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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[Director David] Crowe calls the script “a bold and thrilling love note to Charlotte Bronte” that examines Jane’s journey of self-acceptance in astonishing new ways. The adaptation “draws from the best parts of the book and zeroes in on the universal themes of identity, independence, and the timeless struggle between desire and duty,” he said.Town Topics has an article on Emily Brontë.
“In a remarkably personal way, the play insists we ask: Is it possible to be loved and remain independent? Can we each embrace the darkness inside of us and still live a moral life? How can we offer and receive love without fully loving ourselves?” [...]
he often-studied classic isn’t “stuffy” in this staged version, Crowe said.
“It feels more like a performance art piece than a movie of Jane Eyre.”
He notes that the story’s time period — the manners, the language, the clothing, the customs — is romantically appealing and yet simultaneously appears on the surface to clash with our own time so starkly that “we might as well be watching aliens.” However, the human struggle beneath the finery proves that humanity’s needs, desires, and “penchant for screwing up is timeless,” he said.
“There’s nothing I love more than refined people in beautiful clothes making terrible choices.”
This Halloween fantasy came about when I was pondering the challenge of costuming Emily Brontë’s Heathcliff for Halloween, the problem being that most people know him as a brooding romantic hero type played by the likes of Laurence Olivier, Timothy Dalton, and Ralph Fiennes, or they associate the name, worse yet, with the wisecracking cartoon cat whose real-life alter ego wouldn’t last a minute in the company of his brutal literary namesake. To fathom how far from the truth of Brontë’s Heathcliff these filmic adaptations have traveled, it’s necessary to comprehend the character in all his lurid Wuthering Heights glory. For Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the novel and character are one: it’s “a fiend of a book — an incredible monster,” with the action “laid in hell, — only it seems places and people have English names there.” Harold Bloom sees Emily Brontë’s monster of love as “a hero-villain” with “the sublimity of Captain Ahab and some of the darkened splendor of Milton’s Satan,” his passion for Cathy Earnshaw “so monumental and so destructive that it seems inadequate and imprecise to call it love.”
But love it is, a mad mystic relentless possessive-to-the-outer-limits passion. And just as Heathcliff is nothing like Olivier or Fiennes, Cathy, that wild woman of the moors “wailing for her demon lover” (a Victorian critic once termed Wuthering Heights “a kind of prose Kubla Khan, a nightmare of the superheated imagination”) has little in common with Merle Oberon or Juliette Binoche. In fact, Cathy is Heathcliff, as she can’t help exulting in the novel’s most quoted line, and her creator is an elemental force, “a raven, not a dove,” according to Emily’s elder sister Charlotte, who considered Heathcliff “a man’s shape inhabited by demon life, a ghoul.” Another piece of Halloween rhetoric comes by way of the appalled American who reviewed the novel when it appeared under Emily’s pen name Ellis Bell: “How a human being could have attempted such a book as the present without committing suicide before he had finished a dozen chapters, is a mystery. It is a compound of vulgar depravity and unnatural horrors.” [...]
Imagining a healthier incarnation of the Brontë sisters in our time, I can see Anne and Charlotte holding their own in the book chat/book club/book tour universe, but less so Emily. Already a poet of great power, “stronger-than-a-man” Emily would have sought a more dynamic outlet for the residual power enlivening her creations, Cathy, mystic maid of the moors, and love’s monster Heathcliff. Why not turn her poems into songs, performing them herself?
Speaking of other media, the perennial challenge of filming Wuthering Heights is that forces as wild and deranged as Cathy and Heathcliff can’t be captured on film. Even the most inspired director and actors would be hard put to sustain the magic for the requisite two hours of image and incident and assorted characters. What is needed is something like a cry from the beyond, the equivalent of that “prose Kubla Khan,” for in its essence Wuthering Heights is a poem. As Woolf suggests “it was not enough for Emily Brontë to write a few lyrics, to utter a cry, to express a creed. In her poems she did this once and for all, and her poems will perhaps outlast her novel. But she was novelist as well as poet …. And so we reach these summits of emotion not by rant or rhapsody but by hearing a girl sing old songs to herself as she rocks in the branches of a tree.”
No wonder then that it took a singer and a song to bring the Cathy-rapping-the-window excitement of Wuthering Heights into the 20th century. (Stuart Mitchner) (Read more)
It has been revealed by Yorkshire Water that there are 454 trig pillars still standing in the region, 80 years since the first one was built by ordnance surveyors to help map Great Britain.The Millions begins an interview to Therese Oneill, author of Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners, as follows:
One of Yorkshire’s most popular trig pillars is located on top of the 730m summit of Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales, making it the highest trig pillar in the region.
Trig points near Bradford include Stanbury point trig pillar on Stanbury Moor, Little Wolf Stones trig pillar on Keighley Moor, near the Top Withens ruin made famous by Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights and Hollin Hill trig point on Oxenhope Moor which represents the highest point on the moor 451m above sea level. (Helen Mead)
We live in an age when there’s a new Brontë orJane Austen adaptation every year. To the contemporary reader, Victorian novels are full of petticoats, windswept walks through the country, and brooding gentlemen declaring their love through letters. The worst that could happen is you catch a cold after getting caught in the rain — sex is characterized more by not-having than by having. “Dark-eyed Heathcliff has obsessed over your windblown soul in a universe where no one ever has to poop,” writes the narrator of Unmentionable, Therese Oneill’s new nonfiction book on what is was really like to live in the Victorian era for a woman — poop, corsets, archaic birth control, and all. (Tess Malone)Nicole Garcia speaks about her film Mal de pierres in the Vancouver Sun.
Garcia and [co-writer Jacques] Fieschi had divergent responses to the novel by Milena Agus from which the film is adapted. Garcia recalled feeling shaken up by the author’s depiction of a woman so desperate to find fulfilment, and so immune to the pressure to conform to the world around her.La libre (Belgium) reviews the film A Quiet Passion and describes Emily Dickinson as
“It troubled me,” she said. “It’s the portrait of a woman who wants something so badly — she craves absolute love. She sees herself as a heroine, like Catherine in (Emily Brontë’s) Wuthering Heights, looking for something of which she knows nothing, but which she has the intuition will give her life meaning. And people deny it to her and call her crazy. Her tragedy moved me.” (T'Cha Dunlevy)
sorte de cousine américaine des sœurs Brontë, qu’elle admirait (Hubert Heyrendt) (Translation)Salon interviews Suzanne Vega about Lover, Beloved, her musical tribute to Carson McCullers.
What specifically about her writing and her life have you always been drawn to and loved?First of all, I could say that it’s not only her. I love all kinds of books, and I love reading, and I love biographies. I’ve been drawn to many women and men over the years — Simone de Beauvoir, Edith Wharton, Emily Brontë especially, Emily Dickinson. These are women that I love their interior worlds, and I’m fascinated by them. (Annie Zaleski)Culturess has an article on Woofering Heights. InfoNorteDigital (Spain) has an article on the Yorkshire graves of the Brontës and Sylvia Plath. Linnet Moss compares the written 'leavetaking' scene from Jane Eyre to how it's been shown on screen.