Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Japan Times publishes an interesting article about why Japanese women are fascinated by the Brontës:
Japan seem to be besotted with the three Brontë sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne. It’s a fascination that goes beyond reading and imagining. A disproportionately high number of Japanese women visit the Brontë's home village of Haworth in the north of England each year, a pilgrimage that has recently been turned into the subject of a novel by Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author Mick Jackson, “Yuki Chan in Bronte Country.”
Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” may have bewitched generations of Japanese readers, but Emily’s “Wuthering Heights” (rendered as “Arashigaoka” in Japanese) arguably stands as the most influential novel in Japan written by a non-Japanese woman. It inspired a 1988 Japanese film adaptation, which replaces the wild Yorkshire moors with a rocky Japanese volcano, but has also had a profound influence on some of the country’s most important 20th-century women writers, such as Yuko Tsushima and Taeko Kono.
Lucy North, translator of Kono’s collection of stories, “Toddler-Hunting and Other Stories,” says Kono was fascinated by Emily and the other Brontë sisters. The pent-up longing, anger and violence in their writing is reflected in the sexually transgressive desires of Kono’s female protagonists. The Japanese author even wrote a screenplay of “Wuthering Heights,” which has been used in several theater productions, and she made the Haworth pilgrimage in 1985 with fellow writer Taeko Tomioka. A year later, the two published a travelogue, “Arashigaoka Futari-tabi” (“Wuthering Heights, Travelled Together”), based on their experiences. (Read more) (Damian Flanagan)
The Sunday Express publishes a short story by Louise Doughty imagining what Patrick Brontë would write to Charlotte, telling her not to marry. Read it in A Letter From My Father:
The letter was waiting for me when I returned from London. It was in the parlour, propped up on the bow-legged table that stands against the wall. My father knows I go there first when I return from one of my trips.
The envelope had nothing on it but my name, Charlotte, in my father’s neat and sloping hand.
My father was probably in his study, and I had been away a month. I knew if he was greeting me with a letter, he must have something to say that he would find difficult or hurtful – most likely, both. t had been a tiring journey home: the overnight train from London to Leeds, then a long wait for the smaller train to Keighley, and a delay in the carrier cart that met the train, each stage of my journey a little less grand than the last. Four other passengers dismounted with me and awaited the cart up the hill to Haworth – they all knew me as the Parson’s daughter. I sat at the front of the cart, my shawl wrapped tightly round my shoulders. (Read more)
In the same newspaper there is a comment on the recent Brontë Society crisis and the role of Judi Dench in the Society:
Dame Judi Dench will be president in name only of the crisis-plagued Brontë Society and has apologised in advance to its members for leading from the rear.
The 81-year-old actress, who played the character M in eight Bond blockbusters, is unlikely to be directly involved in society activities for years because of film and stage commitments, it has been revealed. (Mark Branagan)
The Sydney Morning Herald reviews the film Me Before You:

It should be clear from this account that the film isn't to be taken as a realistic study of disability. The powerful yet wounded aristocrat is a stock figure of romance, going back to Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre (and reappearing, for that matter, in Fifty Shades of Grey, where the hero's sadistic compulsions are supposed to stem from damage of another kind). What this offers the genre is a way of managing the power dynamic between the couple: Will has the upper hand economically and socially, but on the physical level Lou remains in control. (Jake Wilson)

Grand Forks Herald comments on Claire Harman's biography of Charlotte Brontë:
"Charlotte Brontë," by Claire Harman, is a groundbreaking view of the beloved writer as a young woman ahead of her time.
The Hindu reviews Elegible by Curtis Sittenfeld:
After all, we all have our own ideas about these characters we love and retellings, it would seem, are fleshed out versions of the what-ifs we ask ourselves once a good book ends. What if Elizabeth had to fight zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith); what if Jane Eyre had a particularly murderous past (Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye); and in the case of Eligible, what if the Bennet family lived and loved in modern-day Cincinnati? (Swati Daftouar
Dawn (Pakistan) reviews The Rose Within by Sana Pirzada:
What saves the novel from becoming pastiche or parody are the undoubtedly sincere intentions of its writer, who pays homage to the Gothic tradition by honouring those elements of it that have persisted over the course of numerous decades. Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, the Brontë sisters, and even Jane Austen (whose delightful Northanger Abbey is a parody of Radcliffe’s work) were all influenced by this historic tradition that, as I noted earlier, continues to thrill and delight to the present day. (Nady Chishty-Mujahid)
Sierra Vista Herald adds zombies everywhere:
Just think of how many romantic dramas could be improved by adding zombies. How about “Wuthering Heights”? In the weird scene in which the tortured and heartbroken Heathcliff breaks into the house where his beloved Cathy lies in a casket. (Chris Zimmerman)
Onirik (France) reviews Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier:
Les nouvelles sont de qualité variable, chaque auteur a choisi en effet des thématiques bien différentes. Dans Le mariage de ma mère, par exemple, de Tessa Hadley, une jeune femme se souvient du mariage non conventionnel de sa mère, dans les années 1970 et de sa fascination pour les peintres préraphaélites. Surprenant et décalé !
Dans la nouvelle rédigée par Tracy Chevalier, Dorset gap, qui s’apparente à une réécriture moderne, beaucoup d’humour et de clins d’oeils pour le lecteur amoureux de l’oeuvre originelle. Certaines nouvelles proposent des points de vue d’autres personnages, comme dans Grace Poole, son témoignage d’Helen Dunmore, ou dans Lecteur, elle m’a épousé, de Sally Vickers, l’intéressant point de vue de Rochester.
C’est un véritable plaisir de découvrir ces petites histoires sur une oeuvre qu’on a tant aimée, cela plaira sans aucun doute à tous les amateurs de Jane Eyre. Un bémol, cependant, pas de traduction française de prévue, information confirmée par Tracy Chevalier elle-même, qui a évoqué une traduction prévue en italien. Avis aux amateurs ! (Claire) (Translation)
La Repubblica (Italy) lists some titles included in the 2016 Maturità essays:
Molly Cavalaglio, ad esempio, parte dall'interpretazioni dei sogni di Freud collegandolo con Italo Svevo e la sua Coscienza di Zeno, la Belle Epoque, Emily Brontë e García Márquez. (Giovanni Cedrone) (Translation)
Zezee with Books posts about Jane Eyre;  Carpe Diem Emmie reviews the Northern Ballet performances of Jane Eyre;  Nici's Buchecke (in German) posts about a recent German Jane Eyre audiobook.

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