Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017 12:17 pm by M. in , , , ,    No comments
Poor Branwell, even in an article on GQ about sexism in cycling, he appears as an example of patriarchal bias:
As an artist, Branwell Brontë wasn't up to much. He was a mediocre painter, as his portrait of his more talented sisters shows, and a lousy poet whose work in his lifetime did not reach beyond the pages of the local newspaper. The brilliance of his siblings, you may know. Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Jane Eyre and while Anne Brontë's The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall is not as fondly remembered, she is at a disadvantage having snuffed it at 29, so might really have nailed one later in life.
Anyway, the point is that this year the Arts Council will be spending a significant proportion of a £97,702 grant so that we "get to know Branwell" on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The rest will go towards commemorating Emily's birthday next year but even so. Fifty grand on Branwell Brontë? Put it like this. Let's say the literary Brontës were three brothers, giants of the written word, with a less gifted sister, who spent most of her life drunk or on opium, as Branwell did, before pegging it through tuberculosis at the age of 31. Do you think the Arts Council would now be setting fire to a wheelbarrow of cash so we could "get to know" Doris? You see? It's different for girls. (...)
Yet it would seem equally straightforward to concede that Branwell Brontë lacked artistic ability comparable to his sisters, only the patriarchy won't let go. So it's different for girls. (Martin Samuel)
American Theatre interviews Jen Silverman, the playwright of The Moors:
There’s so much going on with genre here too, because clearly we have the Brontës, and then I was thinking Daphne du Maurier and Flowers in the Attick—his pulp-Victorian-mashup-gothic-satire. There’s sort of an Ionesco thing too. Was any of this conscious on your part, or am I just making all this up? (David Adjmi)
It is 100 percent accurate, and very little of it was conscious. I mean, I love du Maurier, I love so many of the references you just made. But when I wrote the first draft, none of that was on my mind. I was doing the FreeWrite residency at Williamstown [Theatre Festival in the Berkshires], where you go up there for a week and you work on whatever you want. I had been going through a pretty hard life moment, and I kind of stumbled off an Amtrak, moved into a dorm room, and wrote the play.
You did it in a week?
The first draft—obviously it’s changed since then. Writing it didn’t feel different from writing a realistic play; I wasn’t consciously thinking, “Oh, let’s explore genre.” I’d spent months reading all these letters from Charlotte Brontë, so in a way that was just the theatrical language I was steeped in.
Did you think, “I want to write a play about this”? Was it research, or did you just want to read Brontë?
I had no thought of writing a play, I just got sucked in. The letters are so seductive! The voice in them is so strong, and so is the world that she’s painting of—these wind-blown, desolate moors. I was so fascinated by that, and by the idea of this woman who is living two lives: She’s living the life of a spinster in an isolated house and then she also has this bold, literary voice that is traveling out and away, to places she herself can’t reach.
When I started writing, it wasn’t in any way an adaptation of the Brontës. It simply felt like I had been in conversation with this voice for a few months, and here I was in a very difficult and private moment at Williamstown, continuing a conversation—about intimacy, visibility, isolation, desire. And of course, after the fact, when the rewriting and sculpting starts, then you’re like: Oh, I’m having a particular interaction with genre—that’s when craft comes into play. 
The author and columnist Katie Lett lists her favourite books for the Daily Express:
I grew up with Australian men who have a three-grunt vocabulary and only get passionate about the surf and the turf. So the idea of Heathcliff, this burly bloke who could be poetic and passionate, was every girl’s dream. I read this while working on a sheep station. It was the opposite of the wild and windy moors. (Caroline Rees)
The Times reviews House of Fiction by Phyllis Richardson:
For readers who have already been to Haworth Parsonage (the Brontës), Shandy Hall (Laurence Sterne) and Monk’s House (Virginia Woolf), Richardson offers a gorgeous property supplement of new places to visit in person — or on the page. If the writing is occasionally workaday, it is more than made up for by the author’s enthusiasm. (Laura Freeman)
City Journal vindicates the 1948 British film The Winslow Boy:
The uproar catches the interest of Sir Robert Morton, England’s most eminent—and expensive—barrister, masterfully played by Robert Donat as a complex mix of eloquence, cold hauteur, ruthless intelligence, and deep but hidden feeling, a legal version of Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester. (Myron Magnet)
iNews describes Hebden Bridge as a paradise of tolerance:
Tim Whitehead, 44, an agent for performers, who returned to Yorkshire to live in Hebden Bridge after eight years in London, says it is hard to explain why the small Yorkshire mill town has such a thriving LGBTQ commuity.
Howarth (sic), where the Brontë sisters lived, is just 20 minutes up the road but remains a “closed community by comparison”, he says. (Dean Kirby
Idaho Press introduces us to Heather Mullins, a roller derby player:
In roller derby, players compete under pseudonyms, and Mullins’ job at the Warhawk Air Museum helped inspire her derby-league moniker, “Jane Eyre Raid.” The other part comes from her favorite English novel by Charlotte Brontë: “Jane Eyre.”
“Jane Eyre Raid seemed like a perfect fit,” Mullins said. (Olivia Weitz
LitHub pairs classic country songs and novels:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë & “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones

In what might be the most romantic of all country songs, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by George Jones depicts one man’s unrequited love that he harbors until the end of his life. The day the townspeople remove his corpse from his home is the day he stops loving the woman he fell in love with in his youth. Bronte’s only novel, Wuthering Heights, depicts a similar devotion. At the end of this complicated love story, Heathcliff is so obsessed with the memory of his adopted sister Catherine that he talks to her phantom. (Sarah Creech)
The Austen anniversary is discussed in the Daily Star (Bangladesh):
Women in Jane Austen's time weren't allowed a lot of leeway. Literary circles were so strongly male dominated that the first page of Austen's first published book, Sense and Sensibility, didn't have her name. “Written by 'A Lady'”, it said. These same restrictions caused other writers like the Brontë sisters and Mary Anne Evans (who we know as George Eliot) to take up pseudonyms throughout the 19th century. (Sarah Anjum Bari)
Past in perspective in The National (Pakistan):
Most of the writers of Victorian England have written fictional novels, which often have a touch of the supernatural. Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Oscar Wilde and Robert Louis Stevenson are some of the famous writers of gothic fiction. All these writers lived during the Victorian era, where these beliefs were common.
Wakefield Express and Keighley News are eager to see Sally Cookson's Jane Eyre in Leeds. The latest episode of  the Kate Bush Fan Podcast
 is a celebration of Kate’s debut single, the classic song Wuthering Heights! Seán chats to participants at the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever in Dublin (see the video below featuring hundreds of “Cathys”!) and he explores the story of the song and the Emily Brönte (sic) novel; how it immediately thrust Kate into international stardom. It’s our tribute to the lasting legacy of this truly remarkable recording. (Seán)
Rochdale Online informs that a local young dancer will be Jane in the Anne Doyle's Jane Eyre performances in Preston next October. While I Was Reading posts about some Jane Eyre book covers.

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