Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sudhamahi Regunathan, in The Hindu, draws attention to Prof. John Bowen’s Wuthering Heights discussions in the British Library series Discovering Literature: Romantics and Victorians:
The videos from British Library are short but deep enough to transport you to the world of literature. For instance, anyone who has read “Wuthering Heights” will remember its haunting landscape. There is a video which actually takes you to the Moors and Prof. John Bowen from University of York talks to you as you see the landscape you once saw sketched by words.
The Telegraph and The Independent review Deborah Lutz's The Brontë Cabinet:
"Thing theory” is on the march. What began as a branch of literary criticism has become a fashion in biography: out with the ancestors and in with the chamber pots. I don’t suppose the birth-to-death approach to “life-writing” has vanished forever, but for the moment we may have to wade through a scholarly sourcing of the wood from which first the cradle and then the coffin were fashioned.
Deborah Lutz in The Brontë Cabinet doesn’t altogether eschew chronology, but her fix on stuff over story does obscure the drama of the siblings dying and books being born. Her narrative is cluttered with objects as various as a portable writing desk and a bracelet made of Emily and Anne Brontë’s hair. She is never uninteresting about unfamiliar aspects of Victorian material culture, from the fascination with boxes within boxes to scandals surrounding fraudulent mourning jewellery. Her method is to travel some distance from the Brontës and then loop back again via a reference to a scene in one of the novels: Louis Moore in Shirley swooning over the contents of the heroine's unlocked desk or Nelly Dean determinedly adding Edgar Linton’s hair to Heathcliff’s in the locket around Catherine’s neck. (Read more) (Claudia FitzHerbert) 
There’s something hugely appealing about tracing the expansiveness of a life through the tininess of an object. It’s not just that the most insignificant thing can become deeply meaningful; its existence can also be a way of linking the art and the life in a way that biography is sometimes wary of doing. In her consideration of objects such as the desk box and the miniature, hand-made book, Lutz makes connections that are effective and often full of enjoyable speculation. (...)
Emily’s even more ambiguous sexuality is teased out through the walking stick. Lutz cannot be sure that Emily even used one, but she links this item to Emily’s status as a “renegade woman”, out walking the moors alone when only the most daring women would dream of doing such a thing. Lutz stresses that Emily was given the nickname “the Major”, because of her “assertive, masculine ways”, and in her chapter on Emily’s dog, Keeper, assesses Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights through this double sexual identity (hinting that Heathcliff, in wanting to absorb Cathy, could be both male and female. Was this an expression of Emily’s own desire?).
This is a fun as well as a scholarly way to examine the art and the life. Innocuous objects take on erotic implications when linked with the body, as she shows with the miniature hand-made books: printed paper had different uses in the Brontë era, even recycled as toilet paper. There are tragic overtones, too: the crafting of such tiny books after the deaths in childhood of Maria and Elizabeth became a “kind of consolation”, as though the body of the book could replace the body of the now-absent sister. In looking at the Brontës through their most precious possessions, Lutz lets us sneak a peek at their inner lives as well as their outer ones, in a sympathetic and informative way. (Lesley McDowell)
Helen Dunmore praises the pleasure of perusing a real book in The Guardian:
We understand other languages, even if we do not speak them. We live in 16th-century London, or Hogwarts. We run on the moors with Cathy and Heathcliff. We are watched by Big Brother, and sense our own weakness in the face of implacable totalitarianism. announces a filming in town which can be of interest to our readers:
Rakesh Baruah, a student in the Columbia University MFA program, will be completing his MFA thesis by making a short film comedy titled, "Ms. Bula Banerjee" at the Cranford Public Library, and library members have a chance to be part of it.
Aparna Nancherla (FX, Comedy Central, NPR, Conan) stars as Bula Banerjee, a librarian whose dream is to establish the Bronte Sisters as the paragons of Young Adult fiction. One day, Lydia, a corporate consultant hired by the state, shows up with the mission of increasing the library's bottom line. Her solution? Less Brontë Sisters and more Young Adult fiction that's hot; more circulation means more overdue fines. Bula takes a stand, but Lydia's charisma beguiles the rest of the library staff. Bula must make a choice: quit, or go down fighting for the library she loves. (...)
The shooting will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, and Saturday and Sunday, July 18 and 19, when the library is closed. Even if only come for one day, Baruah and his crew would love to have you be a part of the story. To be included, email Be sure to indicate the days and hours of your availablility.
We read in La Nación (Argentina) about the death of the actor Sergio Renán (1933-2015), and a very preliminary idea that the playwright Alejandro Tantanian was exploring:
Anteanoche, Tantanian me contó que se había quedado pensando en todo aquello. Le llevó tiempo poder imaginar una propuesta hasta que se lo imaginó como el padre de las hermanas Brontë (familia clave de la literatura inglesa del siglo XIX) en una especie de monólogo, para montar en un teatro alternativo. Todo esto, me dice, se lo cuenta en un correo electrónico enviado a principio del año pasado. (...)
Luego de agradecerle la propuesta, la propia elección del material de las Brontë, la carta termina así: "¿Qué puedo decirte? Con mi voz anterior, con entusiasmo me incorporaría al proyecto. Hoy...sólo me parece una expresión de deseos. Esperemos". (Alejandro Cruz) (Translation)
Not the first time that Sergio Renán approached the Brontës. He was the director of a TV series in 1970 for Canal 7 adapting great novels: "Las grandes novelas", including Wuthering Heights. Regrettably the original tapes were reused later and we have not even able to trace a picture of the production:
EPISODIO: "Cumbres Borrascosas"
AUTORÍA Emily Brontë
ADAPTACIÓN Mario Mactas and Mario Sábato
ELENCO: Héctor Alterio, Aldo Barbero, Luis Brandoni, Pablo Codevilla, Ulises Dumont, Juana Hidalgo, Zulema Katz, Onofre Lovero ,Gianni Lunadei, Leonor Manso, Bertha Roth, Elena Tasisto, María Valenzuela, Walter Vidarte
DIRECCIÓN: Marcelo Domínguez
Eve Chase remembers in The Guardian the 'olden days' (that is the 70s and 80s) and how books shaped her education:
When things got really bad – bullied at school, forced to share the dampest, smallest bedroom with your most annoying brother – well, at least you weren’t at Gateshead Hall with poor Jane Eyre.
The San Francisco Book Review publishes a review (by a very young reader) of Jane Eagland's The World Within:
Eagland does an excellent job of developing Emily’s character - the reader feels for her emotions even when they are irrational. It is very interesting to read the book and then research the real Emily Brontë, as many of the events recounted in the book actually happened. Readers of Wuthering Heights or of the other Brontë’s works will likely find it interesting to read Eagland’s take on the mysterious Brontë sisters.  (Faith, Age 11)
John Clark, actor in a local production The Mystery of Irma Vep (Port Townsend, WA) talks about the piece in Peninsula Daily News:
“It spoofs so many favorite genres,” he said: classic love stories like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre along with the Hitchcock and the guys in drag. Buster Keaton-style comedy and literary references coexist in the script. (Diane Urbani De La Paz)
This article is on a serious topic but judging from this anecdote written in the Pioneer Press we don't think the author could be one of our readers:
I felt guilty when I got scolded by a nun in front of the class for not reading "Jane Eyre" as part of a book assignment.
"I just did not have the time to read it, Sister," I remember saying. I fibbed. I did not want to admit that I found the book to be boring and girlish.  (Ruben Rosario)
The Crawley and Horley Observer talks with Mandy Watson from Cloudbusting, a Kate Bush tribute band:
“And even now, when I say to people what I do, they often give me their terrible impersonation of Wuthering Heights because it has been satirised so many times! But I guess it was because she was just so different, so exciting.” (...)
“She has taken me on such a journey with her music, so many milestones in my life, and there she was, smiling and waving. People came away saying it was a shame she didn’t do Wuthering Heights, but what she did do was amazing.” (Phil Hewitt)
Profil (Austria) discusses whether the Pirelli calendar is sexist and has a curious comparison going on:
Aus der aktuellen Perspektive der sexuellen Schrankenlosigkeit betrachtet, die längst auch den Mainstram erfasst hat, erscheint der Inhalt des opulenten Fotobands mit dem schlichten Titel „Pirelli“ so sexistisch wie am heimeligen Kaminfeuer getätigte Stickarbeiten der Brontë-Schwestern. (Angelika Hager) (Translation)
El Norte de Castilla (Spain) has a curious Brontë reference in an article about a local football club:
Pues sí, una vez más en Guijuelo la película que se vive es por un lado un drama, más cercano a las intrigas familiares del tipo de ‘Cumbres Borrascosas’ o del misterio oscuro más propio de ‘El Nombre de la Rosa’, que a lo que debería de ser una oda a la alegría y al divertimento productivo, tanto económico como deportivo. (Damián Martín)
Fasano Live covers the presentation of the book Dimmi che credi al destino by Luca Bianchini:
Questo libro è un inno alla bellezza della cultura, è la storia di una libreria che è come se mettesse in mostra i suoi libri migliori e solleticasse il desiderio del lettore di divorarli tutti. Luca Bianchini cita “Anna Karenina”, “Cime tempestose”, versi di Montale con estrema libertà e naturalezza, intrecciando la storia di Ornella e degli amici che vi gravitano intorno alla nostra. Perché credere al destino può sembrare fatalista, ma a volte è l’unica salvezza possibile. (Ilaria Potenza) (Translation)
Cessarine uploads pictures of Haworth and the Parsonage on Flickr.


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