Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Wednesday, May 06, 2015 10:20 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Of course, if a name is being examined these days, it is Charlotte. Several websites look at famous women named Charlotte: Five famous Charlottes in the Yorkshire Post, nine 'amazing' women named Charlotte in The Huffington Post, ten famous ladies who share Princess Charlotte's name on, and Marie Claire has also selected five namesakes for the little princess.

Flavorwire reviews Patricia Park's Re Jane.
Charlotte Brontë’s twisted tale of a governess who falls in love with her employer and discovers his mad wife in the attic is hardly as suited to an update as, say, Pride and Prejudice, which merely requires two socially stratified lovers and comedy, or Wuthering Heights, which requires the same plus tragedy. But how does one transpose to today the burning anti-patriarchal rage that permeates Jane Eyre, the deep symbolism of every single house Jane enters, and the social structures that enable the novel’s structure to work? Primogeniture, lack of divorce laws, and the inability for women to do useful work are all crucial to Jane Eyre’s struggle.
Yet Re Jane doesn’t really try to do smash any hierarchy— its ambition is different. Park cleverly uses the coming-of-age aspect of Jane Eyre and its heroine’s movement from insular world to insular world to illustrate the confusion of a young woman who is neither clearly one thing nor another, culturally speaking. [...]
Nineteenth-century Jane Eyre’s growth was about searching for equal love in an unequal world, but this millennial trajectory ends up leading towards self-love, or simply a solid sense of self. And although Jane Re’s anger is less palpable and scorching than her literary antecedent’s, and she lacks the righteous self-assurance of a Victorian heroine, her struggle still gestures towards something bigger. Jane’s tendency to vacillate, trying on different styles and cultures, and ultimately upsetting people around her when she changes lanes yet again, can be frustrating to encounter on the page — but it’s also honest, and emblematic of a true contemporary heroine’s journey.  [...]
I’m still waiting for a contemporary answer to Jane Eyre‘s white-hot proto-feminist rage (Claire Messud’s The Woman Upstairs, in its opening section at least, approached that), but until that future masterpiece arrives, it’s gratifying to see a talented writer like Park use Brontë’s parameters to explore modern questions of identity  — while continuing to solidify Jane Eyre‘s position as the godmother of feminist bildungsroman. (Sarah Seltzer)
WBUR interviews the author here and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle discusses the novel here. Moomblr publishes an extract.

Perhaps a contemporary take on Jane Eyre should include the word 'bitch'. Its power and usage is discussed by Slate's Lexicon Valley.
What exactly makes the prefatory bitch so satisfying and potent? Something about her matter-of-fact placement at the start of the sentence forecloses disagreement. The natural immediacy of address also lends her oomph, in the way that a 19th-century novel might suddenly snap you to attention by switching to the vocative. (As Charlotte Brontë wrote in Jane Eyre, “Bitch, I married him.”) (Katy Waldman)
We have a feeling that, if that were really the case, it would have at least required parental permission like others mentioned in this column from Tulsa World in praise of a former literature teacher.
A quarter century ago, I would not have dreamed of writing about Mrs. Breshears. She was a bit persnickety, demanding, old-fashioned and counted off for every little mistake. Tough is not a strong enough word for her classes.
I wish everyone could have been her pupil.
Her introduction to literature’s classics was for each student to choose a different book off a list, which I still have. That sense of freedom led me to the Brontë sisters, Ray Bradbury and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.
A section of options required parental permission. (Ginnie Graham)
Southern Minn Scene discusses meeting/interviewing your idols.
Some people want to interview fictional characters. Sorry. That doesn't count. Really? You really want to talk to Heathcliff that badly? Knock it off. Here’s Emily Brontë. (Duane Allman)
And this is how Times Live (South Africa) describes the Alexander Theatre in Strand Street, Cape Town.
The interior says: "Good evening, my name is Emily Brontë, or Ellis Bell, whatever you prefer, here we deal in imagination, but do sit down in my lovely abode."
It certainly has that old-fashioned quality of Wuthering Heights, the famed moorland farmhouse. (Herman Lategan)
The Lancashire Telegraph has an article on the start of restoration of Gawthorpe Hall and while it says that 'the hall forms the last stop-off on the Brontë Way', it doesn't mention the fact that Charlotte was a guest there twice.

The Telegraph has a tongue-in-cheek article discussing why Kim Kardashian is 'the heir to the Brontës and Virginia Woolf'
 The significance of this might actually be difficult to overstate. “Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size,” Woolf wrote, going on to examine the way in which early female novelists, Austen and the Brontës, were the first to write female characters who were not entirely defined by their relations to men. Kardashian’s act of turning the mirror towards herself results in images in which she is not merely a passive participant, and, as glamorous as they sometimes are, do not posit a male viewer as their primary destination. (...)
Though their circumstances are hardly comparable, the Kardashians, like the Brontës, are a family of creative women, in the business of conducting narratives in which men come and go, but female relationships remain constant and meaningful. The Brontë sisters’ creation of imaginary lands, and their group of toy-soldiers, dubbed “the Young Men”, which they guided through complicated narrative scenarios, seems echoed in the world of the Kardashians and their provisional, endlessly adjustable style of storytelling.  (...)
Virginia Woolf said in A Room of One’s Own that “publicity in women is detestable”.
Of course, the Brontës lives were limited in profound ways that makes their achievements all the more astonishing, but what they did have for a while was the company of each other; their works of fiction emerged initially from imaginative and literary games, and were in some senses constructed socially, often in shared living rooms, not private studies. They were also not overshadowed by a male presence in ways typical of their time – their father was supportive of their literary ambitions and they were in any case brought up mostly by an aunt; their beloved and ill-fated brother Branwell famously painted himself out of his portrait of himself and his three sisters. Likewise, the Kardashians are free of a dominating male influence: their father, the lawyer who defended OJ Simpson, died of cancer in 2003, their brother Rob (mirroring Branwell) now refuses to appear on the TV show, and Bruce Jenner, their stepfather, recently divorced their mother Kris and came out as transgender. One cannot really say that their success is due to these circumstances, but it seems true that the quintessentially social element of their fame, including an increasingly obvious feminine genius for social media, has burgeoned in an atmosphere cleared of male narratives.  (Sam Riviere)
 Candice Raquel Lee: Wise-Woman-Writer posts about the myth of the monstrous man mentioning Jane Eyre's Rochester.


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