (Knopf, 389 pages, $16.99), though she is indebted to her and to Charlotte Brontë, the Grimm Brothers and Mother Goose too, for this surprisingly persuasive novel of one young lady’s coming of age at a time of unrest.
Financial Times reviews another novel, Odysseus Abroad by Amit Chaudhury:
Ananda has been reading Keats and other Romantics, while trying to write poetry himself. He thinks he may be one of the greats. He admires Larkin and laments the poet’s sparse output. His tutor is kind about his poetry but Ananda has doubts about his mixed praise. When pressed, Davidson says his favourite book is Sons and Lovers, and Ananda takes it up eagerly: he has heard that it has nothing to do with antiquity and is full of sex. He is fed up with Jane Eyre and all the Brontës. (Justin Cartwright)
Style talks about Suno's last collection:
Appropriately enough, the starting point for this collection was Bertha Mason, the "madwoman in the attic" in Jane Eyre and in Jean Rhys' sultry Jamaica-set prequel, Wide Sargasso Sea. With those precepts in mind, Beatty and Osterweis moved between tropical floridity and haute bourgeoise formality, a dialogue expressed most vividly in the collection's varied florals, but also communicated via the trade between lean, constricted shapes and those soft and fluid. A few of the looks, such as a black printed silk dress with racy sheer panels, merged both tones in a striking way: The sheer lace seemed to have broken through the dress's decorous facade. Elsewhere, a prim shirtdress with an embroidered floral effusion gave a similar effect. (Maya Singer)
The Washington Post talks about the first romance fiction conference held at the Library of Congress:
A remarkable number of the passionate readers and writers in attendance possess not only an unwieldy number of paperbacks whose covers are graced with leo­nine-tressed lovers (their own Libraries of Romantic Congress) but also doctorates, often in English literature. Jane Austen and the Brontes are apparently the gateway drugs to a lifetime of HEA yearning. (Karen Heller)
Den of Geek! presents the Crimson Peak trailer:
As one of our must see horror movies of 2015, Crimson Peak offers the prospect of a genre master attempting to summon some of the decadent dread of a bygone era. With a premise that could be pulling just as much from the writings of either Brontë sister as it could be from pulp magazines, Crimson Peak stands poised to be Guillermo del Toro’s ode to the gothic literature that birthed modern horror. (David Crow)
The trailer is also described on Cines (Spain):
El tráiler enfoca en gran medida en el romance gótico al estilo Jane Eyre, algo causado por ser una película de época con Mia Wasikowska interpretando a un personaje que se enamora de un señor de mayor edad. (Antonio Orrán) (Translation)
And What Culture finds similarities with... Fifty Shades of Grey (!):
Crimson Peak is set for release this October, but this trailer was launched now to play alongside 50 Shades of Grey. It makes a certain kind of sense, and not just because of the quick flashes of bedroom action. They’re both fantasy stories, in their ways, that can be traced back to Wuthering Heights. (Brendon Connelly)
More mentions in Dark HorizonsScreenRant and Collider.

Jamie Laing reminisces about his student days and one particular teacher on TES:
I guess the highest compliment I can pay Mr Hindley is that we didn’t want to miss his lessons. We respected him, he made us laugh and he made us learn. Jane Eyre, Hamlet, The Great Gatsby, The Color Purple: I have great memories of learning these works, all taught by him.
The Oxford Student describes a recent Samantha Shannon and Andy Serkis public talk:
In person, Shannon demonstrates her talent for worldbuilding in her quick, thoughtful answers. It’s clear that she knows her creation inside and out, from its international politics to its cinema culture. Her enthusiasm for literary homage is also evident- she mentions Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist as her two primary inspirations, along with references to everything from the Brontës to Old and Middle English dream poetry. She’s also incredibly willing to discuss her creative process. (Yashwina Canter)
Stuff (New Zealand) tries to find the most sexiest cities in the world:
The top 10 often goes like this: Venice, Paris, Prague, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Seville, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Marrakesh. Other cities considered world-class romantic include Amsterdam, Lisbon, Kyoto, Bruges, Monte Carlo, Savannah, Sydney, Verona. I don't think any list like this is complete without Istanbul and Budapest.
It's all a matter of what you think is romantic – the chocolate box idea of it, or the wild, windswept Wuthering Heights view. (...)
I find Venice, Paris and Prague melancholy. There's a sadness and weariness under the beauty that makes them romantic, especially in the misty, moody greyness of their winters. You see, I'm a Wuthering Heights kind of gal. (Lee Tulloch)
Christianity Today discusses romance:
I have to agree with the literary crowd; and perhaps, as a writer, I am inclined to be a romantic at heart, but I think Emily Brontë said it best when she wrote pithily: “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” (Briana Meade)
Nassau News recommends readings for winter and cold nights:
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë
As any 16-year-old knows, there’s nothing hotter than a forbidden romance. As every Brontë sister knew, the temperature rises substantially with the combination of a broody anti-hero and bad weather on the moors. Cathy and Heathcliff’s doomed love still warms our nightstands because of its sheer intensity — and, like all the best bad choices we make in love, it is a source of “little visible delight, but necessary.” That B- essay on class ambiguity in Brontë’s novel may not have stood the test of time, but Cathy+Heathcliff? 4ever.
BuzzFeed lists several 'grammar mistakes' that are not really mistakes at all. And quotes the Brontës three times to prove it:
Anticipate: Oliver Kamm, author of the newly released Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage, says that “anticipate has long had the sense of ‘expect’ as well as ‘forestall’”, and points out that Charlotte Brontë (“Do you anticipate sentiment, and poetry, and reverie?”) and H.G. Wells both used it like that. (...)
Decimate: As it happens, “decimate” has been used to mean “devastate” for centuries: “Typhus fever decimated the school periodically,” Charlotte Brontë wrote in a letter in 1848.  (...)
Very Unique: “Absolute adjectives” such as “perfect”, “unique”, and “eternal” cannot be modified, according to some pedants, notably Nevile Gwynne, author of Gwynne’s Grammar. But – and you’ll have got the hang of this by now – no one gets to say that except for actual users of the language, who, as it happens, do exactly this, and have done for a while (Kamm points to Brontë again: “‘A very unique child,’ thought I”, she wrote in Villette). (Tom Chivers)
Calaveras Enterprise interviews a local video store owner:
And there are a couple of movies he said he won’t watch alone: “Somewhere in Time” and “Wuthering Heights” – two love stories that made him weep. (Alicia Castro)
Same thing as Kwit Koji:
[Barrie] HARDYMON: But, you know, also stuffed in my backpack was my assigned reading, "Wuthering Heights" and "Jane Eyre." And the prose is very hot, but it's actually not explicit. And, you know, in that way it is actually still kind of sizzling.
[Rachel] MARTIN: All right. So let's put this to the test. Let's hear a little bit of all the hotness happening in "Wuthering Heights."
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Reading) My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath, a source of little visible delight but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff. He's always, always in my mind. Not as a pleasure any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again.
MARTIN: OK. Am I allowed to push back on you a little bit? My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods?
HARDYMON: Well, he's the one that's she's not really that into. But Heathcliff - Nelly, I am Heathcliff. I mean there are these crazy gothic obstacles to overcome. And when you're teenager who regards, you know, everything as a crazy, gothic obstacle - everything is "Romeo and Juliet" - it's not, like, a long way from - I have to get off the phone at 9, my mother is coming, to - oh my God, I have a lunatic wife in the attic.
GazetteXtra on how to make your relationship better:
That first year of marriage, I thought Charlotte Bronte and Mina Loy might have been wrong. Why bother with all that self-knowledge if you were only going end up as a cliché? 
Sex lessons to be found in classical literature according to Bustle:
As I sat down to write this list, I realized that although many of the lessons that literature has to teach us about love still apply perfectly well to our own time—don’t let pride cloud your judgment (Pride and Prejudice),make sure your boyfriend doesn’t have a crazy wife hidden on the third floor before you get engaged (Jane Eyre)—the lessons that classic lit has to teach us about sex are a little more problematic. (...)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)
It’s unclear if the poisonous, obsessive relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff is ever consummated in Wuthering Heights; my own feeling is that it isn’t. Regardless, many years after Cathy’s death, Heathcliff has the side of her coffin removed, so that, when he’s buried next to her following his own death, the side of his coffin can also be removed and their rotting corpses can mingle in the ground forever after. Heathcliff describes his dream of “dissolving with her, and being more happy still!” Sexy, right?
Sex Lesson: If you don’t manage to hit it while your lover’s alive, don’t worry: You can still bone in in the afterlife. (Lara Rutherford-Morrison)
MinnPost interviews the author Rachel L. Coyne:
MP: You’ve written that Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” has been a big part of your life as a writer. (Amy Goetzman)
RC: Books can change people. That book changed me so entirely, and even today impacts the way I write. I think I read it in seventh grade and it must have been the only book I read that year; I read it over and over and over. That’s an age where people are figuring themselves out and deciding: I’m either going to repeat my family rhythms or find my own way in life.
There are lines in each of my novels that echo lines from "Jane Eyre." The very structure and pacing of my books follow from Brontë. The movie version really fails to capture how grim and brutal that book really, is. The stark, persistent darkness, the violence, especially against children, the threads of madness, the sense of trying to save yourself from your own childhood. That scene where Jane Eyre wakes up with little Helen Burns dead in her bed? That’s so incredibly grim. There’s dynamite hidden in that book. It’s in my emotional wiring. It sings in me. I love it.
Kölner Stadt-Unzeiger talks about Anna Todd's After:
Eigentlich sehnt er sich natürlich auch nur nach Liebe, weil er eine schwere Kindheit hatte, man kennt das. Dabei liebt er Literaturklassiker wie „Sturmhöhe“, trinkt kaum Alkohol und ist im Grunde seines Herzens ein netter Kerl. (Anne Burgmer) (Translation)
And, well, today is February 14th. You know what that means, right? Let's take a deep breath and begin the list of (almost) neverending mentions and lists with Brontës on them:
Need a read? [Katy] Madison’s recommendations focus on books she loves to rediscover, including “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë. It’s probably why she sometimes skews Gothic.  (Edward M. Eveld in The Kansas City Star)
Wuthering Heights: A total eclipse of the heart.
In one of the oldest heart-wrenching classics in the "lost love can turn a good man evil" scenario, Emily Brontë's novel takes us back to 1802 at the Wuthering Heights estate. In this timeless love story, our leading man Heathcliff grows to become best friends with his adopted sister, Catherine, his life-long crush. But an offhand comment, overheard at the Heights, changes the course of both of their lives.
“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” (The Daily Star)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. The evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature. (The Times of India)
Mr. Rochester of “Jane Eyre
Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” features the classic gothic romantic elements of the theologically sound girl, the man with a damaged soul and the bat-crazy wife hidden in an attic.
Mr. Rochester is a prime example of a rebel heart calmed by the sweet musings of the “poor, obscure, plain and little” heroine, Jane Eyre. He desired every bit of Jane, but he didn’t pursue her solely as another notch on his bedpost — and not just because his bed post had burned to a crisp.
Jane’s naivete wasn’t sought after in the same perverse way the “maidenhood” of a young woman is purchased the night before her life as a Geisha. Today, Jane refusing sexual intimacy with Rochester is viewed as repressed and anti-feminist.
However, if Jane had submitted to the married man’s efforts, would she be any better than a modern woman convincing herself that her married boyfriend’s wife “doesn’t treat him right”?
In the end, Jane’s resolve to run away from his tempting offer resulted in their lawfully binding marriage. (Anna Mae Ludlum in The Daily Wildcat)
Valentine's Day | Music that'll make your heart smile: (...) "Awaken," Dario Marianelli: Purposelessness and apathy scare me most in life. This soundtrack (from "Jane Eyre") causes me to feel, not allowing me to remain detached from life. (Teresa Totheroh, violin from The Last Bison in Hampton Roads)
MOVIE REVIEW: Happy Valentine's Day: (...) Jane Eyre (TV, 2006): OK this is a miniseries, but stay with me. Anastasia Steele’s an English Lit major and references classic heroines often, namely Tess Durbeyfield, but she should be looking at Jane for direction. There have been about 10 adaptations of the film, but this one is the bee’s knees for capturing Jane’s spirit and self-composure against her love for a man consumed by regret. Her battle is uphill from birth, first as an unwanted orphan, then as a decade-long resident at an abusive boarding school, but a glint of light appears when she gets a position of governess at the imposing Thornfield Hall, owned by the dark and mysterious Edward Rochester (aren’t they always Edward?) who harbors past secrets and scars of his own. As their relationship moves from professional to a mutual understanding to romantic, author Charlotte Bronte achieved the rare feat of taking a potentially scandalous situation and injecting her heroine with enough intelligence and self-respect to know what she wants and what she is worth. Proof that a story can be passionate without being lascivious, Jane’s test comes as she is given the opportunity to live happily as a mistress and she chooses to live honestly and alone, though not without torment. This version features recent Golden Globe-winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair) as Jane and Toby Stephens (Black Sails) as Edward, and though Stephens is too attractive for the character, he displays all his temper and wit and obsession for the little bird under his care.  (Brooke Corso in The Monitor)
The BAM's Blog 8th annual Valentine's Day movie list: (...)"Jane Eyre" (2011): Director Cary Fukunaga ("Sin Nombre") and his talented young cast, including Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell, bring fresh energy to the often-adapted gothic tale. Every aspect of the narrative is heightened: The mystery crackles with suspense, the romance smolders with sensuality, and the coming-of-age story flares with intensity. (Brandy McDonnell in NewsOK)
We aren’t Miss Havisham, burying ourselves in a mouldering mansion, shrouded in yellowing wedding wear and bitterness. Nor are we Heathcliff, destined to spend a lifetime railing against thwarted love, destroying all who were instrumental in its thwarting. And no, I do not believe true love’s kiss will awaken anyone from the sleep of death, unless perhaps your Prince has halitosis. (Preeti Zachariah in The Hindu)
Tác phẩm của Charlotte Brontë lại mang một màu sắc trầm lắng, kiềm chế hơn rất nhiều lời văn tươi sáng, vui vẻ của Jane Austen.
Lời văn và cách kể chuyện của Charlotte Brontë cũng đơn giản, trầm mặc như chính nhân vật chính của bà, cô Jane Eyre. Nhưng nó chỉ là vẻ bề ngoài, ẩn sâu bên trong đó là tình yêu thương mãnh liệt, đam mê nồng cháy, và một niềm tin tưởng không thể lay chuyển vào lẽ phải.
Cuộc sống của cô gái gia sư bình dị Jane Eyre tưởng đã sang trang mới hạnh phúc khi ông chủ Roschard cầu hôn với cô, nhưng một bí mật đen tối trong quá khứ ông chủ đã chia cách hai người.
Cuối cùng, Jane Eyre đã tìm ra con đường để tự trưởng thành và có thể yêu Roschard bằng cả trái tim vô tư, không làm gì trái với lòng mình. (Phan Lê in Dan Viêt) (Translation)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë). L’histoire d’amour impossible entre Jane Eyre et Mr. Rochester, grand classique anglais, est d’un lyrisme délicieux avec ses dialogues polis et ses rebondissements de circonstance. Bien dosée en espoir et en tourments, la saga fait renaître direct la grandiloquence de l’Angleterre victorienne. (Geneviève Tremblay in Le Devoir) (Translation)
Dla odmiany można sięgnąć po miłość z XIX wieku, po "Emmę" (2009), "Dumę i uprzedzenie" (1995) czy "Rozważną i romantyczną" (1995 lub 2008) na podstawie powieści Jane Austen; albo zboczyć na wrzosowiska i zagłębić się w "Wichrowe Wzgórza" (2009) i "Jane Eyre" (2006) sióstr Brontë. (Sonia Miniewicz in Gazeta) (Translation)
El amor de Cumbres Borrascosas es como deberían serlo todos en teoría: intenso, salvaje, incondicional. Pero eso solo sería bueno si ese amor fuera entre dos personas sanas y equilibradas y en condiciones que permitieran dar rienda suelta al amor. No es el caso aquí, y no suele serlo en ningún libro. Las pasiones devastadoras son de lo más destructivo. (Cristina Domínguez in Librópatas) (Translation)
I protagonisti di “Orgoglio e pregiudizio” di Jane Austen sono risultati la coppia piu’ votata dalla community di Libreriamo, scelta da quasi un amante dei libri su 3 (29%) all'interno di uno specifico sondaggio. (...)
Le coppie piu' romantiche della letteratura
6. Edward Rochester e Jane Eyre (Libreriamo) (Translation) 
Kilkenny People has a local proposal for tonight:
If you are looking for a novel way to spend Valentine’s night then pop down to the Hole in the Wall where the Barn Owl’s Players will present their latest production - What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Songs, poetry, drama and limericks will be performed in the stunning setting of the upstairs space of the old tavern with the common theme of love and indeed anti-love running throughout the evening.
“Whether you are in love, in hate, a hopeless romantic or sickened by the sight of hearts, What’s Love got to do with it? has something for everyone. The Hole In The Wall is a great venue for us to present an informal, relaxed night of entertainment. We have had a great response to these type of shows in the past and we hope that the audience will join in with us and bring along some limericks about love,” said BOP chairperson, Cara O’Doherty.
Literary stalwarts including Oscar Wilde, Emily Brontë, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and Paul Durcan are all included in the programme.
The Voice and The Chattanoogan quote from Wuthering Heights.

Finally, a Brontë mention in a Times article about The Royal Scotsman.


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