Saturday, September 09, 2017

Saturday, September 09, 2017 2:12 pm by M. in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
Publishers Weekly lists 'epic page-turning novels':
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Somehow I managed to major in English without ever reading Jane Eyre. Not until my forties did I tackle what has since become one of my All-Time Favorites. Jane’s voice is wise, principled, and sometimes—as when she unleashes her temper in the Lowood chapters—sharp and cold as
iron. When she utters the iconic line “Reader, I married him,” you will smile, sigh, weep, or all of the above.

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Just what was in the water at the Brontë house? No sibling authors have ever equaled Charlotte and Emily Brontë (not to mention their sister Anne Brontë, who was no slouch herself). While Jane Eyre doesn’t stint on the strange and otherworldly—Rochester dresses as a fortune-teller, Bertha lurks in the attic, St. John Rivers has odd ideas about marriage—Wuthering Heights takes Gothic passion to new, well, heights with its multigenerational tale of Heathcliff, Cathy, Cathy Junior, a ghost, and a ramshackle house high above the Yorkshire moors. (Brendan Matthews
ComicBookCritic publishes a preview of Jane by Aline Brosh McKenna and Ramón K. Pérez.

Redbrick reviews the National Theatre's production of Jane Eyre at the Birmingham Rep: 'a perfect adaptation':
Nadia Clifford’s performance of Jane was heavily charged, and she perfectly struck the difficult balance between her feisty independence and ability to evoke sympathy from the audience. The raw emotion she projected was powerful, grounding the entire production. As Clifford quietly wiped her eyes whilst looking onto the standing ovation, the effort expended to achieve this difficult feat was evident. Tim Delap’s Mr Rochester was cool, though more likeable than some of the harsher film portrayals. Delap’s performance left no doubt as to the sincerity of Rochester’s feelings for Jane, a commendable achievement given the detached and aloof reputation with which the character is generally known.
Satisfyingly cyclical with both the first words and the last words of the performance being identical, the cast and creative team created a fabulous performance of which everyone involved should be immensely proud. A perfect adaptation.  (Holly Reaney)
Not so positive, but still good is The Gryphon's opinion:
Sally Cookson’s production is an engaging twist on the novel, complete with a grown man pretending to be Pilot – Rochester’s dog – and a hasty ‘piss break’ in the journey to Lowood. Although proving too modern an adaptation for some – the ladies in front of me hastily left during the interval – I was left haunted by Jane Eyre and am yet to experience another piece of theatre so brilliantly and unapologetically bizarre.
The Guardian interviews the singer and songwriter Suzanne Vega, Brontëite:
Which book changed your life? (Rosanna Greenstreet)
Jane Eyre, because she was an adventurer. It was a bit like Huckleberry Finn, but it was the first time I’d seen a woman go and create her own fortune.
Urban Milwaukee recaps some of the latest recordings of the Florentine Opera Company, including Wuthering Heights by Carlisle Floyd:
Floyd’s opera Wuthering Heights, composed in 1958 and recorded by Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera Company in 2015, is an apt realization of one critic’s comment that Wuthering Heights is “a musician’s novel.” Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel Wuthering Heights is a gothic tale of love, loss, and memory set in northern England. The orchestral score brings out the tumultuous nature of the tale, focusing on the relationship between the tortured orphan Heathcliff and the fickle Catherine Earnshaw. One of Brontë’s contemporaries found the book to be “fiendish” and pronounced, “The action is laid in hell.” That hell emerges in the sustained tension of the score by Carlisle Floyd, beautifully performed by the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Joseph Mechavich.
Wuthering Heights was commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, and has been called “loyal to Brontë’s novel,” with the lyrics of Cathy’s aria “I have dreamt” taken verbatim from the book. However, despite its success upon its premiere, the full work was never recorded. The Florentine Opera staged the work in 2015 and then recorded it, and was fortunate to have the composer serve as artistic advisor for the project. Florentine Opera General Director William Florescu commented that, “Floyd’s score takes you to the heart of Catherine and Heathcliff’s devastating love story.” The recording of Wuthering Heights was listed by Opera News as one of the Ten Best Opera Recordings of 2016.
The novel’s many misfortunes suit the grand scale of opera. It features passion, betrayal, revenge, forbidden love, cruelty, and hauntings. “From the very beginning, I set out to create an atmosphere of gloom and foreboding in the music,” said Floyd. Throughout, Cathy is to be sung agitato and appassionata. She has been called the ideal operatic heroine: “rhapsodic, tragic, and haunting.” A Florentine favorite, soprano Georgia Jarman, sings the part of Catherine, with Kelly Markgraf, baritone, as Heathcliff. (Marguerite Helmers)
The Daily Star (Bangladesh) reviews The Bones of Grace by Tahmima Anam
Whether it be the nineteenth-century women writers like Charlotte and Emily Brontë, or even a writer who is a social worker such as Maitreyee Devi, or the fate suffered by Taslima Nasreen, the expression of female sexual desire has been met with disapproval and even opprobrium. (Firdous Azim)
DeathRattleSports has some S/F and fantasy books for September:
The Glass Town Game by Catherynne Valente
In this young-adult fiction take on the Brontë sisters, fictional versions of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne escape from their miserable world with a game that they invented called Glass Town — where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon, and nobody dies. When Charlotte and Emily are sent to a harsh boarding school, they find themselves whisked away to a real Glass Town that’s stranger than the one they invented.
The stakes are high here: the soldiers they command can die, and when Anne and Branwell are kidnapped, it’s up to Charlotte and Emily to stand up to the Napoleonic army, save their sisters, and escape to England. Kirkus Reviews gave the book a starred review, saying that it’s a must-read for Brontë fans and newcomers alike. (Caroline)
The Times reviews A Life of My Own by Claire Tomalin:
She discovers reading in a heady rush: Tom Kitten, Barbar, Just William, Fattypuffs and Thinifers. She graduates to Shakespeare, Keats, the Brontës. Headier still. At Cambridge she falls in love with John Donne and writes to her father: “I don’t want to be a woman don, they never write any interesting books.” She has been true to her word: never an uninteresting book. (Laura Freeman)
The Irish Times discusses some recent crime novels releases:
The Big House has long had a secure berth in Irish literary fiction, so it was perhaps inevitable that Irish crime fiction should be eager to display hospitality to that distinctive blend of glamour and decay, of nostalgia and dread, with books such as Tana French’s The Likeness, Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait and now, Can You Keep a Secret? (Penguin, £12.99) by Karen Perry, the crime-writing team comprising novelist Karen Gillece and poet Paul Perry. With an echo of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca in the opening line and a name check for Jane Eyre a chapter later, this is an extremely confident performance. (Declan Hughes)
The quote:
"I am constantly watching her, Rachel.
Her head is in a book, Jane Eyre. Her expression is alert, inquisitive, rapt." 
The New York Times reviews The Followers by Rebecca Wait:
The English moors: Is there a setting more symbolic of isolation and despair? They provide the atmospheric backdrop for many gloomy classics, from “Wuthering Heights” to “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Cults are also bleak and despairing: Few mind-sets are as terrifying as that of a cloistered zealot who abandons nuance to weigh life on a simple scale of right or wrong. So combine the two — situate a cult on the English moors, as Rebecca Wait does in her novel “The Followers” — and its characters will seem doubly wretched, the stark landscape symbolizing their wind-swept minds. (Julia Scheeres)
The Independent has a curious list of songs not in 4/4 Time:
Wuthering Heights, Kate Bush. All sorts of disputes about the time signature of this one. Bits of it in 4/4 (or 8/8 said Gordon Hudson) but also 3/4 and 2/4 in the chorus. From Ian Moss again. (John Rentoul)
El Popular (México) interviews the writer Jaime Mesa:
Esta noción del narrador distante al tema no es nueva. Al menos yo la aprendí de una de las obras más notables de la literatura: Cumbres borrascosas. Ahí, grandes temas como la pasión, el amor, el duelo, el sufrimiento, son contados por un espíritu gris y mediocre, que tiene curiosidad, sí, pero que parecería que nunca ha amado, que no entiende por qué los protagonistas hacen lo que hacen. Esa paradoja, esa contradicción, ese enfrentamiento de visiones me interesa mucho porque me devuelve al asombro.  (José Luis Prado) (Translation)
Granada Hoy (Spain) interviews Paul Auster:
Dedica 4321 a su esposa Siri Hustvedt, una escritora cada vez más apreciada en Europa, pero cuando se habla de sus influencias casi nunca se citan autoras. ¿Con cuáles se siente en deuda? (Charo Ramos)
-Emily Dickinson es mi poeta favorita de todos los tiempos y la leo con pasión desde el instituto; también me gusta mucho la poeta rusa Marina Tsvietáieva. Cumbres borrascosas de Emily Brontë es una obra maestra a la que vuelvo con frecuencia. (Translation)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune talks about the recent John Williams: Maestro of the Movies concerts at the Hollywood Bowl which included 'Cathy's Theme' from the Wuthering Heights 1939 soundtrack by Alfred Newman. Magia w każdym dniu (in Polish) reviews Villette. The Brussels Brontë Blog explores the Lake District links with the Brontës.

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