Saturday, April 01, 2017

Life lessons from your favourite literary character in Elle (India):
'Ahead of her time’ is a common compliment for any Victorian heroine with even a hint of a spine, but it’s perfectly apt for Jane Eyre. To understand the brilliance of Jane’s character, you need to put it in the context of the era she was created in. This was a time when women rarely had agency over their own lives. To rebel against societal conventions and assert her independence despite the hardships she endured makes Jane one of the strongest literary characters ever created.
What she taught us: Never let anyone else take control of your life. (Salva Mubarak)
Watertown Public Opinion reviews the book History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund:
However, the heart of the book is the approximate one-year intense relationship with the Gardner family, four year-old Paul, 26-year-old Patra, and Linda. If you have read either Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” or Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw”, you will be better prepared for the end of the novel. (Donus Roberts)
Cultured Vultures interviews its writer:
Do you consider your novel a type of modern Gothic and what other literary influences were at work in the story? (Matthew Brockme)
Just before I began writing Wolves, I read fairly deeply into the Gothic tradition of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Later, as I wrote the first couple of chapters of Wolves, I could feel the subtle influence of those books, particularly the old great governess stories like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. (...)
Charlotte Brontë and Virginia Woolf may not be the likeliest of literary partners (Woolf was very clear about not being Brontë’s greatest fan), but they have both been incredibly influential to me.
In truth, Virginia Woolf's opinion of Charlotte Brontë evolved from being
not only a writer of genius, but as a very noble human being'  (Times Literary Supplement 743 (April 13, 1916) pp 169) 
to the more critical
She does not attempt to solve the problems of human life; she is even unaware that such problems exist; all her force, and it is the more tremendous for being constricted, goes into the assertion, “I love”, “I hate”, “I suffer”. (The Common Reader, 1916) 
Nevertheless, she never failed to consider her one of the greatest novelists ever.

Playback interviews Gene Simmons of Kiss who remembers when he was a teacher in Harlem:
“If you’re poor, it’s devastating. I taught mostly Puerto Rican and black families, kids who came from broken homes, no male figure, mom is a crack addict, that sort of thing,” he recalls. “I tried to get them to read Jane Eyre, and they just weren’t having it. [The characters] were white people, rosy cheeks, living in England. It didn’t work. They just couldn’t relate to it.” (Jim Ousley)
Hilary Rose's column in The Times includes a Brontë mention:
So I’m fascinated and horrified by a poll from the Royal Society of Literature, which found that 25 per cent of those surveyed hadn’t read a book in the past six months. Twenty per cent couldn’t name a “writer of literature” by which I think they mean “author”. Those who could came up with a list that included Shakespeare, the Brontës and Danielle Steel. In the spirit of Groucho Marx, I doubt Shakespeare and the Brontës would want to be on any list that includes Danielle Steel.
April's famous birthdays on Mental Floss:
Charlotte Brontë
April 21, 1816
As an aspiring poet in the 19th century, young Charlotte Brontë was told that her writing showed talent, but she shouldn't pursue it because after all, she was a woman. Despite that, Charlotte—and her sisters Emily and Anne—all went on to became famous authors after publishing their stories and poetry under men's names. Charlotte, the oldest of the three, was listed as author Currer Bell on her first book of poetry, a collaboration with her sisters. It was also the name on the novel Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, published in 1847. Even her publishers didn't know Currer Bell was a woman until a year later, long after the book proved to be a bestseller. Charlotte Brontë wrote four novels before she died at age 38.
The Atlantic reviews the miniseries Big Little Lies:
Uncontainable passion, fraught eroticism, the vague but pervasive sense that characters will die big deaths as well as, this being also a soap opera, little ones—it’s all the stuff of the literary Romantic, firmly in the tradition of The Castle of Otranto and Frankenstein. The sandy beaches where Madeline, Celeste, and Jane run from themselves might as well be moors. The Wright mansion could be a feature in Architectural Digest, or the cover of a modern take on Wuthering Heights. (Megan Garber)
Vogue discusses the continuing presence of Jane Austen in the fashion world. Charlotte is mentioned in her hater role:
Charlotte Brontë (recently portrayed in PBS’s To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters) famously disliked Jane Austen, her fellow lady novelist. Brontë was then, and is now, in the minority; 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Miss Austen, and Austenmania shows no sign of abating. (Laird Borrelli-Persson)
For The Good Men Project, being a cynic consists basically of
[an] extremely sophisticated air of ennui is derived from a brief existential crisis she had in the late 80’s that mostly involved listening to Duran Duran and reading Wuthering Heights. Once a decade she buys a leather jacket. She also suffers deeply for her art, which explains the mood swings. (Natalie Peatfield)
The Sentinel & Enterprise tours Biltmore House (where you still can see some of the Jane Eyre 2011 costumes on exhibition):
And as I moved through the house I was reminded at almost every turn how avid a reader George [Vanderbilt] was -- Dickens, Brontë, and a more than 22,000-volume library. (Bonnie J. Toomey)
A Lowood education style sighting in The Age:
"Miss Temple, Miss Temple, what – what is that girl with curled hair? Red hair ma'am, curled – curled all over?"
So spoke Mr Brocklehurst, governor of Lowood School in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. The braids worn by Bentleigh Secondary College students – twins, Grace and Tahbisa – are neat, attractive, well looked-after and a suitable (and traditional) style for African hair. The school ordered them to remove their braids as they breached its uniform policy but it has since backed down on this. If any expert can prove that their hair is affecting their education, please do so. Otherwise, let us move on. This is not the 1840s. (Linda Bowen and Peter Mitchell)
Not even in your wildest dreams could you imagine the Major League Baseball and Anne Brontë in the same paragraph. On Splice Today:
I’ve decided to do an annotated edition of this annual sports journalism rite that is, as the horror novelists put it, most unspeakable. Astros vs. Nationals is many a consensus from various mainstream media ham and eggers as the D.C. nine always has a stranglehold on winning the preseason every year since Damn Yankees was first staged. I’ll use book excerpts, many of them quite random, to classify 2017 finishes for each franchise. Where would the excess testosterone of Jason Werth and Bryce Harper end up? Perhaps Anne Brontë knows? Perhaps not. (Spike Vrusho)
This columnist from the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette slept through To Walk Invisible:
Tonight’s was the story of the three famed literary Brontë sisters: Emily, Charlotte, and Debbie Sue. I’m not sure about the last one because I was asleep while Natalie, wrapped in an afghan, sat with a cat and a cup of tea watching one Brontë or another suffer tragedy.
One of them was their brother Ricky Lee, who got the DT’s after emptying every antique bottle the show’s staff could find in the prop room. Then he apparently died in my sleep, because when Natalie awoke me a second time on charges of snoring he seemed to be gone. (Mark Kinsler)
The National Theatre production of Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre will shortly begin a new UK tour. The Buxton Advertiser announces the Sheffield performances. More theatre, in Cincinnati, the Polly Teale adaptation of Jane Eyre is still being performed. CityBeat says:
Cincinnati Playhouse has productions on both of its stages right now. One is a heady but extremely well-acted adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre on the Marx mainstage through April 8. (I recommend checking out a synopsis of the novel if you go.) (Rick Pender)
Films and novels in Dire Donna (Italy):
Si rimane all'interno delle bellezze inglesi con la prossima autrice: Emily Brontë, famosa per il suo unico romanzo, Cime tempestose, riconosciuto all'unanimità come uno dei classici della letteratura inglese del XIX secolo. Un classico del resto molto prolifico, visto che in totale ha ispirato 6adattamenti: esistono tre film omonimi sotto il titolo di Cime tempestose, uno del 1954, uno del 1970 e uno del 1992. Al conto va aggiunto anche La voce nella tempesta (Wuthering Heights), film del 1939 diretto da William Wyler, che in Italia è stato successivamente re-distribuito con sotto il titolo Cime Tempestose. Infine, di gran lunga più recenti, ci sono due versioni dal titolo Wuthering Heights, che hanno debuttato rispettivamente nel 2001 e nel 2003. (Translation)
Diario Información (Spain) reviews briefly Alfred Hitchcock's Under Capricorn:
La semana pasada, sin embargo, caí en la tentación de poner a prueba la validez de la memoria y me puse en el deuvedé de Atormentada que, como sabe el erudito lector, es un melodramón, basado en una novela de Helen Simpson, ambientado en la Australia del siglo XIX, con reminiscencias de Luz que agoniza –por aquello de la esposa acosada por su marido- de Rebeca –por la presencia de una pérfida ama de llaves- y de Cumbres borrascosas –por tratar el asunto de un amor fou entre una noble señora y su criado-. (Juan Harpo) (Translation)
Letralia (Spain) vindicates the writer Marisa Villardefrancos:
Me gustaría que ahora se volviesen a reeditar sus novelas porque estoy convencida de que tendrían un gran éxito entre el público lector, y añadiré, por si sirve de referencia, que se la podría considerar un gran clásico contemporáneo pues entre sus libros favoritos se encontraban Cumbres borrascosas, novelas de Vicki Baum y de Daphne Du Maurier, por citar sólo algunos nombres, y título, famosos. (Estrella Cardona Gamio) (Translation)
Madmoizelle reviews the film Lady Macbeth:
Lady Macbeth du district de Mtsensk est un livre de l’auteur russe Nikolaï Leskov. Le réalisateur William Oldroyd transpose l’intrigue de la campagne russe à l’Angleterre, en gardant toujours l’époque du XIXème.
Entre Madame Bovary et Les Hauts de Hurlevent, The Young Lady remet en lumière le thème de la place des femmes dans une société conservatrice. (Aki) (Translation)
An Anne Brontë quote on GraphoMania (Italy);  yesterday's New York Times Crossword Puzzle included the question: 'Novelist Jean with the 1966 best seller Wide Sargasso Sea' and the Saturday Quiz in The Times asks: 'In the novel Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff marries which woman?' The Little Professor reviews To Walk Invisible. Official Charts celebrates how Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights spent four weeks at Number 1 on the Official Chart 39 years ago. Regency Realm and SarahRoseMcGrath post about Emily and Anne Brontë respectively; Travels and Tomes visits Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage. Adictaxictoxico (in Spanish) reviews Jane Eyre. Finally, AnneBronte.org posts about the story of Anne Brontë’s fair Godmothers.

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