Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Yorkshire Post reviews Samantha Ellis's Take Courage:
The target of playwright Samantha Ellis’ Take Courage is just that, history’s unfair dismissal of Anne’s work, her relegation to the role of the ignored “other sister”. It’s a robust, emotionally charged defence of the writer, whose death aged 29 left us with just a handful of poems and two novels, Agnes Grey and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall. (...)
However, if there is one criticism it is that Ellis distractingly puts a bit too much of herself in at times – and becomes another voice that quietens Anne’s. (Ella Walker)
Yorkshire by rail in The Sunday Express:
But it’s not just film and TV exposure that draws so many to this region. It boasts an impressive literary heritage too.
You can understand why the Brontë family chose nearby Haworth as the setting for the romantic novels Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. The village is timeless.
Quaint stone cottages that line the steep main street are virtually unchanged since the 1820s when the Brontë girls were just children.
Surrounded by moorland, this former wool village is now stuffed with galleries, shops and tearooms yet still evokes an endearing charm.
At the Brontë Parsonage rooms have been sympathetically restored with original patterned wallpaper which has been reproduced.
The Bronte Parsonage Museum showcases a recreation of the Brontes living conditions
Outside, the small grounds are beautiful; a well-planted wild English garden fronts the neat, elegant house.
Inside, you can imagine Charlotte writing at the dining table, surrounded by ink pots. (Jane Memmler)
What type of reader are you? On The Hindu:
Until, that is, I picked up Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. It wasn’t the length of the book – around 400-odd pages -- I’d read books that long before and it wasn’t the language either. As much as I was exhilarated reading it, I realised that it was Bronte’s writing that required me to slow down. I could consume the book headily, giddily, but maybe not in one sitting. I had to meet Wuthering Heights on its terms, not mine. (Shruti Rao)
Same subject, different approach on Novosti (Serbia):
Ljubavni romani - Džejn Ostin doživljavate kao najbolju drugaricu, osećate se kao četvrta sestra Brontë, uživate uz romane Mir Jam, čeznete da pronađete svog Reta Batlera i kao Skarlet o Hara dramatično uzviknete "Misliću o tome sutra"! Da, romantični ste i zbog ljubavi spremni na velika dela, kao i junakinje sa kojima ste plakali, smejali se, odrastali. (M. Dedić) (Translation)
The Sunday Times reviews the play The Pitchfork Disney:
The idea of youngsters alone in a house reminds you of Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden and Cocteau’s Les Enfants terribles — but the endless spinning of garish tales as protection against the real world reminded me most of all, oddly, of the home life of the Brontës. Their monologues are weirdly gripping, but sooner or later the outside world must intrude. (Christopher Hart)
The Huddersfield Daily Examiner interviews the writer Abi Elphinstone:
Throughout her school years she struggled with dyslexia and preferred running wild on the moors near her Scottish home (in a manner not dissimilar from her literary heroine Emily Brontë) to going to school. But, by working hard and applying her natural intelligence, she became a straight A student, studied English at Bristol University and has taught English at secondary school level.
And The Free Press Journal talks with the author Kiral Manral:
I would have to say The Great Gatsby, Gone with the Wind and Wuthering Heights. You wouldn’t call the three classically romance novels. All three have unfulfilled love stories. But it is precisely this that draws me to them. (Manasi Y Mastakar)
The Daily Mail takes a look at Tom Hardy:
The Revenant star adopted a relaxed look for the evening with his tousled auburn hair, reminiscent of his Heathcliff persona, just visible under a navy baseball cap. (Eve Buckland
And now, our Fifty Shades Darker corner. Enjoy it, if you can:
By which I mean: while all of you were snerking about middle-aged women getting off, I was busy counting all the ways Fifty Shades Darker riffs off of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, especially the whole women’s-economic-fantasy angle. (...)
Likewise, romance authors have been cheerfully ripping off Jane Eyre since about two minutes after its publication in 1847, from every questionable workplace romance to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. More recently, E.L. James is very fond of dropping literary references in her novels, and Fifty Shades of Grey is filled with the dumbest and most pointless references to Tess of the D'Urbervilles imaginable. What is surprising, then, is that the big similarities between Jane Eyre and Fifty Shades Darker are not superficial at all, and they’re even more pronounced in James Foley’s film.
Granted, Jane Eyre is rather short on explicit sex scenes. Likewise, Fifty Shades Darker is rather short on believable character development. That said, Jane Eyre also features characters telepathically calling to each other across great distances and ridiculous melodramatic plot contrivances about madwomen locked in attics, so it’s not like realism is much of a metric here. This is a good thing, for my distraction purposes.(...)
Here’s how I know it worked: I have now upgraded Jamie Dornan’s raw sexual magnetism to “dry toast” from “wet cardboard.” He is now welcome to play St. John Rivers in the next adaptation of Jane Eyre.(...)
Charlotte Brontë did it very well indeed, transforming the marriage plot into a reflection of a new class of educated middle-class women who wanted to provide their own financial security and also marry for love and attraction. Jane Eyre was, in 1847, thoroughly reflective of the rapidly-changing situation for English women. A court decision in 1845 allowed women to inherit money from distant relatives without certain tax penalties; the entire latter half of the decade saw a vicious financial recession and broad political upheaval. Knowing that one arcane piece of English law allows a modern reader to understand how precisely love, sex, and money suddenly intersected for women two centuries earlier. You can imagine much more clearly how a contemporary governess might have felt reading Jane Eyre after her pupils were asleep, and how it might have gotten her through long days working for a jerk. (La Donna Pietra on Birth.Movies.Death.)
Ana accepts Christian's offer to move into his penthouse with the really long fireplace, and stops at her place to pick up a few things - her toothbrush, her 477 favorite Brontë novels, a piece of cheese to nibble on - and there's Leila, eyes sunken, pistol in hand. (John Serba in Syracuse Post-Journal)
Darker was inspired by the incomprehensibly popular EL James novel about a shy young woman who reads Charlotte Brontë and frequently references her “inner goddess,” a blossoming sexual avatar who alternatively “dances the merengue,” “does backflips,” and “glows so bright she could light up Portland.” (Nico Long on The Daily Dot)
Dakota Johnson’s delivery skills are really a thing to behold, but for the second Fifty Shades movie in a row, she did have to reference “Austen and Brontë” (“I was reading Austen and Brontë and nobody measured up to that,” she said by way of explanation as to why Christian was the first person she’d slept with). (Jezebel)
After one round of carnal pleasure, Christian asks Ana why she waited until 21 to lose her virginity to him. Her answer is that she was looking for someone “exceptional” who could measure up to the kind of men Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë wrote about. (Brian Truitt on USA Today)
Titelheldin Anastasia Steele hat ein Problem: Sie behauptet, zu viel Jane Austen und Emily (?) Brontë gelesen zu haben – und nun käme kein Mann diesem literarischen Bild aus ihren Romanen nahe. (Julius Zunker on Mehrfilm) (Translation)
Por mais que ultrapasse frequentemente e involuntariamente a fronteira do hilariante em sua breguice, “Cinquenta Tons Mais Escuros” é um filme retrógrado e perigosíssimo, que, ao mesmo tempo em que cita Jane Austen e Charlotte Brontë, reforça e romantiza uma cultura de dominação masculina e a noção de que o lugar da mulher é servindo o seu macho provedor. (Thiago Siqueira in Cinema Com Rapadura) (Translation)
An interesting article about the bonds between sisters in Ara (in Catalan). It contains a nice discussion about the Brontës, with a few blunders though:
I havent viscut l’experiència, m’agrada imaginar com hauria sigut una sessió fotogràfica amb les germanes Brontë, les tres joves escriptores que, desobeint totes les normes de l’època i fent-se costat l’una a l’altra, van fer una aportació cabdal a la història de la literatura. Em sembla veure la Charlotte, la més decidida, organitzant el grup, i la dolça Anne, la més jove, sempre pendent de l’Emily, més tímida i esquerpa.
Si hi ha una imatge que m’ajuda a il·lustrar la fraternitat femenina és la de les tres germanes Brontë, la Charlotte, l’Emily i l’Anne, assegudes al menjador de la rectoria de Haworth, a prop de la llar de foc, cada una concentrada en la història que estava escrivint i comentant alguna cosa en veu alta de tant en tant.
Van aconseguir aquesta estampa de felicitat -elles i la seva literatura en una campana de vidre- després de passar moltes vicissituds, començant per la mort de la seva mare quan eren petites. Després va arribar la mort de les dues germanes grans, la Maria i l’Elizabeth, la degradació del germà, el Branwell, alcoholitzat, i les dificultats econòmiques que les obligaven a marxar lluny de casa per aconseguir ingressos.
Finalment la Charlotte va entendre que les històries que totes les germanes escrivien, a més de servir per evadir-se de la penosa realitat i connectar-les amb la seva infància fantasiosa, podien alliberar-les. Per publicar un llibre de poemes conjunt va haver de superar les reticències de l’Emily, la més feréstega, i acceptar uns pseudònims masculins per no provocar les ires del seu pare i el seu germà, que no podien acceptar de cap manera que les noies podien escriure i publicar (????) (Sílvia Soler) (Read more) (Translation)
 Folha de S. Paulo (Brazil) interviews the writer Leyla Perrone-Moisés:
Existe hoje um discurso sobre o "lugar de fala", segundo o qual o representante de um grupo dominante não deveria falar sobre minorias. Como a sra. vê essa questão? (Maurício Meireles)
É o extremo caricatural ao qual podem chegar os estudos culturais como ideologia. Certa vez, encontrei uma pesquisadora que estudava mulheres escritoras do século 19 no Brasil. Perguntei se havia muitas e se eram boas. Ela disse: "Se são poucas e não são boas, é porque os homens não as deixaram desenvolver seus talentos".
E as irmãs Brontë e a Jane Austen tinham condições ideais para escrever? Não temos grandes escritoras brasileiras nesse período, precisamos reconhecer. As razões são certamente históricas e sociológicas, e devem ser estudadas como tal.  (Translation)
Monika Häägg reviews Blåst by Eva-Marie Liffner.


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