Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015 8:01 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The New Yorker discusses weather as a literary tool or symbol.
As a set of symbols, weather also blows toward the world; we use it to describe not only ourselves but our private relationships and our societies as a whole. Nabokov characterized his marriage to Véra Slonim with a one-word emotional-weather report: “cloudless.” Emily Brontë conjured the opposite kind of relationship in “Wuthering Heights.” When we first meet Catherine Earnshaw, she is a ghostly hand rapping on a window in a storm—which is to say, she is essentially the storm itself, rattling the glass panes of her former home. At every point thereafter, emotional drama and atmospheric drama are one. If Lear is minded like the weather, Catherine and Heathcliff are bodied like it—together, the most famous storm ever to strike the Yorkshire moors. (Kathryn Schulz)
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews The Women's Pages by Debra Adelaide.
In The Women's Pages, Dove, a 38-year-old graphic designer, who has read and reread Wuthering Heights since her teenage years, reads the novel aloud to her dying mother. This act of reading inspires her to write. She visualises her protagonist, Ellis, born around 1950 and raised without a mother. She knows not where Ellis' story will take her, but she is captive to it. She takes on "the emotional agony of her characters": "The more she delved into the lives of her characters the more it was about missing or silent women and the more it seemed it was her job to find them and open their mouths and pull their words out and lay them across the pages." Yet these characters have other plans; they take on a life of their own.
In the Editor's Preface to the 1850 edition of Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Brontë, writing as Currer Bell, apologised for what she saw as her sister's indelicacies and mistakes, including Ellis Bell's creation of darkly powerful characters such as Heathcliff, Earnshaw and Catherine: "Having formed these beings, she did not know what she had done." [...]
Adelaide enjoys playing a self-conscious literary game. Dove's copy of Wuthering Heights is marked up with her mother's annotations: "A novel without a reader? ... Imptc of narrative perspective. Self-conscious literary artefact … Absent mother theme reinforced". Her characters, living in Sydney's inner-west, are named Ellis, Edgar Ernest Shaw, Catherine and Nell. Dove's name originates both from the novel's epigraph taken from Brontë and a particular typeface. Early on she offers her reader guidance, but before long she cedes authority to the reader who is drawn into the intrigue of plot and left to negotiate its complex twists and turns. (Bernadette Brennan)
The Telegraph has an obituary of theatrical designer Yolanda Sonnabend.
Yolanda Sonnabend, the painter and theatrical designer, who has died aged 80, was a driving force in the look of British ballet, particularly in the psychologically challenging productions of the Royal Ballet’s choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan; she was also an outstanding portraitist. [...]
The memorable results included her Brontë-esque moorland setting for MacMillan’s My Brother, My Sisters, a disturbing incestuous family group, her wire-meshed yard in his study of oppression, Playground – which she researched by visiting a mental institution – and her celestially delicate lightbox for his Requiem (for which she suggested the remarkable opening image when the dancers shuffle on with mouths gaping wide).
Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) features a new Swedish translation of Villette, which hadn't been translated into that language since 1854.
Sällan har en roman fångat detta basala kärleksbehov så väl som Charlotte Brontës ”Villette”, och den som inte redan läst den här boken måste omedelbart göra det. Det är en order. (Josefin Holmström) (Translation)
The Hindu makes an interesting point about reading the classics:
Reading a classic in its original form, often just slows one down. It offers a quiet space and a sanctuary of reflection. However, this understanding only came after going through a period when one was “consuming” texts at a “fast food” pace, jumping in abandon from one version to another. I had read so many interpretations of Jane Eyre, I had forgotten the flavour with which the original had been written. Rereading it, made even the interpretations seem richer. (Anuradha Shyam)

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