Saturday, July 16, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016 6:14 am by M. in , , ,    No comments
GeekMom reviews both Jane Steele and The Madwoman Upstairs:
Shiri is not a lover of Charlotte Brontë (*ducks tomatoes and excrement thrown at her as she is placed in the stocks*). She loves gothic and she loves period, but she has never been able to reconcile time spent on a Brontë when there was Austen to be devoured. She was, thusly, somewhat hesitant to delve into Jane Steele but was unable to resist when a friend, who is equally enthusiastic about books, called it “the only book I need for the rest of my life.” And Shiri is very glad she checked her inclinations because they would, in this case, have led her astray and been the cause of her missing out on yet another wonderful read.
Simultaneously a gothic-style novel and a satire of the same, Jane is murderess with a cause and that cause is righteous. By turns tragic, hilarious, hysterically funny, and romantic, Shiri found herself thoroughly engrossed by Faye’s original, innovative, and somehow grounded, work. There’s even a bit of education to be had as regards Sikhism and the religious and racial politics of the time. A third highly recommended read for the month. (...)
Sophie‘s book club chose The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell and she tore through the 352 pages in only a few days. From the blurb, Sophie imagined this to be something approximate to The Da Vinci Code, only focused on the legacy of the Brontë sisters. (...)
Sophie described this book to her husband as a pretentious book about pretentious people having pretentious conversations. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she disliked it, she grew up attending a very pretentious English private school herself and so the characters were very much speaking her language, however, she did feel that the book tried so hard to assert its own cleverness that it became bogged down by a strange lack of substance. She did find the ending particularly annoying, that being said, the book made her want to pick up all the Brontë novels she has yet to read (so… most of them) so if nothing else it was inspiring. (Sophie Brown)
The Sydney Morning Herald on failure as an important life lesson (although we don't agree with the Jane Eyre example):
Failure stories are better. Jane Eyre wouldn't have been Jane Eyre if Jane hadn't flunked life's lottery and ended up in semi-indentured slavedom chez Rochester. Nobody would have wanted to read about an Anna Karenina whose decision to leave her husband for Count Vronsky turned out to be a sensible one. (Jacqueline Maley)
The Guardian interviews the writer James Kelman:
What he will say is that younger writers must discover the distinctive Scottish tradition themselves. “Writers like myself or Tom Leonard are working from that tradition, but maybe [younger writers] don’t realise that was what it is.” He points out that Justified Sinner, for example, the brilliantly eerie but neglected novel by Scottish author James Hogg, was published a couple of decades before Emily Brontë’s more celebrated Wuthering Heights. “I feel that there are all these areas in Scottish culture that are still not properly explored.” (Libby Brooks)
This columnist on TheWhig (Canada) tries to understand why British voted Brexit:
The tendency of some Britons to wallow in the past has been encouraged by the British entertainment industry. Movies and television programs relentlessly focus on bygone eras. The glory days of the Raj in India are evoked in productions such as A Passage of India, The Jewel in the Crown, King of the Khyber Rifles and Far Pavillions. Genteel life in the 19th and early 20th centuries is the subject of an array of productions such as Jane Eyre, The Forsyth Saga, Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. All of this tends to encourage some people to look to a comforting past rather than face the present and the future. (Louis A. Delvoie)
Baby Names inspired by feminist literary characters on Romper:
 1. Jane From 'Jane Eyre'
Though it's been a popular name throughout history, Jane from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is a particularly empowering character. Despite her tragic childhood, Jane rises above and never doubts her potential and intelligence. Her name means "God's gracious gift" and is the perfect vintage sounding name for a little girl. (Olivia Youngs)
Der Tagesspiegel (Germany) explores the history of homosexuality in literature:
Gleich war es mit der erfüllten Liebe und dem unerfüllten Verlangen. Davon erzählten Emily Brontë oder Heinrich von Kleist; davon erzählte Goethe, erzählten alle in allen nur erdenklichen Abweichungen. Es ging dabei ganz selbstverständlich um die vielfältigen Spielarten der Liebe zwischen den Geschlechtern. Wer sich im 18. oder 19. Jahrhundert Hinweise auf die Liebe zwischen Männern erhoffte, wurde enttäuscht. (Alain Claude Sulzer) (Translation)
And Ziarul de Iași (Romania) lists the 'most popular male characters' in literature:
Heathcliff, La răscruce de vânturi, Emily Brontë. Heathcliff e prototipul bărbatului care nu numai că iubește cu pasiune, dar și vrea să posede în integralitate obiectul afecțiunii sale. Iar asta este teribil de seducător pentru un anumit procent de femei. Heathcliff este atât de atrăgător pentru potențialul lui de a fi schimbat de femeia pe care o iubește. Și ce femeie n-ar da orice să poată spune că a schimbat un iubit? (Translation)
Tinyletter comments on a fragment of Claire Harman's biography of Charlotte Brontë: the summer break when Charlotte started Jane Eyre.


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