Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015 10:37 am by M. in , , , , , ,    No comments
Following the Brontë-mention fest that is the time surrounding Valentine's Day, The Cambridge Student wonders whether literature relies too heavily on love.
Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby; literary classics that have become synonymous with the word ‘masterpiece’, have been culturally idolised and incessantly referenced, they are novels that skilfully weave together the social and the political, rendering them timeless.
Yet ask a stranger on the street, and they will fawn over the Adonis-in-breeches that is Mr. Darcy emerging from the lake to Elizabeth Bennett, in a scene actually absent from the novel. They may whimper at how misunderstood Heathcliff and Cathy were, or how tragic it is that Gatsby will never possess his Daisy. The novels and their characters are have been immortalised, but not because of their commentary upon social class and gender inequality, but because they have become pin-ups for the most used theme of all: love. (Sarah-Jane Tollan)
One-book authors are discussed in El País (Spain) and a new novel project (in Spanish) about the Brontës is revealed:
Y tras él, otros como Emily Brontë con Cumbres borrascosas. La publicó en 1847 bajo el seudónimo de Ellis Bell, ya usado para el poemario conjunto con sus hermanas. Denostada al principio, esta obra clásica surgió después de que en 1846 Charlotte la animara a ella y a Anne a escribir una novela. Era un paso más dentro de la costumbre que tenían de escribir poemas y comentarlos mutuamente, e intentar una carrera literaria que les permitiera ganar dinero y dejar de trabajar como institutrices y maestras. Lo recuerda Ángeles Caso, que pronto publicará la vida novelada de las hermanas Brontë en Todo ese fuego. “Emily era la más reticente a editar esa novela”, añade Ángeles Caso, “desconfiaba de la recensión que pudiera tener. Tras las críticas salvajes que recibió, al no ser entendida, se reafirmó en su idea de que iban a ensuciar su creación y se negó a escribir más”. Dos años después de la publicación, y con 30 años, moría de tuberculosis sin ver su paso a la gloria literaria. (Winston Manrique Sabogal) (Translation)
The Chronicle of Higher Education's weekly book list includes
Relics of Death in Victorian Literature and Culture by Deborah Lutz (Cambridge University Press; 260 pages; $90). Uses Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Dickens's Great Expectations, Tennyson's "In Memoriam," Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, and other works to explore Victorians' practice of treasuring locks of hair and other objects associated with their dead. (Nina C. Ayoub)
More on Suno's Brontësque influence in The New York Times:
Black socks have had an image problem since the Eliot Spitzer scandal, but they were emphatically rehabilitated on the Feb. 13 runway of Suno, the brand of Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty that is named, in the pattern of today’s shrinking-violet young designers, after Mr. Osterweis’s mother.
Above the socks fluttered carwash hems and slits cut up to “yikes” territory but made modest with mesh. The designers said they were inspired by the madwoman of the attic in “Jane Eyre”; it would seem she tripped over a trunk containing 1970s ribbed turtlenecks and Fair Isle sweaters.
There was also a series of skirts and dresses with large abstract blooms that apparently stemmed from “Wide Sargasso Sea,” Jean Rhys’s post-colonialist prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s novel, and these looked like Marimekko prints shot with poison. (Alexandra Jacobs)
Oliver Kamm writes in The Times about the A to Z of non-pedantic grammar:
Fluent speakers of English rarely make grammatical mistakes. The complaints of the sticklers aren't supported by the historical and literary evidence of usage, as recorded in the dictionaries. Writers such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Byron and the Brontës have all uses constructions that violate the pedants "rules". We can do it too.
Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb interviews the writer Lauren Francis-Sharma:
Q: Which authors have inspired you?
A: I think I’ve always been really captivated by Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eyemade me sit up and say, Oh my God.
I think because my parents came from a former British colony and my mother is a huge reader of British literature, I keep coming back to the old English classics. Very often they don’t seem to be in favor all the time, unless you’re in an English department at a university, [but] Wuthering Heights is still one of my favorite books. I read it every single year.


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