Friday, January 20, 2017

Although we have been unable to find out for sure, we do believe that the new exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York featuring Emily Dickinson is to be found where Charlotte Brontë's used to be, in the Engelhard Gallery. The New York Times, reviewing the exhibition, I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson, which opens today. reminds us of the fact that Emily Dickinson was quite a Brontëite.
She was an outsider, and as such a disrupter. Was she a feminist? Not in the modern sense, though an idea of female power as a protean force was central to her thinking, as it was to the writers she loved: Emily Brontë, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot. Central, too, was her disdain for the false power of churches, fathers, governments, God, ego. (Holland Cotter)
The Economist's Prospero reviews Woolf Works, a ballet choreography inspired by some of the works by Virginia Woolf. Impossible as that may sound, we are reminded of the fact that,
Choreographers have always looked to the literary canon for stories. Greek myths, Shakespeare, the great Russian novelists, the Brontës: all have been plundered to supply plots for ballets. Certain kinds of writing, though, have been left on the shelf, the works of Virginia Woolf among them. 
The readers' corner of the Sheffield Telegraph features To Walk invisible and the Brontës.
Laurie in Wadsley says: I watched To Walk Invisible, the Brontë sisters’ drama, over Christmas and was inspired by the story of Charlotte, Emily and Anne and the dynamic with their alcoholic brother Branwell. It was a brilliant programme, but I felt chastened that I knew so little about their work beyond Wuthering Heights. As I am raising two small Yorkshire people I know the Brontës’ brilliance will be practically drilled into them as soon as they’ve grasped phonics. But I’m a silly old southerner and don’t know which sister, and which book, I should read to them first. And are there any I should avoid? Any help gratefully received.
Anna says: I think this is the most difficult Reyt As Rain Reads I’ve had so far! I grew up in West Yorkshire not far from Haworth. The writing of these three sisters means so much to me that I struggle to make careful, considered recommendations to anyone else when it comes to their books. So just to warn you, there will be a lot of hyperbole in these recommendations. But I mean every word.
As you’ve already read Wuthering Heights, we’ll go for two others.
It has to be Jane Eyre first. I’m not going to try and be clever and recommend a more obscure one. This is the most dramatic and gothic of Charlotte’s novels, so is therefore my favourite.
People often think of Charlotte as a more civilised writer than Emily, and in some ways she is. But don’t expect anything too civilised here. This is a genuinely terrifying read. Ostensibly the story of an intelligent, spirited woman struggling to make her way in the world as a governess, it has some of the most powerful symbolism and imagery of all time. And for pure, knock-your- socks-off, plot, it is probably top of the Bronte pile.
My favourite Anne Brontë novel is her second, and last, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall. If you enjoyed the depiction of Branwell’s descent into alcoholism and depravity in To Walk Invisible, you should enjoy these literary fruits of that real experience. We will never know for certain quite how these three sisters came to write some of the most spectacular fiction in the history of the English language, but it’s safe to assume that as well as the rich fantasy life they concocted and inhabited, they also wrung every last drop of inspiration out of their surroundings. And, as ably demonstrated in Sally Wainwright’s impressive programme, Branwell is likely to have provided a template for the difficulties of life with an alcoholic portrayed in this book.
This is an extraordinary book that tells the story of a woman going it alone for the sake of her son and her sanity, at a time when women almost always relied on the patronage and protection of a man.
I hope you enjoy your foray into the wonderful world of the Brontës, and that these two classics whet your appetite to read further. (Anna Caig)
Study Breaks reviews TV series This Is Us:
 I learned in my English class that sometimes good TV can be just as stimulating as reading a book, because it requires us to make cognitive connections between plot lines. I don’t think I’m too far off in saying “This is Us” is the “Wuthering Heights” of TV. (Mattie Winowitch)
Daily Herald Tribune interviews country singer Tenille:
11. Last book you couldn’t put down? Rising Strong - Brene Brown. Oh and I also just finished Jane Eyre.
Swindon Advertiser features comedian Tiff Stevenson, who tells this anecdote:
"I did a show a couple of years ago and I decided to do this Wuthering Heights dance to Kate Bush with a member of the audience. That was quite memorable," she deadpans. "I was bouncing and flicking my head around and we both got concussion. That's one of the dangers of comedy." (Marion Sauvebois)
Life on Stage (Germany) reviews the music album Only In My Mind by Norma Jean Martine. Apparently,
Der Titelsong „Only In My Mind“ ist von dem Roman „Wuthering Heights“ inspiriert und handelt von verbotener Liebe, (Translation)
Cultora (Italy) describes poet Giacomo Leopardi's sister as follows:
Ebbe i connotati della tipica eroina romantica, una specie di Emily Brontë (di cui lesse, invaghendosene, Cime tempestose) e Mary Shelley. (Marco Testa) (Translation)
Abc (Spain) reviews the Spanish translation of Sarah Waters' The Paying Guests.
Waters es una gran narradora de espacios claustrofóbicos donde la presión, que allí se experimenta casi al vacío absoluto, acaba estallando en raptos de convulsionado sexo (por lo general lésbico) y en desenfrenados actos en los que lo carnal suele derivar hacia lo criminal en tramas que parecen urdidas por un Wilkie Collins o unas hermanas Brontë, sin temor a que se los califique con la letra escarlata X y sometiendo la novela histórica y el folletín a las mismas radiaciones que aplicaron gente como John Fowles, A. S. Byatt, Angela Carter, Kim Newman y Joyce Carol Oates en sus novelones góticos y, más recientemente, la Eleanor Catton de «Las luminarias». (Rodrigo Fresán) (Translation)
This post from The Book Trail is highly recommended and talks about all things Brontë: the Parsonage, To Walk Invisible, Anne and her new biography by Samantha Ellis. Talking Humanities discusses reality and imagination in Wide Sargasso Sea. 'Never-ending' dusting and another sneak peak at Branwell's exhibition on the Brontë Parsonage Twitter account.


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