Saturday, July 25, 2015

Broadway World announces the 2015-16 season of the L.A. Theatre Works which includes
Christina Calvit's adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre plays December 10-13, directed by Marsha Mason and starring Jared Harris. Charlotte Brontë's landmark novel is brought to life in this illuminating adaptation by Christina Calvit. Orphaned Jane journeys from a harsh childhood to become the loving caregiver of a child at the mysterious manor of Mr. Rochester. She is drawn to her enigmatic employer, but when their dark pasts catch up with them, Jane must choose between her newfound security and her yearning for love and peace.
PBS NewsHour lists eight female authors you should know in honor of the 200th birthday of Jane Austen’s “Emma” this year:
3. Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855) – Charlotte Brontë was an English novelist and poet and was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters whose novels have become English literature classics.
Most famous work: “Jane Eyre” (1847)
Fun Fact: She first published her works under the pseudonym “Currer Bell.”
4. Emily Brontë (1818-1848) – Emily Brontë was an English novelist and poet who wrote only one novel, which is now considered a classic of English literature.
Most famous work: “Wuthering Heights” (1847)
Fun Fact: When “Wuthering Heights” was first published, it was met with mixed reviews because it challenged many Victorian ideals of the time, such as morality, social classes and gender inequality. (Gabbi Shacknay
Closer on the 'most romantic' books ever written. Wuthering Heights is on the list:
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
The only novel from this Brontë sister, Wuthering Heights is a dark romantic tale set on the moors. After becoming friends during childhood, Catherine and Heathcliff are seperated by social status and education, with the latter eventually being forced from the Wuthering Heights estate. Several moons and marriages later, the two are reunited, and the strength of their love is revealed. But this is ultimately a tragic tale, where two lovers are inevitably separated by society. (Ellie Hooper)
Jordan Travis in The Alpena News fins Jane Eyre indispensable:
 "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë
When my college girlfriend presented this as a gift, I scratched my head. After getting lost in its soul-crushing introductory chapters, I shelved it for several years. Having finally read it I can say it's an engrossing read. The imagery is a bonus, especially since I tend to mentally visualize everything I read anyway. My copy had plenty of footnotes explaining some of the subtext, cultural references and historical tie-ins, but even without these it's an excellent tale.
The Globe and Mail and the Winnipeg Free Press review Patricia Park's Re Jane:
Debut novelist Patricia Park pays homage to Jane Eyre with her novel Re Jane, and her approach is fresh and wise. Jane Re is a half-Korean, half-American orphan who is raised by a strict uncle. She toils away at his grocery store while he focuses on fostering good manners and adherence to outmoded ways of thinking, rather than giving her any sort of affection. She’s desperate to get out of Flushing, Queens, and so she’s thrilled to accept a job as an au pair for two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Jane quickly falls in love with the family – quite literally; she begins an affair with the father, Ed Farley. But their forbidden love is interrupted by a death in the family and Jane is required to travel to Seoul, where her heritage – and some key life lessons about love and New York, lessons that can only be learned from a distance – await. The Bronte references help paint an important portrait of a struggle with cultural identity juxtaposed against the struggle that all young people face as they come of age, fall in love and make mistakes that are necessary to personal growth but still incredibly painful. (Marissa Stapley)
Re Jane is a must-read for lovers of Victorian literature. Despite Jane Re's very modern context, Park stays in constant conversation with both Brontë and current scholarship on the Gothic novel.
Brontë was concerned with the webs between love, power and independence. Park updates Brontë's themes: her heroine grapples with issues of financial and social independence, but also with questions of race and identity. Half-American, Jane does not fit in a totally Korean context. Half-Korean, she applies a principal of nunchi (good manners, obligation, emotional intelligence) to western settings, with mixed results.
For many critics, Jane Eyre's "mad wife in the attic" forms that novel's most problematic element. Notably, Jean Rhys' 1966 postcolonial novel Wide Sargasso Sea interpreted Jane Eyre's "mad wife" as a Jamaican Creole assimilated into an oppressive marriage with Mr. Rochester. (Julienne Isaacs)
Al Alvarez cooses his five best for the Wall Street Journal:
Wide Sargasso Sea
By Jean Rhys (1966)
4. To my mind, Jean Rhys is, quite simply, one of the great English novelists of the second half of the 20th century. In her best novels, she knows every detail of the shabby world she creates. She knows precisely how much to leave out—surprisingly much—and precisely how to modulate the voice that controls it all, at once casual and poignant. It is the voice of the loser who refuses, though neither she nor God knows why, to give up. “Wide Sargasso Sea” is a hallucinatory novel, as detailed, abrupt and undeniable as a dream, and with a dream’s irresistible logic. It is also the final triumph of Rhys’s artistic control. Despite the exotic setting and the famous, abused heroine (the first Mrs. Rochester from “Jane Eyre”), there is no melodrama. The prose is unemphatic, precise and yet alive with feeling, as though the whole world she so coolly describes were shimmering with foreboding.
The Daily Record aks Joanne Harris her literary preferences:
My favourite writers are...Victor Hugo, Emily Brontë and Ray Bradbury. (Shari Low)
The Commercial Appeal reviews Heroes are my Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips:
Heroes Are My Weakness” by best-selling romance novelist Susan Elizabeth Phillips reads like a Brontë novel crossed with a Led Zeppelin song. (Sarah Norris)
Nuala O'Connor, author of Miss Emily, lists her favourite Emily Dickinson poems in Publishers Weekly, including:
6. "'Hope' is the thing with feathers"
This is my favourite Emily Dickinson poem. Its warmth and positivity speak to my gut every time. I always pause on the inverted commas around the word ‘hope’ – and wonder why Dickinson felt the need for them. Was she qualifying hope in some private way? Dickinson was a fan of Emily Brontë – she chose the English writer’s ‘No coward soul is mine’ to be read at her funeral. Was ‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers’ influenced by Brontë’s poem ‘Hope, within which hope ‘stretched her wings and soared to Heaven’? If so, Dickinson chose to make her poem life-affirming, a counterpoint to Brontë’s more downbeat verses on the same theme.
Fiona Wilson reviews The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud in The Times:
Some stories don’t finish at the end. Jean Rhys read Jane Eyre and couldn’t help but wonder about the madwoman in the attic’s back story and we got Wide Sargasso Sea; Jane Smiley took King Lear and set it in present-day Iowa in A Thousand Acres; EL James saw Twilight’s lovesick teenaged vampires and thought “what if this was an S&M fantasy?” 
Firstpost (India) asks for the return of several literary figures:
Heathcliff from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights
He is, without a doubt, one of literature’s most enigmatic characters and a hero who has been making readers’ pulses flutter for generations. Uncouth, mysterious, passionate and wild, Heathcliff is literature’s baddest boy. While his adolescence and some of his adult years are described in full detail by Brontë, we know nothing about his beginnings. More importantly, there are three and a half years when Heathcliff is all grown-up, far away from Wuthering Heights, and making his fortune of which there's no detail whatsoever.
Where did he go? What did he do? Who and what did he encounter? Did he try to forget Catherine? Were there villains whom he crushed? There are so many questions that swirl around Heathcliff. Despite being the hero of Wuthering Heights and occupying much of the author's and readers' attention, he never loses that air of delicious mystery. Someone just bring him back to life already. (Arunima Mazumdar and Deepanjana Pal)
The authors seem to ignore that they are plenty of Heathcliff sequels.

These other authors put the Brontës in a clearly wrong category (the quoted link addressed the juvenilia and the world of playing as one of the potential sources of inspiration by the Brontës) in The Huffington Post:
This principle from quantum theory manifests when we daydream and let our minds meander. They can even lead to that long-sought-after "Eureka" moment.  History records that some of the greatest scientific discoveries and recognized works of art, music and literature were a result of individual's diving into the mind's "quantum field of potentiality." (...) Even the world's celebrated writers and musicians daydreamed their works into creation from Paul McCartney's famous melody "Yesterday" to the treasured novels of the Brontë sisters. (Menas C. Kafatos and Jay Kumar)
Also in The Huffington Post an interview with the author Jenny Milchman:
What are some of your favorite books, who were some of your favorite authors, and why? (David Henry Sterry)
JM: (...)I studied the Victorians in college and all three Brontë sisters, George Eliot, and Henry James were great favorites of mine.
The Dutch branch of the Brussels Brontë Group met in Dordrecht and the Brussels Brontë Blog posts about it; Luccia Gray, author of the Eyre Hall trilogy, posts on Rereading Jane Eyre about the moon in Thornfield Hall.


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