Saturday, March 18, 2017

This is the only Red House Museum that the local politicians have left us: a 360º 3D VR memorial of how it was. Keighley News reports:
To celebrate last year’s 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, local company CONVRTS used pioneering scanning technology to depict the sumptuous house as it would have been during the Brontë era.
The experience can be viewed on any computer, tablet or mobile, or in full scale with a simple cardboard virtual reality headset.
Yorkshire-based virtual reality tour specialists CONVRTS volunteered their services to produce a 3D immersive scan of the entire museum, which was in a Grade II* listed 1830s cloth merchant’s home.
Joanne Catlow, Community Heritage and Education Manager at Kirklees Council, said: “We were delighted to be able to work with CONVRTS to create a permanent digital record of the historic house which will be still be able to be viewed in virtual reality.”
CONVRTS founder James Thwaite said the company felt it had to step in and offer its services after reading about Red House’s impending closure.
He said: “This is exactly what virtual reality should be used for – allowing people to visit places they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to, whether that is for geographical or historical reasons.
“We hope this stands as testament to all the hard work of those staff and volunteers who have worked at the museum.” (Richard Parker)
CityBeat recommends the Cincinnati performances of Polly Teale's Jane Eyre:
If you’re a Jane Eyre aficionado, you need to see the theatrical staging of Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 novel that opened last evening at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Under the firm directorial hand of KJ Sanchez (...), Polly Teale’s unusual 1998 adaptation is a fascinating performance. I must qualify my recommendation, however, to say that if you don’t know Brontë’s novel, you should at least read a synopsis before you go to the show, which runs through April 8. This is a very impressionistic rendering, delivered by a cast of 10, a half-dozen of whom cartwheel through multiple roles.
Margaret Ivey is striking and extremely watchable as earnest, forthright Jane, never backing away from speaking her mind even when her honesty leads to scorn, abuse and unhappiness. (...) She’s paired with Michael Sharon as the brooding, contradictory Rochester.
Rin Allen plays Bertha, a madwoman imprisoned in the attic of Thornfield, Rochester’s estate, but she’s also Jane’s passionate, chaotic alter ego. Bertha’s emotions are conveyed through movement rather than words, and it’s obvious that Allen is an experienced dancer. That’s also true of Rebecca Hirota, who plays (among several roles) Rochester’s antic ward Adèle, a child who chatters in French and English and rockets around the stage as governess Jane tries to impose some discipline. The story is set in the Victorian era, but this Playhouse production is stark and modern, focusing on words and actions more than recreating the moors and musty manses of Northern England. Jane Eyre is a riveting, heady production, but you’ll enjoy it more if you review the basics of Brontë’s narrative before attending. (Rick Pender)
El País (Spain) reviews the Barcelona production of Jane Eyre:
Jane Eyre es un personaje bombón: sensata, apasionada, valiente, con la libertad siempre como norte. Ariadna Gil, estupenda de voz y gestualidad, lo hace suyo desde el principio y lo sirve con una convicción y una autoridad constantes. Quizás un punto excesivas: es tan rotunda su megaheroína que da la impresión de tener la partida ganada desde el principio, por muchas trabas que le pongan. Esos ojos miran como misiles tierra-aire; ese cuerpo tiene algo de ninja. Tal vez sea cosa mía, pero no alcanzo a atrapar el temblor (un poco más, solo un poco más) de sus dudas, sus agobios. Irónicamente, con Abel Folk tengo una leve carencia en sentido inverso, y subrayo lo de “leve” porque estoy hablando de notables trabajos. A mi juicio, Abel Folk, otro intérprete al que siempre apetece ver, exhala bonhomía. El señor Rochester, desde luego, no es el Heathcliff de Cumbres borrascosas. No pido un ogro, solo echo un poco en falta algo más de hosquedad, de misterio oscuro. El Rochester de Folk está muy matizado, pero hay una cierta sobredosis de santo varón cuando deberían brotar, sugiero, unas cuantas chispas.
Notable adaptación en catalán, con ágiles elipsis, de Anna Maria Ricart, que cuenta con claridad la historia en dos horas, aunque dulcifica un tanto el final. Me gusta mucho la idea de dar voz a Antoinette, la esposa oculta, con fragmentos de Ancho mar de los Sargazos, formidable novela de Jean Rhys, que se merecería un espectáculo completo. (...)
 Jane Eyre funciona como un cañón: llena cada noche desde su estreno y es acogida con grandes aplausos. (Marcos Ordóñez) (Translation)
The Chichester Observer presents the Worthing performances of the Publick Transport production of We Are Brontë:
The piece is created and performed by Angus Barr and Sarah Corbet.
“The ambition is always to do something more and more exciting,” says Angus, “more exciting than anything you have ever done before. The Brontës was not an obvious choice, but it just so happened that Sarah and I were devising something and for some reason we met at the Brontës. You just try to take an idea as far as you can with it. The idea is always to try to make theatre as live as you possibly can, but always approaching it from the point of view of a contemporary clown. Particularly when you are doing something like the Brontës, the temptation, if you are doing comedy, is to do a parody, but really the joke is on us as the performers.
“We wanted to tackle something that was very serious so that the audience wonder whether they are allowed to laugh, but then we take it to the next stage. It is never laughing about the Brontës. It is always trying to get the audience to laugh at us. The point is that we are characters trying to do something that we can’t possibly do.
“The presentation is physical theatre. I declare the premise quite early on. We are trying to distil the essence of the Brontës through physical theatre. We are not attempting to do an adaptation. We are trying to get to the essence of the Brontë myth. “
We all have a sense of the Brontës. We all have ideas that we come to it with, and we are trying to put those ideas on the stage.
“There is minimal dialogue, but we interrupt what we are doing in order to check in with the audience. Mostly it is scripted, but there is very much freedom to go off piste… “
But it is utterly respectful of the Brontës, though some people don’t get that. We have had a few die-hard Brontë fans that feel that the Brontës are being mocked. Someone said on Facebook ‘Can you imagine the Brontë sisters in the front row and what they would have made of it?’ I said that they would have died laughing!”
 “We are two clowns trying to get to that idea. Sarah is very much more immersed in that world. She looks a bit like you would imagine Emily Brontë to look. My character hasn’t really done all the right research, but he is still dedicated to doing the best job that he possibly can. And that’s what I mean – that it is actually very respectful to the Brontës.” (Phil Hewitt)
The Australian reviews the book Hunger Movements in Early Victorian Literature: Want, Riots, Migration by Lesa Scholl
The key authors examined — Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Charlotte Brontë, Harriet Martineau and Henry Mayhew — canvas a wide spectrum of hungers and tastes, both physical and social, and their impact on individuals and communities.
Scholl says the writers were “each concerned with economic narratives and social justice, and each, most importantly, sought to give voice to characters in fiction who, in ‘real’ life, would not have that level of political space.” She adds that “cries for social reform emerged from the desperate hunger of those dismissed by economic statistics”. Those who see history and literature operating in the parallel universes of fact and fiction may be surprised by the historical insights of these Victorian novels. Some, including Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield, Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss and Brontë’s Jane Eyre are generally known to modern readers of Victorian literature, though others, such as Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge, are less widely read today. (John Algate)
Simon Armitage will be presenting his latest poetry book in Haworth today and his book is also featured in Financial Times:
His own residencies have been somewhat more artistic. He’s currently working at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for their 40th anniversary, and at the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth. As a local boy, he’s an obvious choice for such gigs but thankfully, he won’t be mansplaining the Brontës. He’s written 10 poems for an exhibition to tie in with the bicentenary of Branwell, the novelists’ ill-fated, alcoholic painter brother. (Suzi Feay)
The Sheffield Telegraph brings us a curious peek into the afterlives of Jane Eyre film sets in location:
Steve is the ranger’s estates team supervisor for the National Trust in the Peak District. After an hour’s gentle off-road motoring through streams, over rocks and balancing on steep cliffs above the River Derwent, Steve and colleagues have another hour of walking up Coldwell Clough before their ‘day at the office’.
That is, a shed perched on a boggy moor half a kilometre into the sky. “We have to stake it down very carefully,” said Steve, squelching towards the team’s wooden shelter featuring its unique set of ‘Brontë windows’ salvaged from a long abandoned Jane Eyre film set. (David Bocking)
Bollywood Life interviews Sonam Kapoor:
I like classic novels a lot. Jane Eyre is my favourite book. Books like Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility may be romantic but they are highly feminist too. It’s so cool to think that Jane Austen was thinking of such characters and stories at that time. She was one ballsy lady! I love Wuthering Heights, even though it’s so depressing. Another one of my favourites is Harry Potter.
UK Walks in The Guardian:
This short walk offers a condensed account of the White Peak’s riches, not least its pubs. The Three Stags’ Heads at Wardlow Mires is the sort of pub where you’d find Heathcliff with his lurcher asleep beside him.
Also in The Guardian a vindication of Henry Green:
Maybe the recent decades haven’t been receptive to a novelist whose sole purpose seems to be to fashion a language with which to communicate joy. Woolf was shockingly neglected; her present status owes not so much to literary critics as to feminism. Jean Rhys was utterly forgotten until her last work, Wide Sargasso Sea, allowed her to be annexed later by postcolonialists. Joyce’s mythic scaffolding and verbal play identified him to academia as being essential both to modernism and to the project of hermeneutics. I mention these writers not only because of their capacity to transform and delight but also because some aspect of their writing has been translated advantageously into a set of terms that are important to particular literary historical moments. (Amit Chaudhury)
Grazia Daily has a list of things to do before you are 30:
10. Read The Classics
We're not saying you can't do this in your thirties - of course you can - but being well-read is an admirable trait and one that it's great to get started on early. If you missed out at school and haven't picked up a book in a while, take the time to actually make headway on your Amazon wishlist now. Swot up on some of our great female writers for starters, from Charlotte Brontë to Zadie Smith. (Rebecca Cope)
Well, that one we did it.

The RNE (Spain) programme Biblioteca Pública has interviewed the writer Roberto Fresán:
¿Qué sueña un escritor? O mejor, ¿qué sueña un excritor, con equis, que ni escribe ni duerme, y sólo vive para la literatura? Roberto Fresán se enfrenta a este dilema en “La parte soñada”, convertido ya en el segundo libro de una trilogía que abrió “La parte inventada” y cerrará “La parte recordada”. Toda ella es un alegato a favor de una ficción no sujeta a la realidad, un relato que gira en torno a dos temas que considera los más transgresores y perturbadores de estos tiempos, la lectura y la escritura. En su atracción por el número tres, esta narración también se alza sobre un trípode: se abre con un tratado de los sueños, le sigue el ensueño o trance, atravesado por "Cumbres borrascosas", y termina con el insomnio, la más amplia, que desata una creatividad alucinada. Sobre ella planean constantemente Emily Brontë y Vladimir Nabokov, tan ajenos a lo verosímil, como esas tramas que Fresán desarrolla en una prosa acelerada, que convulsiona tipografías, géneros y artes. De todo ello dialogamos con el autor bonaerense afincado en Barcelona. (Translation)
SinEmbargo (México) publishes an excerpt of the novel Por Breve Herida by Margo Glantz:
Los juegos de infancia de los Brontë fueron intelectuales desde muy temprano. Existen numerosas pruebas de su precocidad: sus obsesiones, presentes en las novelas de las tres hermanas, ya se revelaban en los cuadernillos que escribieron cuando eran niñas. En ellos destaca la figura diabólica y vampiresca de Lord Byron. Branwell, considerado como el más dotado de los hermanos, y cuyo desastroso final es típicamente romántico y literario, muere de tuberculosis. Al igual que sus famosos contemporáneos, era adicto al opio, distribuido en forma de gotas o de píldoras económicas que el joven compraba a seis peniques la caja en una farmacia que visité cuando estuve en Haworth, pueblecito inglés cuyo cementerio está situado frente a la casa donde vivieron, murieron y escribieron Ann, Charlotte y Emily. En el establecimiento donde Branwell compraba sus remesas de láudano, se venden ahora manitas de jabón color de rosa que de manera extraña simulan muñones. (Translation)
Ciprastop reviews Emily Brontë's novel; Reflections on Learning posts about Jane Eyre's conservative or radical views.

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