Monday, July 11, 2016

Senses of Cinema (Issue 79) has an unmissable article on Jacques Rivette's Hurlevent 1985 and its Balthus influence:
From the Brontëan Text to the Tableaux: Jacques Rivette’s Hurlevent
After having completed the final cut of L’amour par terre in late 1983, Jacques Rivette was at liberty to attend the retrospective exhibition devoted to the work of artist and theatre decorator Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski de Rola),which had just opened at the Musée National d’Art Moderne-Centre Georges Pompidou. Rivette had long been an ardent admirer of Balthus, and was already familiar with reproductions of the drawings that the artist had produced in the mid-1930s for an edition of Emily Brontë’s nineteenth-century novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), which was to have been published by Gallimard. He was delighted by the exhibition where he found himself entranced by the original tableaux, enclosed in what he describes in a 2003 interview as a “small, separate room – a kind of tablier, as one says in old French” where all of the final India ink drawings as well as the preliminary pencil sketches were on display. He was particularly struck by the clean sharp lines that defined Balthus’s figures and the sparseness of the rooms they occupied, a minimalist approach that was markedly different from that of William Wyler whose 1939 Hollywood adaptation, according to Rivette, reduced Brontë’s novel to a giddily orchestrated costume drama “that made no sense whatsoever with all those ball scenes sprinkled everywhere." Rivette’s transformative encounter with Balthus’s willful, brooding illustrations of Brontë renewed his desire to return to the difficult terrain of literary adaptation for the first time since La Religieuse (The Nun, 1966), the banned adaptation of Denis Diderot’s eighteenth-century novel.
Indeed, the focus of Brontë’s novel recalls that of La Religieuse: both recount the tragic destiny of a woman whose passion is curtailed due to the exacting demands of rigid social codes and an oppressive moral regime. Brontë’s work recounts, from the retrospective narration of an inquisitive onlooker, the impact of the “gypsy brat” Heathcliff on Catherine Earnshaw and her family, who are landowners and farmers within late eighteenth-century England. Both Cathy and Heathcliff are passionate beings, who take profound pleasure in the natural mysteries of the moors, while remaining oblivious to the worldly concerns of material wealth and class status that predominate within both the Earnshaw and the nearby Linton households. As time passes, Cathy matures into a young woman whose desire to enter the world of genteel sociability impels her to marry the refined Edgar Linton, a product of the more prosperous, civilised culture of Thrushcross Grange. The first part of the novel unfolds around the turmoil in Cathy who must ultimately decide between the two men, Linton and Heathcliff, and the opposed worldviews that they embody. Her inability to commit fully to either finally destroys her. The opening chapter of Volume II in which Cathy dies in Heathcliff’s arms provides an equivocal resolution to the first volume of the novel and also, Rivette’s adaptation. (Read more) (Mary M. Wiles)
The Oregonian interviews the author Katherine Bolger Hyde:
Q: What's next for Emily and Luke: "Drowning with Dickens"? "Bludgeoned by the Brontës"? (Amy Wang)
The next book is "Bloodstains with Brontë." After that is "Cyanide with Christie" (not all 19th-century authors, you see), and I'm currently working on a Dickens-themed book, which I've been calling "Death with Dickens" but which I may now retitle "Drowning with Dickens." Thanks for the idea!
Female First interviews another author Patricia Duncker:
Not so Secret Addiction - Game of Thrones. I am as helplessly addicted to the TV show as is everybody else I know. The series is compelling because it's all about power struggles within and between families, the solid material of all domestic fiction. If you don't believe me, read Wuthering Heights. Cruelty, passion, torture and murder are the names of both games
Howard Jacobson's autobiography The Mighty Walzer describes a pretty unorthodox use of Wuthering Heights:
The autobiographical parallels, Jacobson agrees, even extend to the way Oliver plays his first games of table tennis using a leatherette-covered book as a bat. The writer recalls being particularly keen on an edition of Wuthering Heights, “because the book had an uneven surface, so the ball would come off at all sorts of strange angles. But why it was that every Jewish boy growing up in Manchester in the 1950s played table tennis with some degree of competence I can’t explain…” (Big Issue North)
The Hindu talks about Jane Austen and you know who is quoted:
Over the years, Jane Austen’s works have been hated as well as loved in equal measures by authors and avid readers. While novelist Charlotte Brontë found Austen “only shrewd and observant” and declared that “The Passions are perfectly unknown to her,” playwright Richard Sheridan, on the other hand, found Pride and Prejudice to be “one of the cleverest things" he had ever read and advised a friend to buy it immediately. (Arathi M
Northumberland Gazette announces the upcoming open-air production of Wuthering Heights by the ChapterHouse Theatre Company:
At Warkworth Castle visitors will be treated to a stunning performance of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, on Sunday, July 31.
Set on the beautiful, mysterious wilderness of the Yorkshire Moors. This treasured story of enduring love and passion has thrilled and entranced for generations and is now brought alive on stage in an adaptation by award-winning writer Laura Turner.
Can Catherine and Heathcliff’s everlasting love bring happiness or will the very forces of nature and the moors tear them apart?
NWZ (Germany) talks about a curious event at the Oldenburger Kultursommer (15,16, 22,23 July): Die Welt der Poesie:
Große Literaten im Schlossgarten
Ein nächtlicher Theaterspaziergang durch die Welt der Poesie

Ein nächtlicher Theaterspaziergang durch die Welt der Poesie
Wollten Sie nicht immer schon einmal Goethe persönlich begegnen? Nein, nicht in Weimar, sondern hier unter einer Reihe Lampions im Schlossgarten? Oder einem der beiden ganz großen Meister bei einer Theaterprobe zuschauen – Sie haben die Wahl zwischen Moliere und Shakespeare.
Wagen Sie jetzt ein Tänzchen mit Jane Austen und Charlotte Brontë. Sie können nicht tanzen? Gut, dann nehmen Sie doch bitte Platz an der Tafel und diskutieren bei Oliven und Wein mit Dante und Omar Chayyām über den Sinn des Lebens. (Translation)
na:Temat (Poland) recommends Shirley as a beach read:
Shirley” Charlotte Brontë

Jeśli jedziecie nad polskie morze i czytanie tomiszcza zatytułowanego „Piękny drań” odrobinę was zawstydza, możecie sięgnąć po romans incognito, a do tego klasyk, jak wydana w 2011 „Shirley”. Twórczości sióstr Brontë większości kobiet przedstawiać nie trzeba. Wszystkie podkochiwałyśmy się jako nastolatki w Panu Rochesterze i płakaliśmy nad uczuciem Katy i Heathcliffa. „Shirley” to druga z zaledwie pięciu napisanych przez starszą z sióstr powieści, która w Polsce ukazała się 162 lat po oryginale.
„Jeżeli ten wstęp wzbudził w Tobie, Czytelniku, nadzieję na romantyczne wrażenia, czeka Cię zawód. Czy liczysz na sentymentalizm, poezję, rozmarzenie? Czy spodziewasz się płomiennych uczuć, ekscytacji i melodramatu? Ucisz swoje oczekiwania, sprowadź je na ziemie. Leży przed Tobą coś autentycznego, prozaicznego i namacalnego” – ostrzega Charlotte na początku, jednak obietnicy nie dotrzymuje. Choć tło społeczno-obyczajowe zostało rzeczywiście odmalowane z dbałością o szczegóły, wątek romansowy, czy też może raczej miłosny, nie zostaje zepchnięty na drugi plan. To opowieść o konflikcie klas, małżeństwie rozumianym jako transakcja i naiwności pierwszej miłości, w którą rzucamy się bez uprzedzeń i bez namysłu. (Helena Łygas) (Translation)
Noticias de Álava (Spain) interviews the author Toni Hill about his new novel, Los Ángeles de Hielo:
Ya lo ha dicho, esta novela es un tributo a la novela romántica y gótica y a títulos como Jane Eyre. (Ana Oliveira Lizarribar)
-Hay homenajes a lecturas que me han gustado mucho. Evidentemente, está Otra vuelta de tuerca, con el punto de vista de la institutriz, que en este caso sería Águeda, y con esos fantasmas que no se sabe muy bien si existen o no, si las gente los ve o los intuye... No hay una respuesta clara. Luego está Jane Eyre, que yo traduje en su día y me encajaba mucho por la historia de esa chica que, sin grandes alardes, quiere hacer su vida. Jane no es una revolucionaria, pero va haciendo lo que cree que tiene que hacer, y es la novela que les quieren inculcar a las niñas en el Colegio de los Ángeles. Al final, la historia se acaba convirtiendo en una vuelta de tuerca de Jane Eyre(ríe). Y luego también aparecen los cuentos de E.T.A. Hoffmann, con esa idea que atraviesa la novela y que se refiere a que hay un yo y ese otro yo que se atreve a hacer lo que yo no me atrevo. (Translation)
Tinta de Sueños (in Spanish) and Bookself post about Wuthering Heights; Flight & Scarlet gives reasons to read Jane Eyre; AnneBrontë.org posts about Anne Brontë And The Inghams Of Mirfield.


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