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...
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Emily and Charlotte Brontë are arguably some of classic literature’s most romantic writers, right? So, what better place to look for dating inspiration than in these ladies’ books? There's a lot to learn here, for better or worse.Also, according to Bustle, Jane Eyre is one of '15 Books You Never Realized Were Actually Super-Creepy'.
Since you are also a badass, stubbornly independent and resilient Jane Eyre is always a great character from whom to seek out words of wisdom on dating. Jane doesn’t compromise her own sense of self and morality for Mr. Rochester’s “pretty” face, and, let’s face it, sometimes you could use a few words of Eyre-ian wisdom before you get swept away by your own Mr./Mrs. Talk, Dark, and kinda screwed up.
Wuthering Heights, on the other hand is a bit… hm… creepier, shall we say? Unless what you’re looking for in your dating life is a lot of obsession, you might be thinking you’ll be taking more from the DON'Ts column of Emily's characters than from the DOs. But in case you get stuck in a weird situation — after all, Dating Land can be just as creepy and crazy-making a place as anywhere — don't write off all of their advice; after all, who’d know how to better navigate the odd stuff? (Crystal Paul) (Read more)
Thanks to Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea, there are two ways of reading the Jane-Rochester-Bertha love triangle in Jane Eyre. If you take Rhys' prequel as a valid explanation, then Bertha — born Antoinette Cosway and renamed by Rochester — was driven mad from her isolation in the attic and her husband's infidelity. Which, I think we can all agree, is pretty terrible.
But even if you believe Rochester's explanation of events to Jane — that Bertha was unfaithful and mentally unstable — you don't get a creep-free ending. What could possibly make a 19th century woman go mad after sleeping with men? Syphilis. That's right: an STD turned Bertha's brain to Swiss cheese, which means that Rochester and Jane, who is pregnant at the end of Brontë's novel, are likely infected with it as well. (Kristian Wilson)
Growing up in a household where the main reading materials were the Bible and a worn copy of Jane Eyre – with the ending changed to fit her tyrannical adoptive mother’s morals – young Jeanette Winterson found sanctuary in Accrington Library.More about Ángeles Caso and her novel Todo ese fuego:
En esta ocasión, Caso se adentra en la mente de tres mujeres, Charlotte, Emily y Anne Brönte (sic), para tratar de narrar lo que pensaban cuando escribían sus tres grandes novelas 'Jane Eyre', 'Cumbres Borrascosas' y 'Agnes Grey'.
Es un "homenaje" a estas mujeres del siglo XIX, que vivieron "apresadas" por las normas morales de la época victoriana, pero que tuvieron un fuego interior, como reza el título de la novela, que les llevó "más lejos" de lo que la sociedad esperaba de ellas, contra todo, ha indicado.
Caso ha explicado que la historia de estas tres hermanas no es muy conocida en España, pero ha puntualizado que su novela no se detiene tanto en los hechos históricos, sino en la reconstrucción del "alma de estas tres mujeres", que llegaron a escribir sus tres novelas en el mismo espacio físico, en el comedor de la casa de su padre.
"Y eso es un milagro de la literatura y de la historia de las mujeres", ha manifestado. (Heraldo) (Translation)
"En España no se conoce tanto su historia --arrancó Caso--, aunque a lo mejor en Inglaterra, este libro no descubriría nada. Aquí creo que sí, que para mucha gente que las ama como escritoras, alguna de las cosas que ocurrieron en su vida son una sorpresa". Aún así, la autora explicó que es un libro que va más allá: "Se mete dentro de la mente de esas tres mujeres y trata de narrar lo que pensaban y lo que sentían mientras escribían sus grandes novelas, Cumbres borrascosas, Jane Eyre y Agnes Grey, que es la obra de la pequeña que es mucho menos conocida pero que también fue una estupenda escritora. Lo asombroso del caso es que las tres escribieron a la vez esas novelas extraordinarias en el mismo espacio físico, en el comedor de la casa donde vivían, en la casa de su padre. Es un momento que es como un milagro de la historia de la literatura y de la historia de las mujeres. Yo lo que he hecho es el esfuerzo de reconstruir el alma de estas tres mujeres, no solo los hechos históricos que son, en realidad, lo menos importante". [...]The New York Times features 'designer-turned-author' Juman Malouf and her new novel aimed at middle-schoolers, The Trilogy of Two:
Y es que este Todo ese fuego es un ejercicio mucho más profundo, según aseguró la escritora: "Esta es una novela que habla de muchas cosas, no solo es la historia de las hermanas Brontë y un homenaje a esas mujeres del siglo XIX que vivieron apresadas por las normas morales pero que tuvieron una fuerza interior, un fuego, como dice el título de la novela, que las llevó más lejos que lo que la sociedad pretendía de ellas en contra de todo, va mucho más allá", dijo, para después continuar: "Es un libro sobre la vida y la muerte porque está también muy presente. Siempre espero que mis lectores sean personas que, además, de emocionarse, le añadan una reflexión. Creo en el equilibrio entre entre corazón y cabeza. Solo el corazón es una cosa boba pero también la cabeza sola es una cosa fría". (...) (D. M. B. in El periódico de Aragón) (Translation)
The lavishly illustrated fable of twin orphans growing up in a traveling circus in what Malouf calls a ‘‘futuristic Dickensian world’’ was inspired by personal touchstones ranging from Charlotte Brontë to August Sander to her superstitious grandmother who believed in fortune-telling, and reflects Malouf’s distinctive sense of style, which seems vaguely late Victorian but ultimately unmoored to a time or place. (Eviana Hartman)(Also, New York Times, does it really need repeating several times - even on the headline - that she's Wes Anderson's partner? She seems like a person who has gained the newspaper space on her own.)
vår tids Dickens, Balzac och Charlotte Brontë. [...]The Spectator's Culture House Daily wonders which team you are: Team (Ted) Hughes or Team (Philip) Larkin.
Det här är så långt ifrån reducerande novellkonst och experimentella fragment man kan komma - det här är Dickens och Balzac, kryddat med Emily Brontës kladdiga fingertoppskänsla för intimitet och besatthet. (Translation)
To define their difference it’s tempting to call Hughes a Romantic, and Larkin an anti-Romantic. But it doesn’t quite work. Hughes’s fascinated reverence for the natural world has some Romantic features, but his vision of nature’s brutality is hardly ‘Daffodils’. He also looked and behaved like a Romantic hero (Melvyn Bragg compared him to Heathcliff), but that’s not really the point. (Theo Hobson)We must say that despite our Brontë credentials we are firmly on Team Larkin.
There’s more to being male than just liking wrestlers more than “Wuthering Heights,” and it’s unfortunate that Meyer relies on these stereotypes to draw a line between Beau and Bella, rather than any sort of serious inspection. (Emma Bueren)And according to The Stanford Daily,
The destruction of white supremacy depends on math and science teachers demanding more diversity in their own classrooms and more equity across analogous classrooms all across the nation. It depends on English teachers getting tired of Shakespeare and Austen and Brontë and Joyce, and electing to teach authors who write books with themes that are “less universal,” like Chimamanda Adichie, Junot Diaz, Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Kofi Awoonor, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ama Ata Aidoo, Aimé Cesaire and countless other brilliantly talented authors of color. (If you’re curious what I plan to teach in my classroom in several years when I get there, well, I’ve left a couple of clues…). (Mina Shah)Decider has a short article on Gothic literature in general and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey in particular and states that,
While later writers like the Bronte sisters would perfect gothic romance as a prestigious literary genre, Jane Austen wasn’t so kind. (Meghan O'Keefe)Speaking of the gothic genre, here's our now daily Crimson Peak newsround:
The excellent trailers betray the horror elements of this simple story. The imagery may be of fire and time-honoured brimstone, but this is Charlotte Brontë fuming to be heard. Crimson Peak is the gory, ultra-gothic Jane Eyre we’ve all been waiting for. (Elliott Burton on Kawartha Now)
It’s also not the horror movie that’s being sold in the trailers, but a Gothic romance. Think Jane Eyre plus ghosts, not The Conjuring plus corsets. (Angie Han on SlashFilm)
Del Toro’s vintage vision is evident in the many homages that “Crimson Peak” pays to the past. Edith might as well have been the fourth Brontë sister, shots call back films of Hitchcock and F.W. Murnau and the entire film has this bleak romanticism reminiscent of the Victorian Era. Honestly, this film should be placed next to “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” on every bookshelf. (The Miami Student)NPR reviews Joanna Newsom's fourth album, Divers.
The album's title track makes these tensions clear. It's one of Newsom's most beautiful and accessible songs, a seven-minute rhapsody voiced by a woman observing a diver whom she desires, but cannot really know. "I know we must abide, each by the rules that bind us here," Newsom sings in her rich, restrained lower register as her harp and keyboard lines wash against each other in thickening arpeggios. "The divers, and the sailors, and the women on the pier." A 21st-century feminist might balk at this seeming acceptance of women's passivity, but in ways that echo Jean Rhys's retelling of Jane Eyre, Angela Carter's fairy tales or Toni Morrison's forays into the fantastic, Divers digs into centuries-deep well of stories told about men who act and fight and die, and women who watch and wait and hold memories. Newsom the artist is the diver, too, exploring the defining narratives that make rifts in the infinite. (Ann Powers)The Canberra Times takes a look at the 2016 season at Canberra Theatre Centre which will include
A contemporary version of Emily Brontë's classic Wuthering Heights, Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, and playwright Andrew Bovell's new play Things I Know to Be True will round out the strong selection of drama. (Clare Colley)Reviewing the musical Let It Be, this Lancashire Evening Post columnist makes it clear that he's a fan of The Beatles (then again who isn't, right?)
More concert than musical, this show celebrates the music of The Beatles, Britain’s most iconic band who, in decades to come, will probably be up there with Shakespeare and the Brontës as major figures in the country’s cultural heritage. (Ron Ellis)The Telegraph and Argus lists 'at risk' buildings in the Bradford area:
One of the buildings to receive a substantial grant was the Grade II-listed St James Church in Thornton, which received around £280,000 to help re-slate its roof and repair Morris glass in its windows.The Lincolnshire Echo suggests walking holidays in Europe, one of which is
Church warden Steven Stanworth said the grant was invaluable in completing the work, which cost around £365,000 in total.
"There was no way we could have completed the work without the grant, it was a huge contribution," he said.
"It would have taken us more than ten years to raise the money, but with the grant we were able to complete the work within three.
"Water was getting in and starting to damage the walls, and it was cold and damp for people coming in.
"We've now been able to complete the repairs in time to coincide with our new Bronte exhibition.
"We are big supporters of Historic England and are very grateful for the support they provide." (Rob Lowson)
Famous Writers tour – UK – 2-23 miles per day, 13 daysWe Love This Book reviews Jolien Janzing's Charlotte Brontë's Secret Love.
[...] Continue north to the Yorkshire Moors and you will find yourself in Brontë County.
Visit the family vault and the museum that was once their home, and hike among the heather to look for Top Withins, the supposed inspiration for Wuthering Heights.