Review - Villette at the West Yorkshire Playhouse - *Review by Richard Wilcocks* Charlotte Brontë’s *Villette*, which was recognised by knowledgeable readers in nineteenth century Brussels as a close parallel...
14 hours ago
It’s not so much things that go bump in the night in the normal haunted house [...] this isn’t a horror movie but a Gothic romance. It is sort of a hybrid of many impulses that were boiling in that era – sexual tension, romantic tension – and the fight between the rational and supernatural. So I would say Uncle Silas [by Sheridan Le Fanu] would be closer to it. It would also be closer to Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, the Dragonwyck. All these stories that seem to be of another time. But I wanted to give it a couple of scares and a couple of violent moments and sexual moments that are of now, so it’s not an artefact or a curiosity. (Daniel Krupa)Memphis Flyer reviews the recent adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd.
As always, animal husbandry and farming are there to give something elemental: Udders are milked, fields shine, tadpoles are glimpsed in pools, but there is a remove — you know none of these details will touch the main plot or heroine. Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights did this, but better. The brutality of everyday animal murder on a farm, which looked real but was fake, sold both the violent passions of the narrative and the alien nature of the past through the outsider protagonist's eyes. (Ben Siler)The Mary Sue recaps the second episode of the animated TV series The Legend of Korra and apparently,
We end the episode with Mako sitting on the top of the arena (he and Bolin live in the attic), staring across the water at the island like a quasi-cool brooding wannabe Brontë hero jackass with spiked hair. (Rebecca Pahle)Chicago Reader discusses Kate Bolick's book Spinster.
"But what if," she wonders, "it wasn't this way? What if a girl grew up like a boy, with marriage an abstract, someday thought, a thing to think about when she became an adult, a thing she could do, or not do, depending? What would that look and feel like?"According to this columnist from the News Examiner,
I was reading this on the train on the way to the office, and I looked up, and said, to the Bolick in my head, "Lady, I've been thinking about this since I discovered feminism when I was 12. This is why Charlotte Brontë's heroines were always so pissed off and why Virginia Woolf wrote A Room of One's Own and Wendy Wasserstein wrote, well, just about everything she wrote. What took you so long?"
It is true, however, that, for Brontë and Woolf and Wasserstein (and many, many, many others), the very personal marriage question was tied to larger political goals, like the right to education, contraception, a job with a decent income, and all the other rights (white, heterosexual) men take for granted. Bolick, like many white, middle-class women who came of age after the 1970s (including myself), takes them for granted, too. So Spinster is less about the basic necessity of marriage and more about the search for personal fulfillment and about how that's possible for a single, childless woman. (Aimee Levitt)
Our sensitive, modern mindset is a brand new thing, people. As a species, we're still disgustingly new at the whole inclusion thing. Barring maybe the last century (maybe), by and large, most writers and intellectuals throughout time were total a-holes in at least some respects. Does that mean we should ignore anyone whose close-minded barbarism seeped into their work? Fyodor Dostoevsky was a raving anti-Semite. Ernest Hemingway was an Olympic-level misogynist. Zora Neale Hurston just could not stop writing really upsetting and visceral accounts of rape. Charlotte Brontë inflicted her awful prose on the world. Should we discount the genius (or supposed genius) of these authors, too, because their views or their topic choices aren't compatible with our "sophisticated" opinions or personal history? (Justin Andress)Stereogum on Ryn Weaver's new video for OctaHate:
As much as I love the Brontë sisters, the mansions of their Victorian-era moors aren’t a place that anyone would ever dream of escaping to. They’re haunted and glum, and if you’re a woman, totally oppressive. Whether or not it takes place in England, Ryn Weaver’s new video for her massive 2014 summer single “OctaHate” features the singer wreaking havoc on the likeness of one of these massive, seemingly abandoned homes. (Gabriela Tully Claymore)The Independent recalls that,
Literary figures to have had their lives “rewritten”, counterfactually, or fictionally, are many, from Jane Austen to the Brontës, and the more recent, colourful accounts include those of Ernest Hemingway (from the point of view of his long-suffering ex-wives) and Virginia Woolf; these lives contain a combination of glamour and tragedy that makes them eternally fascinating to us. (Arifa Akbar)La Opinión (Spain) interviews writer Susan Elizabeth Philips.
-Está en España para presentar su nuevo libro, Los héroes son mi debilidad (Vergara), pero esta vez en la historia además de romance hay un toque de misterio gótico, que recuerda a Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë e incluso Georgette Heyer.-Este libro es un tributo a las novelas góticas, tiene referencias a Jane Eyre, a Rebeca, de Daphne du Maurier. Me encantaban ese tipo de novelas cuando era joven. Y ha sido muy divertido coger los elementos de estas historias, con sus casas y héroes misteriosos, que pueden ser villanos, y traerlo todo a los tiempos modernos, desarrollar más los personajes e incluso hacerlos más sexys. (Virginia Guzmán) (Translation)Patricia Park's Re Jane is one of the summer reads recommended by The Boston Globe. El litoral (Argentina) discusses unreliable narrators with special interest in Wuthering Heights. Excite's Viaggi (Italy) features an exhibition on Balthus which will take place in Rome in October and which will include some drawing froms his Wuthering Heights series.