Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Tuesday, September 06, 2016 8:56 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Star reports that the Off the Shelf Festival of Words at Sheffield (October 8 to 29) will include
special events to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, 200 years since the birth of Charlotte Brontë and 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl. (Graham Walker)
Indeed, according to the Festival's website there will be four Brontë-related events.

Starburst interviews writer J.A. Ironside.
Starburst: You've described I Belong to the Earth as a homage to Wuthering Heights. When you were writing it was that your intention from the beginning?
J. A. Ironside: Yes and no. In part it's a homage but the aspect that does jibe with Wuthering Heights - namely the ongoing haunting or curse centered around a pair of lovers who allowed selfishness and a toxic form of love to divide them - is in part a reaction to the huge number of YA fantasy books that center on a love triangle as a central theme. I think there's something unhealthy in that dynamic - in the person at the top of the triangle viewing their self-worth through the lens of having two people fighting for their affections. It was also a reaction to people who describe Wuthering Heights as a sweeping romance because while it was many things, it definitely wasn't that. It cheapens the brilliance of what is essentially a rather unpleasant book with unlikable characters to just boil it down to a romance when it was an intelligent and somewhat scathing social commentary on just how toxic certain forms of love can be and how keeping women sequestered in the way they were in 19th C Britain, led to them contributing to their own downfall. So yes I acknowledge the excellence of WH and I'm a bit cheeky borrowing the author as a walk on part but really I wanted to look at the theme of love - of all kinds - under a very unforgiving lens. (Gareth Evans)
Samantha Ellis has written an article for Standard Issue Magazine:
Growing up on Wuthering Heights and Gone with the Wind, I expected to swoon when I fell in love. I expected to be swept off my feet. I expected to melt. I wanted to be yearning and burning for a man who was brooding, smouldering and just a little bit dangerous.
I carried these ideas, first formulated when I was about 12, into adult life. I cherished them, I took them to parties, where I flirted (batting my eyelashes, doing the full Scarlett O’Hara); and I lugged them into my relationships, where they often obscured the fact that these men were not particularly nice to me. Let alone faithful. [...]
What did I want? To swoon? Well, no. I wouldn’t want to be unconscious. As for melting, it’s adorable when Amélie turns into a puddle on the floor, but I’m not adorable or French or equipped with a special effects team to reconstitute me into solid flesh. Yearning? Well, I spent years of my life having unrequited crushes on various unsuitables, and it was both boring and thankless.
Then I re-read Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is a nightmare. Violent, abusive, and (my past self hates me for writing this) just incredibly needy and melodramatic. And just like that, I was over him.
The Herald Scotland reviews the play FlatSpin at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in which
Rosie Seymore [...] is co-opted as a stand-in janitor for the expensively bland London docklands flat where all three plays are set.
For Rosie, it's a gig considerably better than wearing rabbit ears in a Transit van schools tour, but not as good as the prospect of playing Jane Eyre on prime-time TV. (Neil Cooper)
Speaking of theatre and Jane Eyre, the staff at The Stage discuss whether 'stage adaptations ever live up to the original material'.
Thomas What makes an adaptation successful?
Victor It’s a balancing act, because the writer has to satisfy the people who loved the original, and at the same time make a new piece for an audience that might not have read it.
Peter An adaptation works when it recognises that it’s a different form and isn’t too dutiful.
Albert And when the writer creates a piece of theatre, rather than just telling the story of the book.
Victor What makes an adaptation successful? Well, to judge by most adaptations, doubling. Loads and loads and loads of doubling.
Peter The recent Jane Eyre, for example.
Victor “We’d like you to read for Jed, Mr Wilson, Third Judge, Binman, Angry Neighbour, and Mrs Smith.”
The Brontë Parsonage Blog has a couple of new posts up: one on a reader's visit to Norton Conyers and the other on the Brontë Society Conference 2016 as told by Professor Maddalena De Leo.

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