Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015 10:18 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Let's get the Valentine's Day stuff out of the way first, shall we? Ithaca Journal selects several films on Netflix. Unfortunately, the list must have been compiled prior to February 1st, when Jane Eyre 2011 was supposed to leave Netflix.
•"Jane Eyre": Take your pick: the 1996 version of Charlotte Brontë's classic (starring William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg) is streaming, as is the 2011 one (with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender). (Beth Saulnier)
Albeit for a far more specific receiver, Asbestos also suggests a film on this list of '7 Heartwarming Valentine's Day Ideas for a Loved One with Cancer'.
Rent a movie. Whether it's a romantic chick flick for her, or his favorite action movie, you can rent a movie — either from a vending service like Redbox or stream it directly from your television using Netflix or Hulu. You may also want to choose a few old films. The AMC website lists the 50 greatest romantic movies. Classic love stories, such as "Wuthering Heights" and "Gone With the Wind," can really help you relax and celebrate what Valentine’s Day is all about. (Jennifer Mia)
Herald (Scotland) includes the actual novel on a list of '10 Books to Mark ... St Valentine's Day'.
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
The romance to end all romances, this gothic but brilliantly overwrought work is a stark warning against falling for a dark and brooding man, though nobody seems ever to have listened. (Rosemary Goring and Alan Taylor)
Libreriamo (Italy) recommends the novel too:
Cime Tempestose di Emily Bronte. E' l'unico romanzo di Emily Brontë, scritto fra l'ottobre 1845 e il giugno 1846. Pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1847, sotto lo pseudonimo di Ellis Bell; mentre una seconda edizione postuma fu curata da sua sorella Charlotte nel 1850. Il romanzo di Emily Brontë narra la storia di Heathcliff, del suo amore per Catherine, e di come questa passione alla fine li distrugga entrambi: tema centrale del libro è difatti l'effetto distruttivo che il senso di gelosia e lo spirito di vendetta possono avere sugli individui. La storia è raccontata come una sorta di lungo racconto che Ellen Dean, o Nelly (la governante della famiglia) racconta al signor Lockwood, il nuovo affittuario di Thrushcross Grange; il finale è invece ambientato l'anno successivo alla partenza di Mr. Lockwood. (Translation)
And speaking of Wuthering Heights, Oxford University Press has some discussion question for the current read of their newly-launched Reading Group. Posed by Helen Small, here are a couple of them:
1. Even the early critics who were revolted or dismayed by the violence of Wuthering Heights admitted the ‘power’ of the novel. What seems to you to be the best explanation of that power?
2.How ‘moral’ a story is Wuthering Heights? More specifically, is moral justice a concern in the shaping of the story and its characters? (Read more)
We already knew Nora Roberts was a Brontëite. She makes it clear again in this interview for The New York Times:
What’s the best love story you’ve ever read? I have a very hard time with “best” and “favorite,” as this can change with the mood, or with the discovery of a new book or author. I often find the book I’ve just finished is my favorite, as it’s the one I’m so involved with at that moment. But one of my very favorites of all time is “Jane Eyre.” It simply has it all — a marvelous, compelling story told brilliantly, wonderfully realized characters, a gorgeous love story, evocative settings. And the madwoman in the attic. Hard to top it.
She - as all of our readers - would have spotted this. The Evening Standard reports,
Antonia Fraser's big mistake
A “horrendous mistake” in the first print run of Antonia Fraser’s new memoir, My History. Page 286 reads: “It is tempting to conclude by merely adapting the immortal words of Charlotte Brontë at the start of Jane Eyre: ‘Reader, I wrote it’.”
The famous line, of course, actually comes from the end of the novel. “When I saw the mistake I had a heart attack,” Fraser told the Hidden Prologues audience at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Bloomsbury Street Hotel, “but not one person has pointed it out!”
The famous line is actually 'Reader, I married him'. 'Reader, I wrote it' is actually quite hilarious.

And that should have been on of the '13 Signs You're a Die-Hard English Lit Lover' compiled by Bustle. The actual ones they have included are even simpler:
You can differentiate among the Brontës……and you also know their pen names. Charlotte/Currer Bell wrote Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette; Emily/Ellis Bell wrote Wuthering Heights; Anne/Acton Bell wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. You’re welcome. [...]
You believe that a plot without a marriage plot is no plot at all Ah, the marriage plot. Whether you cheered for Jane and Rochester, Benedick and Beatrice, or Bridget Jones and Mr. Darcy, you can’t even pretend to resist the antiquated charms of a tricky courtship. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with literature that doesn’t end in wedded bliss — you’re a grown-ass, 21st-century woman — but you can’t help but feel soothed (or is it vindicated?) when love prevails. (Caroline Goldstein)
Bustle also looks at five strange stories from the 19th century and reminds us of the fact that,
This is the century that brought us literary greats like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy, to name but a few. (Lara Rutherford-Morrison)
The marriage plot and 19th century literature are also mentioned in this review of Mr and Mrs Disraeli by Daisy Hay from The Christian Science Monitor.
Marriage as an institution has a long and varied history.  For centuries, its purpose was to allow families to consolidate land, create alliances, and produce heirs.  Yet in the 19th century, marriage was transformed into a marker of morality. Romance and Christian virtue should be its foundation, the thinking went – and novelists like Austen, Brontë, and Dickens led the way in promoting this ideal, one that still prevails today. (Elizabeth Toohey)
CT Post reviews Phantom Angel by David Handler.
In the first chapter of the new novel, Benji is summoned to the office/apartment of a fabled Broadway producer named Morrie Frankel. Morrie is an old school stage mogul in the tradition of David Merrick and Harold Prince who believes his name should be the only one at the top of the advertising and the playbill title page -- he won't stoop to sharing that credit with the 15 or 20 wealthy business people who were once anonymous investors, but now want to be called producers.
Morrie asks Benji to track down the girlfriend of a hedge fund billionaire who was about to put $12 million into the producer's planned $65 million musical version of "Wuthering Heights." Morrie hopes that if Beni can find "Jonquil Beausoleil" she will know why his mysterious, deep-pocketed investor has vanished into thin air.
If Morrie doesn't find R.J. Farnell and the $12 million, the musical will be taken over by the movie producer who has bankrolled the films that made the two "Wuthering Heights" stars into very marketable Hollywood commodities. [...]
Used to the sheer size of theater people's personalities and physical presence, Benji is stunned when he meets the two movie stars who will be playing Heathcliff and Cathy in "Wuthering Heights":
"Matthew and Hannah (were) shockingly tiny. They were like a matched pair of miniature movie star dolls. Hannah had huge, protruding green eyes that were freakishly wide apart, plump, bee-stung lips and flawless ivory skin. ... Matthew's jaw muscles were tightly clenched and he was glowering. Glowering was his thing."
One of the major creative decisions in "Wuthering Heights" is what to do about the two movie stars' weak singing voices. Morrie is appalled when it is suggested that Matthew lip synch to a live singer backstage, but the idea sounds all too possible in today's over-produced, over-miked musicals, where gossips whisper that variations on this electronic "sweetening" technique are already being used. (Joe Meyers)
Santiago Posteguillo and Charlotte Brontë. This time in an interview in El Nuevo Siglo (Colombia):
JC ¿Qué personajes se metieron en su piel al escribir este libro?
SP:Muchos, pero un Pessoa a quien no le quieren publicar sus poemas o una Charlotte Brontë sola, abandonada por todos y que pese a ello se rehace y nos regala Jane Eyre son personajes que estarán ya conmigo para siempre. (Jorge Consuegra) (Translation)
ABC's Religion and Ethics (Australia) discusses the works of Marilynne Robinson and states that,
The history of English literature does, of course, place a few difficulties in the way of the theory that religious faith and literary sophistication are mutually exclusive: Milton, for example; Charlotte Brontë; T.S. Eliot. (Natasha Moore)
The Guardian snarks on the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon:
Some of you, perhaps, have denied yourselves the pleasure of reading this delightful tale about what happened when a virginal college graduate, Anastasia Steele, met Christian Grey, a weirdo stalker with a fondness for Bruce Springsteen (“‘Gotta love Bruce,’ he grinned at me”) and fisting (“He smirked at me: ‘Your ass will need training.’”) Move over, Heathcliff – there’s a new romantic hero in town! (Hadley Freeman)
Finally, an alert for today and tomorrow in South Shields:
The Valentine special features Widow Twanky singing Lili Marlene to the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Geordie: The Musical and Cupid Gets it Wrong while the Alnwick Stage Radio Ensemble (ARSE) tackle a Wuthering Heights mash-up. (...)
The Valentine Laffalang is at the Westovian Theatre, South Shields, on Thursday and Friday, February 12 & 13 and starts at 7.30pm. (Gordon Barr in The Chronicle)


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