Sunday, October 09, 2016

The Elena Ferrante affair continues to trigger articles on anonymity. In The Guardian:
The earlier review is quoted in a brilliant study by John Mullan, Anonymity: A Secret History of English Literature, in which context Ferrante’s reticence and the avid response to it look far more like a return to literary convention than a rebuke to celebrity culture. As with Charlotte Brontë, it was a matter of time, given the sales and adulation, before Elena Ferrante was identified. (...)
In his time, Thackeray was not above biographical speculation. “I have been exceedingly moved and pleased by Jane Eyre. It is a woman’s writing, but whose?” The English reading world, Elizabeth Gaskell wrote in her biography of Brontë, “was in a ferment to discover the unknown author.” (Catherine Bennett
The New Statesman:
Although I sympathise with the desire for privacy, I cannot quite bring myself to join the outrage over the revelation of the true identity of the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante. Speculation about successful artists and who they “really are” goes back at least to the Brontës, whose identity emerged in considerably less time than the two decades that Ferrante kept hers a secret. (Peter Wilby)
And The Hindu (India):
Some women writers wrote under male pseudonyms in order to avoid prejudice associated with their gender. Charlotte Brontë said the Brontë sisters thought their “mode of writing and thinking was not what is called ‘feminine’...” And because publishers simply wouldn’t allow Richard Bachmann to turn out books at such a frenetic pace, he adopted the name Stephen King. (Radhika Santhanam)
Or DNA (India):
The world of books and publishing has not been very accepting of women writers — the reason Mary Ann Evans chose to publish as George Eliot, Charlotte and Emily Brontë (initially) as Charles and Acton Bell, respectively, not to forget Joanne Rowling as JK Rowling and Robert Galbraith. (Gargi Gupta)
Ripley & Heanor News links the Peak District and Jane Eyre:
Charlotte Brontë knew the Peak District well, as in 1845 she stayed there when she visited a friend Ellen Nussey, at the rectory in Hathersage. Ellen’s brother Henry was the vicar there.
She arrived at The George Hotel coaching inn and during her visit the history and buildings of the area started her creative thoughts flowing.
Eyre is a common name in these parts and when Charlotte was here she visited North Lees Hall, on the outskirts of Hathersage, which was owned by the Eyre family at that time.
No doubt she also frequented the beautiful old Hathersage Church too, where many Eyre gravestones populate the churchyard.
Thornfield Hall – Mr Rochester’s home in the story – is very likely to have been based on North Lees Hall. ‘Thorn’ is an anagram of North and ‘lees’ means pastures or fields.
Jane’s description of Rochester’s place in the novel fits North Lees too: “Three stories high, of proportions not vast, though considerable – a gentleman’s residence, not a nobleman’s seat – battlements round the top gave it a picturesque look.”
When making this epic tale into film and television adaptations, many nearby locations have been used. The 2011 film version used North Lees Hall, as well as Chatsworth House, Darley Dale, Froggatt, Stanage Edge, Hathersage Moor and White Edge Lodge. This version used Haddon Hall as Thornfield Hall.
In Charlotte’s story, Rochester’s house is burned down by his secret wife hidden in the attic. To portray Thornfield Hall after the fire, Haddon had a ‘stunt double’ in the film – the ruins of Wingfield Manor.
So maybe you can decide for yourself where you can most picture Jane and Rochester succumbing to Cupid’s darts – Haddon or North Lees? Both are certainly settings made for romance.
The New Yorker has an article on Andrea Arnold, director of Wuthering Heights 2011:
In Arnold’s adaption of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights” (2011), a semi-feral Cathy licks the blood from Heathcliff’s wounds after he’s been beaten for misbehavior. (...)
While shooting her Brontë adaptation, Arnold went through a period of wearing long black coats. (Sophie Elmhirst)
 In Radio Times, Alison Graham loves 'uncomplicated' romances:
I love big blustery tales of windswept adoration and bewitched glances. As a girl I adored Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre and like every daft Yorkshire youngster before and since I ran around murky moors on school trips yelling “Heathcliff! Heathcliff!”
Well, we find Wuhering Heights and Jane Eyre pretty complicated as romances, though.

A century ago in The Observer:
Key quote
“Their writings had a unique, priceless quality among novelists, which sprang from the passionate intensity of inward experiences and bore an essentially lyrical character.”
A Mr de Selincourt, of Oxford, speaking about Charlotte and Emily Brontë. (‘The Genius of the Brontës’, News in brief, p4)
As a matter of fact the article is an Address delivered at Haworth, October 7th, 1905, in commemoration of the Fiftieth year after the death of Charlotte Bronte, by Mr. Ernest de Selincourt, M.A., of Oxford University (Brontë Society Transactions Vol. 2 , Iss. 15,1906).

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel compares the play Dracula Vs. the Nazis to The Mystery of Irma Vep:
Funnier than “Irma Vep”? Chris Flieller is on record opining that Neville’s play is funnier than Charles Ludlam’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” which sends up Daphne DuMaurier’s “Rebecca” as well as Shakespeare, both Brontë sisters, Poe, Victorian melodrama and gothic thrillers. (Mike Fischer)
Les Inrocks (France) talks about Michael Fassbender's filmography:
Jane Eyre, de Cary Fukunaga (2011) : un amant épris d’absolu
Avec ce film en costumes adapté du roman de Charlotte Brontë, l’un des monuments de la littérature anglaise, par signé Cary Fukunaga, qui réalisera plus tard la première saison de True Détective, Michael Fassbender se glisse dans les habits du mystérieux et tourmenté Edward Rochester. La mise en scène ne prend ni le parti de la transposition académique du texte, ni celui de la modernisation à outrance, naviguant dans un entre-deux fragile au plus près des corps de ses interprètes, comme pour scruter leurs esprits épris d’absolu et leurs âmes enflammées. Fassbender règne dans son manoir en prince gothique tour à tour charmeur et manipulateur, traînant un corps légèrement voûté, comme affaibli par le poids du destin – tragique, comme à son habitude. (Alexandre Buyukodabas) (Translation)
Franciscanmom reviews the second part of Erin McCole Cupp's Jane_E. Friendless Orphan: Nameless. 


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