Christmas Lunch and Entertainment 2016 - The annual Brontë Group Christmas Lunch took place last Saturday, 3 December. Around 40 members turned up to enjoy a three-course meal, drinks and entertai...
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The second offering, which opened on Thursday at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse, could not have been more different: the premiere of the American composer Louis Karchin’s “Jane Eyre,” with a libretto by Diane Osen based on the Charlotte Brontë novel. Though Mr. Karchin’s restless score is pungently contemporary, the opera over all takes a traditional approach to music drama. Here is a three-act adaptation of a classic novel, for a nine-person cast and 40-piece orchestra, with big arias that end with flourishes and invite applause. (...)
The challenge with taking an old-fashioned approach to opera, as the composer and librettist do in “Jane Eyre,” is that the resulting work invites comparisons with classic masterpieces. Brontë began Jane’s story in her miserable childhood, as an orphan raised by a spiteful, abusive aunt. The opera begins later in the tale, when Jane has become a governess at the estate of the secretive, volatile but dashing Edward Rochester, and we see the kindling of their romantic feelings.
As Jane, the compelling, rich-voiced soprano Jennifer Zetlan has an early aria in which she recounts the character’s childhood in detail; inevitably, this traditional device seems out of sync with Mr. Karchin’s piercing, contemporary music. The score bustles constantly, rather in the vein of Janacek, though crucial arias and scenes build to glittering radiance that recalls Richard Strauss, moments that seemed derivative. I liked the opera best when Mr. Karchin’s score calmed down, thinned out and depicted incidents with more mystery and subtlety.
The cast members gave their all, especially Ryan MacPherson as Rochester and Thomas Meglioranza as St. John Rivers, a minister who appears later in the story. Sara Jobin conducted a colorful, bristling account of the score. The director Kristine McIntyre incorporated some effective video elements into a basically simple, traditional staging. Still, I wonder what could have been had Mr. Karchin and his librettist taken more chances and fashioned a dramatic structure that better suited the contemporary style of the music. (Anthony Tommasini)
But Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” has been a must-read for 200 years now, and shows no sign of losing its status among readers.The Hindu quotes Tom McCarthy saying about Tintin:
To examine the qualities that have earned this novel so much admiration, a presentation on “Charlotte Brontë and Jane Eyre” will be held Monday, Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., at the Ipswich Public Library, located at 25 North Main St.
“What makes it special is the character of Jane Eyre, who is independent, and sees the dishonesty and hypocrisy around her,” said Randall Warniers, who will give Monday’s talk.
In particular, Eyre criticizes notions of class that dominated English culture, which valued people only in terms of their positions in a social hierarchy.
“Also, the writing is just beautifully evocative and dramatic, in descriptions of her encounters with people,” Warniers said.
To help illuminate these qualities, he will talk about the circumstances in which Bronte wrote “Jane Eyre.”
“To read a 19th-century novel, it’s important to have a concept of the times,” Warniers said. “That includes how women were treated, and how orphans were treated, because both of those are central to ‘Jane Eyre.’”
Eyre grows up as an orphan, then takes a position as governess in the home of Edward Rochester, a domineering figure with a dark secret.
“Then I’ll talk about Charlotte Brontë and her family life,” Warniers said. “Three major authors came out of one family: Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. They each published a novel in the same year, 1847.” Warniers will include a slide show in his presentation, which will also consider the setting of the Brontë sisters’ lives in the north of England, which was “rough and wild” in the 19th century, he said. (Will Broaddus)
Years later, I read an interview with the novelist Tom McCarthy who wrote Tintin and the Secret of Literature where he said the books featuring the young journalist with the quiffed hair created “a huge social tableau ... managed with all the subtlety normally attributed to Jane Austen and Henry James, and a huge symbolic register worthy of a Brontë or a Faulkner.” (Suresh Menon)Merinews reviews The Living and the Dead in Winsford by Hakan Nesser
Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights and Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles are but two of the finest literary works that exploit the moor's eerie atmosphere that seems tailor-made for tragedy and crime. The treacherous bogs, brooding ruins, desolate landscapes and harsh, inhospitable weather mirror the bleak mindscapes of the characters and evoke a sense of gloom, mystery and foreboding which hovers over the narrative and casts a spell on the reader. (Vasantha K. Krishnaraj)The New York Times reviews The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride:
McBride’s second novel tells a familiar love story. Young girl leaves small town for big city, meets older man, damaged, sexy, difficult. She redeems him and is redeemed by him. It could be schlocky romance; it could be daytime TV; it could be “Jane Eyre”; it could be Jane Birkin singing Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je T’aime . . . Moi Non Plus.” Do you still need proof that the story line isn’t what makes a story or a song or a movie bind to your deeper mind? (Jeanette Winterson)Another NYT review, Napoleon's Last Island by Thomas Keneally:
The set pieces in the novel, with both affectionate homage and tongue-in-cheek irony, call to mind the giants of 19th-century fiction: a child imprisoned inside the cold and damp stones of a boarding school that feels more like an orphanage (Dickens); a “determined and cunning delinquent” punished by being locked in cupboards and cellars (the Brontës); a young lady’s first ball, with a sumptuous gown bought for her by an admirer (Austen); smart soldiers, lovely belles and old generals dancing in country estates amid the lingering echoes of war (Tolstoy). (John Vernon)Fall-Leaves-Fall sighting in Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette:
"Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away," Emily Brontë wrote in much the same Gothic mood that she brought to her 19th-century novel, Wuthering Heights. "I shall sing when night's decay/Ushers in a drearier day." (Ron Wolfe)L'Express (in French) reviews the film Mal de Pierres:
Tout l’amour qu’elle lui voue n’est qu’imagination.Same as Les Echos twice. Here:
Il faut dire que Gabrielle ne connaît de l’Amour que les images qu’elle s’en est faites en lisant Les hauts de Hurlevent, de Brontë et Propos sur le bonheur, d’Alain.
Dommage que les oeuvres sus-citées ne soient qu’un prétexte dans le film à montrer de jolies couvertures de livres, façon ornement d’une bibliothèque Ikea ou chanson de Vincent Delerm. (Translation)
Jeune femme élevée dans la petite bourgeoisie agricole, cette Emma Bovary provençale ne craint pas de prendre des risques pour séduire celui qu'elle aime, quitte à s'affranchir des conventions et à choquer son milieu. Elle se fixe d'abord sur l'instituteur du village, pourtant marié et bientôt papa, qui lui fait découvrir les romans des soeurs Brontë. (Thierry Gandillot) (Translation)And here:
La lecture des « Hauts de Hurlevent », par exemple : bouleversée par ce roman d’un sombre romantisme, elle se jette littéralement dans les bras du très sage et très… marié maître d’école qui le lui avait prêté. Au début des années 1950, il n’en faut pas plus pour faire scandale. (Annie Coppermann) (Translation)La Libre:
La faute aux parents, aux professeurs, ou les deux ? De toute façon, ils ont eu tort de donner à Gabrielle le goût de la lecture. Elle prend "Les Hauts de Hurlevent" à la lettre, se projette dans les personnages au point de se prendre pour une héroïne animée de sentiments incandescents, consumée d’une passion charnelle dévorante. Il faut la voir jeter son dévolu sur son malheureux professeur qui n’a rien demandé. (Fernand Denis) (Translation)Sud-Ouest:
Éprise de l'instituteur qui lui donne à lire « Les Hauts de Hurlevent », déçue par la petitesse des cœurs qu'elle rencontre. Rêvant d'une vie à la hauteur de sa soif de romanesque. (Sophie Avon) (Translation)Le Figaro:
Gabrielle voit son passé revenir comme une vague. C'était une fille de la campagne. Elle avait, disons, du tempérament. À l'intérieur, cela brûlait. Elle tombait amoureuse de l'instituteur qui lui avait offert Les Hauts de Hurlevent. (Eric Neuhoff)(Translation)Télé 7 Jours:
Nicole Garcia signe une ample fresque romanesque, teintée de fantastique, entre La Leçon de piano de Jane Campion et Les Hauts de Hurlevent. (Translation)Télérama interviews the writer Marie Barthelet:
Marie Barthelet cite Oscar Wilde et les sœurs Brontë, comme pour confirmer cette intuition – même si Jane Austen a aussi les faveurs de certaines, ajoute-t-elle. (Christine Ferniot) (Translation)Il Corriere della Sera (in Italian) interviews the author Alessia Gazzola:
Tra i modelli letterari della scrittrice, tante donne: Alicia Giménez-Bartlett, Agatha Christie, e autrici inglesi dell'Ottocento, da Jane Austen alle sorelle Brontë, fino ad arrivare a Virginia Woolf. (Translation)Libreriamo (in Italian) interviews another writer, Aldo Cazzullo:
Più in generale considera che le sorelle Brontë pubblicano nello stesso anno tre grandi romanzi (“Jane Eyre”, “Cime tempestose” e “La signora di Wildfell Hall”) e tutte e tre firmano con un nome maschile, perché era inconcepibile che una donna potesse scrivere un libro. (Translation)Regió 7 (in Catalan) reviews Jane, le Renard et Moi:
Un campament d´estiu és també un dels escenaris de 'Jane, el zorro y yo' (Salamandra Graphic), un conte sobre l´assetjament escolar a partir de la història ?potser no verídica, però veraç? d´Hélène, una nena a qui unes companyes fan la vida impossible i que es refugia en les pàgines de la Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë. Història, a més, servida amb unes il·lustracions i una acurada edició que la converteixen en tot un caramel. (Pep Corral) (Translation)Onedio (in Turkish) compares some Turkish exploitation films with their originals:
1. Derbeder (1977) - Wuthering Heights (1939)Publika's horoscope (in Moldavian) includes a Wuthering Heights recommendation:
Yönetmenliğini Temel Gürsu'nun yaptığı Derbeder filmi; Ağa kızı İpek’le, fakir ırgat Ferdi’nin aşkını konu alır. Yoksulken İpek ile bir araya gelemeyeceğini anlayan Ferdi, hayallerini gerçekleştirmek için İstanbul'a doğru yola çıkacaktır.
İlginç olan ise, Türkiye'deki köy yaşamını konu eden ve ağa-ırgatlık sistemine değinen bu yapımın; Emily Brontë'un Uğultulu Tepeler adlı romanıyla aynı adı taşıyan 1939 yapımı "Wuthering Heights" filminin uyarlaması olmasıdır. William Wyler tarafından usta bir şekilde çekilen ve şimdilerde klasik olarak gördüğümüz pek çok tekniğin ilk kez kullanılmasını sağlayan filmin baş kahramanı yoksul Heatcliff, bir anda karşımıza köylü ırgat Ferdi olarak çıkmayı başarmıştır... (Translation)
SăgetătorTrendencias (in Spanish) posts about the musical Wasted; Camden New Journal has some new literary sisters; a wedding proposal made in Haworth on Boho Weddings; the Brontë Parsonage Museum presents the Serena Partridge pieces for the Brontë 200 exhibition at the Celebrating Museums in Yorkshire conference held at the Sheffield Museum. Like a Porcelain Doll (in Polish) reviews Jane Eyre. The Japanese Brontë Society posts about their recent Hiroshima convention.
Ții cu dreptatea și ești o fire impulsivă, de accea ar trebui să citești „La Răscruce de Vânturi” de Emily Bronte. Urmărind prietenia dintre Heathcliff și Catherine, care se transformî în dragoste, aceasta ăți va demonstra că prietenia pe viață există. (Translation)
The next project in the works is “Wuthering Heights.” [Bryan] Ferriter hopes to finish the filming in England. (Marga Lincoln)