Friday, September 04, 2015

Several Brontë news items on Keighley News. First, a reminder of some of the upcoming activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Our autumn 2015 programme for Contemporary Arts will be released very shortly, but we’re already preparing for Linger, a music installation comprising a set of six new piano pieces composed for, and performed on, the Brontë piano by the Irish contemporary classical composer Ailís ní Ríain.
You’ll be hearing lots more about Ailís and Linger in the weeks to come, so watch this space!
September will be your last chance to see The Silent Wild, a thought-provoking exhibition by artist and curator Diane Howse, who brought together a team from the worlds of dance, film and visual arts to create a truly unique response to lives and legacies of the Brontës.
The Silent Wild runs at the Parsonage until September 28. (David Knights)
Next, some memorabilia of the early days of Brontë tourism:
This Edwardian postcard, from the earlier years of Brontë tourism, shows predictably Charlotte, the Brontë Waterfall on Haworth Moor, and more unusually the sisters' birthplace at Thornton, an important Brontë site often overlooked.
By the 1890s the growing Brontë cult was being virtually monopolised by Haworth, the subject of some fervid writing: "On the northern side of one of the wildest and bleakest moors of Yorkshire, stands the little village of Haworth, consisting of a church and a few grey stone cottages..." (Yvonne Bruce)
Also a vintage picture of Top Withins:
Farms at Far, Middle and Lower Withens occupied the moorlands acquired by Keighley Corporation during the building of the Sladen Valley Waterworks completed in 1925. Situated as they were on reservoir gathering-grounds, they were allowed to fall into decay.
By 1930 the waterworks engineer reported that they were in a dilapidated and dangerous state. Lower and Middle Withens were promptly demolished. The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings proffered advice on the restoration of Top Withens, but weather and wilful damage had put it beyond repair. Keighley Corporation simply walled up its doors and windows.
"Tramps have thus lost a night's shelter while on their way over Walshaw Dean to Halifax," observed one contemporary. Swallows were noticed circling the premises, unable to return to their nests in the rafters.
This photograph was taken at a later date when some of the sealed doors and windows had been broken in. Top Withens is now a much reduced but stabilised ruin, a place of pilgrimage for Brontë enthusiasts. (Alistair Shand)
Frank Barrett presents in The Irish Times his book Treasured Island:
Just as our mouths have been filled with their poetry, so writers have similarly shaped our views of the British landscape. No visit to the Yorkshire Moors, for example, can be undertaken without thoughts of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights; Dorset will be forever glimpsed through the prism of Thomas Hardy’s fictional Wessex; the Kent marshes will always belong to Dickens. But it’s not just a transformation of the imagination – writers have left physical landmarks too.
The Independent reviews a complementary book, Weatherland: Writers & Artists under English Skies by Alexandra Harris:
Harris's impressive new study takes her much farther afield. She charts the effects of atmospheric pressures on English writers and artists from time immemorial to the present. Here, we find shivering Roman legionaries writing home on wafer-thin wooden tablets, myth-making Anglo-Saxon poets, and every major figure from Chaucer to Shakespeare, from Dr Johnson to Jane Austen, from Shelley and the Brontës to Benjamin Britten and Ted Hughes. (Lucasta Miller)
The Irish Independent cannot wait for the first novel of Morrissey, List of the Lost:
At the end of September, we'll find out. The real surprise is that it has taken this long to surface, since Morrissey has always been synonymous with literate lyrics, and literature in general, from namechecking Brendan Behan in his song 'Mountjoy', to his love of the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens, James Baldwin, and Oscar Wilde. (Siobhan Kane)
The Carlyle Observer quotes Emily Brontë on an religious article:
Emily Bronte says of death’s separation: “I am seldom otherwise than happy while watching in the chamber of death... . I see a repose that neither earth nor hell can break, and I feel an assurance of the endless and shadowless hereafter--the Eternity they have entered--where life is boundless in its duration, and love in its sympathy, and joy in its fulness.” (fromWuthering Heights
The Debrief compiles several books from school that are still worth reding:
Jane Eyre. We studied it twice. TWICE. God I hated it. I was so bored I felt like my soul was gently seeping out my eyes. Why was Jane such a goody goody? Why was Rochester so moody? Where was the fun? I didn’t appreciate that the book was a turning point in literature – when characters started addressing the reader directly. Then, years later, someone put me on to another book: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which tells the story from the perspective of Mrs Rochester AKA the mad woman in the attic.
Much more interesting – but also kind of meaningless if you haven’t read Jane Eyre first.  (Rachel Segal Hamilton)
Anglotopia on the most important aspects of good British costume dramas:
Adapted from a Novel. Oh, yes, classic novels always provide a superb foundation for any movie or television series. And, if the novel is by a favored British author, like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, a Brontë sister or Thomas Hardy, all the better because, well, they are the best at what they do. A good author is a master of creating a great story with intriguing characters. (Jonathan)
 Magazine Delle Donne (Italy) lists some books that you absolutely have to read:
Jane Eyre di Charlotte Brontë
La trama del libro: dopo un'infanzia difficile in un orfanotrofio, Jane Eyre diventa istitutrice in casa di Rochester, e si innamora velocemente del suo padrone.
Perché va letto? Per la scrittura romantica e inquietante di Charlotte Brontë e, sicuramente, per la potente storia d'amore che lega i due personaggi. (Ludovica Riccardi) (Translation)
Sexenio (Mexico) posts briefly bout Guillermo Del Toro's  Jane Eyre 1944 talk at the Toronto Film Festival:
 Guillermo del Toro definió a Jane Eyre, dirigida por Robert Stevenson, que la trama se pudiera resumir con las palabras locura y destrucción, un drama de amor y sufrimiento, destacando los roles de lo femenino y lo masculino en esta película clásica situada en la era victoriana.
El cineasta compartió sus impresiones cinematográficas e interactuó con el público por más de dos horas, llegando un momento de la conversación en la que destacó el poder de las emociones: “la emoción es el nuevo reto porque vivimos en un mundo que ha rechazado la emoción”. (Translation)
Siri Hustvedt writes a letter to Emily Brontë in De Standaard:
Ik spreek u aan met uw pseudoniem omdat bij de publicatie vanWuthering Heights in 1847 Ellis Bell de auteur was, een persoon van wie de literaire critici algemeen aannamen dat het een man was. Zoals u zich ongetwijfeld herinnert, hielden ze mijnheer Bell niet voor een gentleman, maar voor een onbeschaafd, onbehouwen type, mogelijk een zeevaarder, een man wiens wilde verbeelding botste met de gevoeligheden van zijn tijd. (...) (Translation)
Liternet (Romania) reviews the theatre play Cuvântul Tată, seen at the NETA 2015 Festival which includes Brontë references:
De altfel, scena în care fetele urmăresc slide-uri cu instantanee ale vieţii în comunism şi le comentează este unul dintre momentele valoroase ale piesei, în ciuda caracterului său uşor didactic de tip Ştiaţi că... O altă scenă bună este cea cu şedinţa de cosmetică, unde, în vreme ce îşi aplică măşti şi tratamente, fetele discută despre vieţile lor intime, ca la o petrecere în pijamale girls-only. Deosebit de comic este episodul în care se aduce vorba despre povestea de dragoste dintre personajele principale din romanul La răscruce de vânturi, clipă în care se naşte un cor feminin care îl strigă cu o voce fantomatică pe Heathcliff. (Monica Ploeşteanu) (Translation)
Escritoras Inglesas (Portugal) has visited the Brontës;  TBR 313 reviews Patricia Park's Re Jane.

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