Elizabeth Gaskell and the Brontës - It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Anne Brontë’s writings, and those of her sisters Emily and Charlotte Brontë as well. There are other writers who I lo...
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Katniss Everdeen, the arrow-wielding hero of the Hunger Games series, may be a popular role model for some teens these days, but don't forget about Jane Eyre.Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden) reviews Anna Azcárate's take on the novel in Malmö.
Fifteen-year-old Gabi Landim Araujo lists the classic Charlotte Brontë novel of the same name as one of her current top three reading picks thanks to its inspiring main character.
"I think it's a really empowering book for women particularly," says Landim Araujo.
The coming-of-age story sees the titular Jane Eyre persevere through a lifetime of hardship and it's that inner strength Landim Araujo finds inspiring.
"The current books kind of envision women like super heroes (but) Jane Eyre is kind of like a common girl," she explains. (Rosalind Duane)
För Jane Eyres liv är inte någon joyride. Azcárates regi är effektivt teatral och stiliserad, skapar konturer kring de många figurer Jane möter. Li Brådhe är ena stunden snörpig styvmoster och i nästa en godlynt hushållerska på Thornfield Hall, där Jane blir guvernant. August Lindmark agerar bortskämd kusin, tyrannisk husmor på uppfostringsanstalt, societetstjej och asketisk missionärspräst. Kajsa Ericsson, Hanna Normann och Lars-Göran Ragnarson gör liknande köns- och klassbyten för att skissa en kultur där sociala rollspel styrs av outtalade normer och konventioner. Då som nu.USA Today lists some of the recent and forthcoming literary 'mashups' (Even though some of them aren't actually 'mashups' at all'):
Kajsa Ericssons välartade fröken Ingram säger rentav att män ska slåss, jaga och skjuta, medan kvinnor kan vårda sin skönhet. Den giftaslystne Mr Rochester, som Joakim Gräns färgar med väl avvägd manlighet och auktoritet, dras dock mera till Jane Eyres uppriktighet. Han blir förälskad i den unga guvernanten.
För Janes hela attraktion ligger i att hon aldrig är beräknande eller försöker smickra sig fram till privilegier. Trots att Jane förlorar allt hon har, följer hon sin moraliska kompass när hon erfar Rochesters hemlighet. Natalie Sundelin skildrar osentimentalt hennes rädsla men beslutsamhet när hon väljer en oviss frihet framför ett illegitimt äktenskap med materiell trygghet. Uppsättningen framhäver att vi människor alltid har val att göra.
Kirsten Thomsens öppna scenrum, Sven-Erik Anderssons dynamiska ljus och Jonathan Flygares ljudlandskap samverkar till förtätade stämningar och expressionistiska utspel. Det konstnärliga teamet och ensemblen lyckas på så sätt hålla en teatral förhöjning som ger en postmodern, episodisk form åt det historiska kostymdramat. Jane Eyre-gestalten låter sig självklart integreras i vår tid. (Theresa Benér) (Translation)
New and forthcoming fiction inspired by literary classics:Jane Steele actually has a whole article devoted to it in the same newspaper.
— Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights by Alison Case (Pegasus, on sale now)
A retelling of Emily Brontë’s classic tale about brooding Heathcliff, by the housekeeper. [...]
— The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone, on sale March 1)
A modern-day descendant of the Brontës searches for the family’s secret estate.
— Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (Putnam, on sale March 22)
Faye’s stand-in for Jane Eyre exacts revenge on those who done her wrong.
'Reader, I Married Him,' edited by Tracy Chevalier
— Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier (William Morrow, on sale March 22)
Stories inspired by Jane Eyre, from modern women writers including Chevalier, Francine Prose and Audrey Niffenegger. (Jocelyn McClurg)
What happens when a 21st-century literary sensibility crashes up against a 19th-century classic?Not mentioned in the above selection is Lena Coakley's Worlds of Ink and Shadow which is nonetheless awarded 4 out of 5 stars by The Celebrity Café.
In the case of Lyndsay Faye and her new satirical novel, Jane Steele (Putnam, on sale March 22), an entertaining riff on Jane Eyre, sheer mayhem meets Victorian propriety. Jane Steele may be a poor, mistreated English orphan (and possible heiress), but she’s also a killer, one with about five good excuses.
“There are so many people who need to die in Jane Eyre,” says Faye, 35, who winks slyly at Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel with the confessional line, “Reader, I murdered him.”
Faye also drew on her love of Dexter, the contemporary vigilante serial killer created by novelist Jeff Lindsay and played in the Showtime series by Michael C. Hall.
“I’ve put it all in a blender, and then sexed it up a little,” says Faye, who found further inspiration in Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby and Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. [...]
Others may elevate a minor player to center stage, such as Alison Case in the new Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights. Some painstakingly re-create the language of their forebears; others adopt a more wink-wink, hey-it’s-2016 tone, or strive for a narrative voice that splits the difference. [...]
In Jane Steele, the heroine may share Jane Eyre’s story — albeit with sardonic, modern twists — but she refuses to be a victim (in a truly meta moment, Jane Steele has read Jane Eyre).
“I wanted to take gender stereotypes and flip them,” Faye says. Jane Steele is “going to swear, she’s into erotica. These people existed in the 19th century, too. In some ways people are just as violent and bigoted and selfish as they ever were. I’m exploring tropes of human behavior universal to any time period.”
But reader, never fear. Jane Steele (who is no virgin) also pines for her Mr. Rochester, here called “Mr. Thornfield.”
Contemporary writers are intrigued with the idea of “filling in the blanks” left in beloved stories. [...]
What would the writers who invented Sherlock Holmes and Lizzy Bennet and Jane Eyre likely think of modern mashups?
“I hope she’d laugh once or twice, but she’d be completely scandalized,” Faye says of Charlotte Brontë, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated in April. (Jocelyn McClurg)
In Coakley’s story, the older Brontës, Branwell and Charlotte have found a way to cross over into the fictional city that they write about, but at what price? They try to protect their younger siblings from a similar fate, but when things go terribly wrong in the imagined city of Verdopolis and darkness seeps into the real world, it will take all four siblings to remind each other of their worth and set things right again.
This novel is a lot of fun. It reimagines history with a magical appeal. As it moves through, you feel like you learn a bit more about the Brontës’ initial characters and worlds, as well as their relationships with each other. It’s a fun way to introduce the classic authors to a new generation who may become interested in the real works of the Brontës as they watch some of their older characters come to life.
Anyone judging this book by the fact that it is not a detailed history of the Brontës’ lives is looking too deeply. It’s meant to be a historical fantasy novel with a bit of horror that touches on certain aspects of their lives, but is in fact its own story. If you read it expecting a modern-day Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, you’re going to be deeply disappointed. However, if you see the book for what it actually is, it will entrance you, scare you and make you love the Brontës just a little bit more. They would have approved of the creative use of imagination. (Jesse Cook)