Saturday, December 17, 2016

Tracy Chevalier and Sally Wainwright discuss in The Guardian To Walk Invisible and the Brontës in general in this unmissable exchange of opinions:
Tracy Chevalier: I was going to ask, are you a Charlotte or an Emily?
Sally Wainwright: [Laughing] Emily and Anne, really.
TC: One of the things I found out when I started spending time at the Parsonage is that Brontë fans tend to be a Charlotte or an Emily. And now coming up on the inside is Anne.
SW: I think she gets kicked out by the bigger personalities. I get the impression, reading between the many lines of Charlotte’s letters, that Emily and Charlotte have had quite a difficult relationship, that Charlotte wanted to be Emily’s best mate and Emily wasn’t having any of it. So I’ve dramatised them as being quite tricky with each other, and Anne being the glue that makes it work. (...)
TC: To an adult, too! When you look out the front windows and you just see those graves ... Brrrr. When the BBC asked if you wanted to do a biopic, how did you decide what parts of their lives to dramatise?
SW: The last three years of their lives were so intense I didn’t have to invent a story, it was all there. I wanted to place Branwell centre, not to make him cool – what interested me was how he would have affected that household as an alcoholic. When we think of the Brontë sisters, we tend to think of him as this annoying little brother in the background. But in terms of their personal everyday lives he wasn’t in the background: he was an ever-present problem they had to deal with and live with.
TC: Every time I’d visit [the Parsonage], I’d go to the top of Penistone Hill and watch the set being slowly built. It was fascinating.
The last three years of the Brontës’ lives were so intense I didn’t have to invent a story
SW: It looked fabulous, but we had a few problems. It was a great place to build it because of the landscape, but then it was a really daft place because of the weather. It was just so windy up there and we should have known that. And then we had to use so much CGI we could have built it in Manchester. It’s a shame. At one point the council was going to buy it and use it as a tourist exhibit but by the time we finished filming it was actually falling down, due to the weather. (...)
TC: Did you feel there were constraints?
SW: Writing dialogue in period! I was really nervous about getting it right. It took me ages to dare to start because I didn’t want it to feel like a period drama. I wanted it to feel alive. It was the first time I’d not written anything contemporary. I found that quite a challenge. Choosing which words I could get away with and still allow it to feel authentic. We had a long conversation about using the word “fuck”.
TC: Do they use that? Does Emily?
SW: Branwell does. I was sitting in the library at the Parsonage with Siv Jansson, who was my literary adviser. Ann Dinsdale [principal curator] was down the far end, and I whispered to Siv, “Do you think Branwell would have said ‘fuck’?” And Ann said, “Course he would!” I thought, “All right, I can use it then.” It’s about trying to get that balance between it feeling very vibrant and using language … (Paula Cocozza)
The Telegraph & Argus also publishes some of Sally Wainwright's thoughts about the production and adds the following alert for Bradford viewers:
 Sally Wainwright first visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum aged six.
“My mum pointed to a sofa and said, ‘That’s where Emily Brontë died’. My sister said, ‘Can we leave now?’” said the Bafta-winning dramatist.
Sally went on to develop a lifelong love of the Brontës’ work. “I’ve been interested in the Brontes as long as I can remember. I’ve got shelves of books about them,” she said.
On December 29 Sally’s interpretation of the Brontës’ own story, a two-hour drama called To Walk Invisible, will be screened as a Christmas highlight on BBC1. In Bradford there will be a sneak preview a day earlier – on a mobile cinema coming to the city on the BBC’s Red Carpet Cinema Tour, showcasing festive viewing treats. Visiting nine cities in the North, it’s screening selected programmes, from children’s shows to comedy, drama and natural history. (Emma Clayton)
Previously, on December 23rd, there will be also a preview screening in Sheffield.

The Scotsman interviews Chloe Pirrie, Emily Brontë in the BBC production:
“I was sent the script and I thought it was incredible, that’s for me. It’s horrible too because you go through a dread process because you know if you don’t get it you’ll be devastated. And it’s more likely than not that you won’t. It was the same with Shell. I remember reading that and having that feeling for the first time. It’s wonderful because it means you’re reading something you love, a great script by brilliant writers and that’s really exciting.” Emily died at 29 and her need for secrecy and privacy meant she left few traces for an actor trying to find a way into her character, unlike her diary-keeping sister Charlotte who outlived her siblings and enjoyed great fame in her lifetime. “Emily wasn’t really interested in publishing in the first place and was quite mysterious so there are lots of theories about her,” says Pirrie. “There is speculation that she might have had Asperger’s or an eating disorder, but it’s difficult to know or look at through the prism of a modern perspective, so I didn’t get too hung up on that, although the research is useful for background detail.” (...)
“I was sent the script and I thought it was incredible, that’s for me. It’s horrible too because you go through a dread process because you know if you don’t get it you’ll be devastated. And it’s more likely than not that you won’t. It was the same with Shell. I remember reading that and having that feeling for the first time. It’s wonderful because it means you’re reading something you love, a great script by brilliant writers and that’s really exciting.” Emily died at 29 and her need for secrecy and privacy meant she left few traces for an actor trying to find a way into her character, unlike her diary-keeping sister Charlotte who outlived her siblings and enjoyed great fame in her lifetime. “Emily wasn’t really interested in publishing in the first place and was quite mysterious so there are lots of theories about her,” says Pirrie. “There is speculation that she might have had Asperger’s or an eating disorder, but it’s difficult to know or look at through the prism of a modern perspective, so I didn’t get too hung up on that, although the research is useful for background detail.” (Janet Christie)
And The Times considers it one of the Christmas treats:
To Walk Invisible
BBC One, Thur 29, 9pm
The Brontë family are celebrated for the sisters’ literary achievements, less so for their brother Branwell’s stormy battle with drink and laudanum. It’s perhaps a surprise that it has taken this long for a BBC drama about them all. The gripping two-hour To Walk Invisible is written by Sally Wainwright (the pen behind Last Tango in Halifax, back on Monday, and Happy Valley). She brings alive the sense of place — grimy Haworth and its wild and windy moors — as Charlotte, Emily and Anne overcome obstacles to write their masterpieces. (James Jackson)
The Telegraph & Argus also reports the uncertain future of the Red House Museum's building and staff:
Jacqueline Ryder, chairman of the Friends of Red House, which is not in a position to take on the building, said: “The sad reality of the closure is now sinking in again, and the Friends’ group is being wound up.
“Our thoughts and sympathy are with the staff, who face an uncertain future.
“There will be many tears shed on Wednesday, the last day Red House Museum will be open to the public.”
She praised the success of the last event at the museum, Red House Christmas, which was “an absolute triumph”.
“There were hundreds of visitors, more than I have seen at an event in the four years since the Friends of Red House have been involved,” she added.
The information pack for groups interested in a community asset transfer describes how the building has cost the Council £30,000 a year to run for the last two years. It also states: “Restrictions known as covenants would normally be placed on the property to ensure it remained available for local people to use and to prevent it from being sold for development.
“Groups can negotiate a percentage of commercial use of the building up to 30 per cent.”
The deadline for expressions of interest and outline business cases in Monday, March 6.
A decision is then expected in the spring, otherwise the building will be put up for sale. (Jo Winrow)
The Weekend Australian asks some writers to choose the best books of the year:
Mandy Sayer, Writer
Charlotte Brontë: A Life by Claire Harman. It’s a rare literary biography that can deliver the poetry and dramatic heights of the subject’s fiction, but Harman’s study of the most talented of the Bronte sisters is certainly one of them. Rich in detail, scrupulously researched, and narrated with flair, this biography is a must-read for devotees of the Brontë mythology.  (Stephen Romei)
Seattles Times lists a top ten of Audible's 2016 audiobooks:
 “Jayne Eyre” (sic) by Charlotte Brontë, narrated by Thandie Newton. The story of an orphaned girl tormented by the family that takes her in. (Mary Ann Gwinn)
The latest New York Times paperback row includes
The Lost Child, by Caryl Phillips. (Picador, $16.) Abandoned women going mad are at the heart of the story lines in this novel: Drawing from “Wuthering Heights,” Phillips imagines Heathcliff’s miserable childhood, with digressions to Emily Brontë’s final years. The story also follows an original modern character, Monica, whose husband departs for his home country and leaves her with their children. (Joumana Khatib)
Daily Express recommends Christmas reads:
The Christmas Card by Dilly Court
When Alice refuses, she is sent to work as a maid looking after spoilt child Flora and the novel has strong echoes of Jane Eyre until Flora’s Uncle Rory notices that Alice is a talented artist and helps her to start designing Christmas cards. (Charlotte Heathcote)
The Independent Catholic News reviews the Martin Stannard biography of Muriel Spark and highlights how
When she edited poems by Emily Brontë, she described her as a 'poet of Christianity,' yet also as a heretic and 'a mystic'. (Chris Dyczek)
The Times' Saturday Quiz includes the following question:
4 In the novel Wuthering Heights, who says: “Nelly, I am Heathcliff!”? (Olav Bjortomt)
Sveriges Radio (Sweden) talks about The Invention of Angela Carter by Edmund Gordon.
Så, visst upplevde Carter skillnader mellan manliga och kvinnliga författares förutsättningar, men att det däremot skulle va någon skillnad mellan hur manliga och kvinnliga författare SKREV, fnös hon åt. Hon skriver i ett av sina hundratals brev: ”Nån frågade idag vem jag anser vara den främsta kvinnliga författaren, utifrån ett antagande om att kvinnliga författare skulle ha en särskild feminin känslighet och lyhördhet, och jag svarade dumt nog: Emily Brontë, som ju är ren butch, och svor åt mig själv efteråt, eftersom den största feminina författaren är Dostojevski, tätt följd av Herman Mellville. Och D H Lawrence är mer feminin än Jane Austen. D H Lawrence tragedi var att han trodde att han var en man.” (Marie Wennersten) (Translation)
El Correo Gallego interviews the author Inma Chacón:
-La portada [of Tierra sin hombres] tiene algo de victoriano, ese arbol desnudo, esa mujer. La historia recuerda a las grandes novelas románticas, a Jane Eyre, y a los dramas rurales que tan magníficamente construía Thomas Hardy. Esta es una novela total, con vocación de totalidad, abarcando todas las vidas de la gente. (José Miguel Giráldez)
-A mí la portada me recuerda a Cumbres Borrascosas, que es una de mis novelas favoritas. Es una novela de personajes, de relaciones personales. Pero hay otros personajes que no tienen cuerpo: el mar, el agua, la lluvia, la naturaleza. La propia ciudad de Ferrol. Y, desde luego, la aldea, donde viven Rosalía y sus hijas, Elisa y Sabela. Hay toda una construcción familiar, y un homenaje, por qué no decirlo, a la propia Rosalía. La aldea tiene una voz que se escucha en las habladurías, o en los lavaderos del río, y que influyen tanto en las decisiones de la gente. Y en cuanto a Rosalía, que está tan presente aquí, sus 'viuvas de vivos' me impresionan. (Translation)
Blog Expres (in Italian) posts about Antonella Iuliano's La Storia della Piccola Brontë.

1 comment:

  1. The film looks marvelous. I can't wait to see it

    We had a long conversation about using the word “fuck”.

    Well of course. One knew that when Wainwright spoke of not wanting to present a " candy box" version of their lives for the last year. No one in this day and age expects candy box treatments. We expect the word fuck and more. I don't mind the word, but let's be honest. No serious production of any kind would go forward without it. I don't wonder at Wainwright's relief when she got the okay.

    ReplyDelete