Saturday, May 30, 2015

The New York Times' Sunday Book Review talks about Patricia Park's Re Jane:
The idea of combining Jane’s story with more modern elements — tied together by the enduringly grim concept of orphanhood — inspired Park to retell the classic from the perspective of a contemporary half-Korean, half-American young woman in New York City. And thus her breezy, engaging debut novel, “Re Jane.” (...)
 Taking on a modern retelling of a classic has its disadvantages: namely, that you’re inviting comparisons with the original. But “Re Jane” is smart enough not to get too bogged down in allusions to “Jane Eyre”; there are no one-to-one equivalents of, say, Grace Poole (Brontë’s keeper of the crazy lady in the attic) or Miss Ingram (the snooty romantic rival). Jane Re may start her journey with ties to Jane Eyre, but she makes her own way in the world, and the result is a truly fresh, modern take on the coming-of-age novel. (Jennifer Keishin Armstrong)
But it's not all Jane Eyre lovers writing for the NYT. Maria Casale on NYT's Motherlode:
On the other hand, my sixth-grade teacher refused to let me read a book that wasn’t on the reading list until I’d finished all the books he had on there. I blame him for my early distaste for Jane Austen (long since overcome). Still, to this day I cannot understand what people see in “Jane Eyre.” Once Maria dies, it’s all over, as far as I’m concerned.
Maria?

This Belfast Telegraph columnist is still haunted by exam memories:
The last exam I ever took was my English Lit A Level in 1981. I was 18 years of age. After an entire childhood of hard slog preparing for that moment, I handed in my final paper and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Goodbye Jane Eyre. Goodbye Antony and Cleopatra. (Frances Burscough)
Wuthering Heights 2011 is available on Amazon Prime and PC World reviews it:
Unlike most costume movies, this one is not frilly and pretty; it takes place in a chilly, muddy countryside, where dirty boots creak on floorboards in a leaky, drafty house. Arnold uses a narrow aspect ratio, as if to compress the images even more. But her most brilliant achievement is to turn the alluring, monstrous, outcast Heathcliff into a black man, played as a boy by Solomon Glave and as a grownup by James Howson; it gives the other characters’ discrimination against him a new, painful wrinkle. Shannon Beer and Kaya Scodelario play the young and grownup Catherine, smitten with Heathcliff. It’s a stripped down version of this story, not necessarily romantic, but with a full, beating heart. (Jeffrey M. Anderson)
Wall Street Journal reviews The Meuersalt Investigation by Kamel Daoud:
Literary criticism has changed, and readers have grown accustomed to finding a critique of a classic text within a corresponding text. Jean Rhys’s novel “Wide Sargasso Sea” (1966) was among the first to peep behind the scenes: Who was the woman in the attic in “Jane Eyre”? Pia Pera’s “Lo’s Diary” (1999), a retelling of Lolita from the heroine’s point of view, is a later example of this flip-side fiction. “The Meursault Investigation” has an inescapable topical resonance, given the role played by political Islam in Algeria in recent times. (James Campbell)
The Times reports a terrible story about an Australian brain tumour patient who is fighting for her right to decide her own destiny:
Ms Seales said: "I am petrified by what may happen to me in the lead-up to my death. My greatest fear is that my husband will have a mad wife to deal with, like Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre." (Bernard Lagan)
This is a really cryptic reference about a free art event in Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex:
The line-up also includes Olivia Louvel, French-born, British composer, producer and performer, who crafts electronic songs with laptop and voice. Collectress, described by Foxy Digitalis as a cross between the Elysian Quartet and possessed Brontë sisters teasing an unsuspecting dinner party. (Rye & Battle Observer)
A local classical concert in Austinmer, Australia. As seen in Illawarra Mercury:
Soprano Kate Wilmot will also present a performance with pianist Kate Johnson at the Austinmer Uniting Church on Sunday, June 14, at 2pm.
The concert titled "From Words to Music" will bring to life the literary works of writers Shakespeare, Murger, Brontë and Dickinson helping them to find embodiment in the hands of composers such as Britten, Verdi, Puccini, Taylor and Holby. (Louise Turk)
The Huffington Post interviews Amy Allen from an internet adversiting company:
What are your thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In book and movement? (Laura Dunn)
It's not a book I have personally read, but I know of it and it's a movement that I wholeheartedly believe in. I went to an all-girls school where we were shown that nothing is impossible if you work hard and try, and to never give up. We were taught to be strong and celebrated strong women - our houses on campus were all named after influential women like Emmeline Pankhurst and Charlotte Brontë.
Bookreporter reviews Uprooted by Naomi Novik:
Far from trying to seduce Agnieszka, the Dragon is distant, irritable and impatient with her --- all signs, as any romance-minded reader knows (think Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre), that he is madly attracted. 
  ActuaLitté (France) discusses the Amazon France book sales:
Aux côtés de ces best-sellers, les classiques font toujours recette. Histoires extraordinaires d’Edgar Allan Poe pointe ainsi à la première place à Lyon. À noter également, dans le top 10 des ventes des villes les plus lectrices, la présence de Crimes et Châtiments de Dostoïevski, Les Hauts de Hurle-Vent d’Emily Brontë, Les Fleurs du mal de Baudelaire et de L’Odysée d’Homère. (Clément Solym) (Translation)
Liprópatas (Spain) lists problems a booklover has to dealt with:
Comprar una nueva edición de tu libro favorito porque la edición es preciosa (pregúntesele a los fans de Jane Austen o las Brontë si no lo han hecho…) y repartir las diferentes ediciones por tu estantería para que nadie se de realmente cuenta… (Raquel C. Pico) (Translation)
GraphoMania (Italy) lists several love/hate relationships in books:
Cime tempestose, di Emily Brontë. Nessun lieto fine. Il lettore ci spera, fino all’ultimo, ma l’odio che devasta il cuore di Heathcliff, ragazzo di origini sconosciute, adottato da Mr Earnshaw, è superiore all’amore che nutre per la figlia di lui, Catherine. Allo stesso modo, anche nel cuore di lei l’amore per Heathcliff è superato da altre passioni. Non dimenticherete mai la brughiera. (Mariantonietta Barbara) (Translation)
La Voz de Michoacán (México) devotes an article to Anne Brontë:
Anne Brönte (sic), novelista y poeta, la más pequeña de las hermanas es quizás la más desconocida. Ensombrecida por la prolífica carrera y arrolladora personalidad de Charlotte y el éxito de Emily con la inolvidable Cumbres Borrascosas, la obra y personalidad de Anne, tan diferente de sus hermanas, tendieron a pasar más injustamente desapercibidas.
Su salud delicada y su asma crónica provocaron que no acudiera a la misma escuela que sus hermanas sino que, con la ayuda de su tía, y gracias a la biblioteca de su padre, aprendiera en casa todos conocimientos necesarios que le permitirían en el futuro ganarse la vida como institutriz. (...) (Translation)
An alert for today, May 30, in Bologna (Italy):
Un tè con Elizabeth Gaskell: Un pomeriggio i compagnia di libri, conversazione, di storie narratee da narrare
Sabato 30 maggio 2015 ore 17.00
Libreria delle Donne
Via San Felice, 16/a - Bologna
Unapologetically American is not a Jane Eyre fan.

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