Friday, March 27, 2015

Readers planning Easter activities may be interested to know that, as Keighley News reports, Heathcliff is still adrift at the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
The contemporary arts programme at the Brontë Parsonage incorporates an exhibition currently running at the museum.
Heathcliff Adrift, which ends on June 8, showcases a series of narrative poems by writer Benjamin Myers, conceived while walking the moors of the West Riding.
Myers explores what happened to Heathcliff in his ‘missing’ three years in Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights.
The work runs alongside stunning landscape photographs taken by Nick Small, on the South Pennine moorland between Calderdale and Haworth.
The exhibition is free with admission to the museum.
The arts programme will also include the fifth Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing, running from September 4 to 6.
The festival will showcase contemporary women’s writing, and includes creative writing workshops, family events, and visits by both emerging and high-profile writers. (David Knights)
Another local activity includes The Black Bull, which is the starting point of this 'idiot-proof guide to an epic British pub crawl' in the New York Post.
I decided to start my pub crawl in Haworth, home of the Brontë sisters in the mid-19th century. Charlotte, Emily and Anne, the three daughters of the village parson, were immensely talented writers, best known for Wuthering Heights (Emily), Jane Eyre (Charlotte), and Emma (Charlotte).
They originally wrote under male pen names, as Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, but won such fame that they were finally able to publish under their own names. Their unfortunate brother, Branwell, was also said to be a talented artist, but he was much overshadowed by his sisters’ fame.
He resorted to drinking and drugging his way through life before dying of (severe) alcoholism at the ripe old age of 31.
So, after visiting the Brontë house, strolling across the moors that inspired the sisters’ books, make your first stop:
The Black Bull, Haworth
119 Main St., Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8DP, United Kingdom
This is the pub where Branwell drank himself to death. In a lovely macabre English twist, they have kept his favorite stool in perfect condition. The pub is conveniently located across the street from the village apothecary, where Branwel would get his opium before stumbling back across to the bar.
Haworth Old Hall
Sun Street, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 8BP, United Kingdom
Located in one of the oldest buildings in the village, Haworth Old Hall has been standing since the 16th century. These days it’s not just a pub, it’s a gastro pub, with locally sourced farm-to-table food.
It also has a ghost that wanders around after dark. Not kidding. Just ask Alan, the manager — he’s seen her. (Paula Froelich)
The introduction to the Brontës and their work (Charlotte is famous because of her hardly-even-begun novel Emma? Really? And no novel by Anne, yet their three pseudonyms are there) does seem to have written at the end of the pub crawl.

York Press features clarinet player Emma Johnson and highlights the fact that
She lives in London with her double bass-playing husband, Chris West, and their daughter Georgina, but travels regularly to Yorkshire, particularly to Haworth. Chris's family is from Halifax and his ancestors were christened by Patrick Brontë at Haworth and buried in the graveyard there. (Charles Hutchinson)
The Independent reviews Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child.
Caryl Phillips's new novel continues his preoccupation with themes of origins, belonging and exclusion, by setting up a dialogue with one of the classics of English Literature – Wuthering Heights. The Lost Child tells the story of Monica Johnson, a promising student who drops out of Oxford in the 1950s to marry Julius Wilson, an overseas research student. It parallels the story of Heathcliff – the "dark-skinned gypsy" of Emily Brontë's novel, here imagined as the orphan of a freed slave – and also that of his creator.
What results is an intricately layered novel that opens up the notion of Englishness, taking the off-stage colonial element of Wuthering Heights and using it to test the resilience of relationships in a much more recent age, that of post-war, post-austerity Britain. (Gerard Woodward) (Read more)
Diss Express reviews Blue Orange's stage production of Jane Eyre.
Pre-feminist and post-Gothic, Charlotte Brontë’s novel has elements of both.
A young woman rises to independence from an unhappy childhood. The man she loves ends up damaged and married to her.
The Gothic shows in elemental names, Eyre, Rivers, Burns and Pilot the dog, with Mr Rochester as a fire figure.
There is much fire imagery and many instances of ‘wandering’. Feminism is more easily shown, especially with a quality actress like Lorna Rose Harris.
Her Jane is still, decent, passionate, quirky and bold when roused. Her eyes swim with tears at one point.
The adaptation, by Eric Gracey, only begins with Jane leaving Lowood. So you miss her sad childhood and ten chapters of the novel. The set design by Mark Webster suggests a B&Q garden fence. Thus the Gothic elements suffer somewhat in Rebecca Gadsby’s production.
But there are moments between Jane and Rochester (Graham Hill) when you are aware of “infinite passion and the pain of finite hearts that yearn”. (Basil Abbott)
More on Kazuo Ishiguro's admiration for the novel and Charlotte Brontë in Michigan Daily.
When asked to name authors and works that have been most influential to him, Ishiguro noted Charlotte Brontë and Marcel Proust. Brontë’s narration style in particular, Ishiguro said, has influenced his own writing to the point when he mimicked a scene from her novel, “Jane Eyre,” in one of his works.
“I do love (her) and I hadn’t realized how much she had influenced me in my writing,” Ishiguro said. “I read ‘Jane Eyre’ a few years ago and there are all these things I’ve ripped off from it. There’s a particular way her narrator appears to confide in the reader.” (Tanya Madhani)
Business Standard reports that according to a recent study, 'women are gaining equality in superhero fiction' but doesn't forget that
outside the superhero genre, there have long been strong heroines in fiction who have embraced both passion and integrity, such as writer Charlotte Brontë's 'Jane Eyre' or Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice' character, Elizabeth Bennett.
Washington University in St. Louis announces a forthcoming discussion on the 'Legacy of pioneering A.I.R. Gallery':
In 1972, a group of 20 New York artists founded the A.I.R. Gallery — the first nonprofit cooperative exhibition space for women artists in the United States. (The name was a punning reference to the phrase “artist in residence” and the book “Jane Eyre.”)


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