Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017 10:40 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
A contributor to Staffrm discusses Jane Eyre, Sally Cookson's take on it and 'acting like adults'
I went to see the incredible National Theatre Touring production of Jane Eyre yesterday.
It was everything I hoped it to be and more from a theatrical perspective.
So many messages were explored and communicated about being female, being male, being human; about morality, religion and sanity.
But also about Attachment, Adverse Childhood Experiences and about the crucial importance of Nurture in childhood.
Although of course Charlotte Brontë would never have heard of these new fashionable, capitalised terms.
We see in Jane a little girl who has had the most traumatic start in life through the death of her parents.
This is then exacerbated when she is sent to live in kinship care with an aunt and her cousins who reject and abuse her.
There are so many times in the story where we see how things might have been different for the looked after Jane and her emotional development. Perhaps the most poignant for me in this performance was the point in the play where Jane returns to see her dying aunt, Mrs Reed. The aunt is trying to defend her dislike of Jane as a child and to justify it by invoking sympathy in light of the fact that Jane would often fly into violent rages and attack others.
In the play, Jane's response was to answer "but I was a child."
In the book we read this:
"My disposition is not so bad as you think. I am passionate but not vindictive. Many a time, as a little child, I should have been glad to love you if you would have let me."
(Jane Eyre, Penguin Classics, 2006).
The attempt by Mrs Reed to turn herself into victim and blame Jane for a natural response to the distress she has suffered is sharply exposed.
But how much have we adults moved on since Mrs Reed? [...]
Jane is a success story, a poster girl for the looked after child who survived and thrived in spite of it all.
But 170 years on from when Charlotte Brontë so brilliantly launched her into the world, why aren't we doing better?
How many of those labelled criminals, terrorists, or delinquents might have spoken Jane's words? (Lena Carter)
Manila Bulletin (Philippines) reports on a recent talk by National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose.
Personal experience is not an absolute necessity, stating the example of the Brontë sisters. “They led very isolated lives but they were able to write Wuthering Heights. What a good writer needs, and you cannot get this in workshops, I have been campaigning against them, is to know more about history, about anthropology, sociology to have more depth,” says F. Sionil. (Kaye Estoista-Koo)
Well, 'they' didn't, only Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights.

The French edition of The Jerusalem Post has an article on the three Polgar sisters - remarkable chess players - who have been likened to the three Brontë sisters.
Les sœurs Polgar sont d’abord devenues célèbres en Hongrie, puis ce curieux trio d’enfants prodiges caché derrière le rideau de fer est devenu un phénomène international. Elles étaient considérées comme les sœurs Brontë des échecs. Un enfant prodige dans une famille peut être considéré comme le fruit du hasard, mais trois ? Les sœurs Polgar possédaient-elles toutes un don naturel pour les échecs, ou bien leur père y était-il pour quelque chose ? (Tibor Krausz) (Translation)
On AnneBrontë.org, Nick Holland discusses 'The Brontës and the Haworth Music Scene'.

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