Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:50 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Karen Joy Fowler writes about Ursula K. Le Guin, who died on January 22nd at 88, in The Washington Post:
Last year I wrote an introduction to Ursula K. Le Guin’s collection of blog posts, “No Time to Spare.” Before submitting it to her editor, I ran it by her. In it, I called her a genius. She objected to the word. Her father had told her, she said, that the word “genius” should be “saved for people who were really different in kind from other people — sui generis.”
If I used it in reference to her, she said, then I would have nothing left with which to discuss Charlotte and Emily Brontë.
I removed the word because it made her uncomfortable. But I, too, believe in using the term sparingly and carefully, and the criteria she gave me for its use, in my opinion, fit her completely.
In her obituary, New York Daily News recalls that she was indeed a Brontë enthusiast:
Celebrated writers including “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks have all credited Le Guin as inspiration.
In return, Le Guin has named authors including J.R.R. Tolkien, Leo Tolstoy, the Brontë sisters and Virginia Woolf as her own inspiration. (Kate Feldman)
The Stage gives 3 stars out of 5 to the production of Jane Eyre currently on stage at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton.
The Octagon follows up last year’s brilliantly atmospheric retelling of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall with another visit to Brontë country.
The challenge this time is to find fresh things to say with Charlotte Brontë’s far more familiar and frequently adapted tale of thwarted love. Director Elizabeth Newman and designer Amanda Stoodley respond by ramping up the psychological horror in Jane’s childhood and adding an extra level of clattering physical discomfort by placing the action within a metal cage.
The young Jane’s banishment to the red room is now a nightmarishly realised ordeal, while the manic laughter and skittering movements of the first Mrs Rochester high up in the rafters creates a deeply unsettling effect. The trouble is Janys Chambers and Lorna French’s adaptation – artfully filleting Brontë’s 400-page tome – is more conventional, and the enjoyably breezy, romcom-ish tone of some sections is slightly at odds with the production’s more harrowing moments.
Possibly because of overfamiliarity, the story’s big reveal and the final reunion don’t quite have the impact they need to reward the audience – or Jane – for enduring the earlier hardships.
But this is through no fault of the cast, who give it their all. The younger ensemble members acquit themselves brilliantly with some challenging material, with Jasmine De Goede in particular playing the young Jane with remarkable assurance. Jessica Baglow is also perfectly cast as Brontë’s adult heroine, utterly believable as a proto-feminist starved of love in her early years but determined to make up for it later in life.
Verdict
A bruising, visceral if a slightly unbalanced production boasting a pitch-perfect central performance (Chris Bartlett)
The Reviews Hub gives it 3 and a half stars out of 5, summing it up as 'Horrifyingly entertaining'.
This is an altogether stripped-back retelling of Jane Eyre filled with a blend of gothic horror, melodrama and surprising warmth and humour. This Chambers and French’s adaptation flies through its plot at breakneck speed especially Eyre’s time at Lowood:  this (possibly as a result of time constraints)  certainly makes it feel like something is missing as a result, however, due to the exceptional performance of Jasmine De Goade as the young Jane we have a performance full of fire and determination to allow us to invest fully into the narrative.
Jessica Baglow gives a fine and measured performance as the older Jane Eyre; full of charisma and spirit that you cannot help be bowled over by her charm and will her to succeed. In addition, Michael Peavoy gives a fine performance as Mr. Rochester: both brooding and at playful at the same time, Rochester’s desperation trickles through. Despite both lead’s solid performances there just isn’t enough passion and sizzle to fully invest in their devotion to each other. The rest of the cast offer fine support playing multiple roles with varying success: a scene-stealing turn from Clare Hackett as Miss Fairfax adds to the more comedic moments of the production.
What sets this adaptation apart from other productions is the fantastic use of Octagon Theatre, the play is performed in-the-round and with minimal set design, leaving a stripped back almost naked production: it exposes the lead protagonist’s anxieties, faults and, failings and leaves them for all to see. In addition, there is the mysterious figure lurking in the rafters whose presence looms ominously over the production and certainly adds an eerie menacing atmosphere to the production.
This is a unique telling of a masterpiece so embedded in our conscience that we needed a version that offered something different, well Newman’s production certainly delivers. This is an adaptation that wears its heart on its sleeve and now, seemingly more than ever needs its message to reach as many people as possible. (Matt Forrest)
Geeks of Doom reviews another Jane Eyre adaptation: Aline Brosh McKenna's graphic novel.
I’m a bit late to this party, friends. But I can tell you that it was worth waiting for, without any reservations. Jane is inspired by the classic Jane Eyre but this graphic novel is a work of art unto itself. I have no idea why I waited so long to pick it up but I would literally kick myself if I could, no pun intended.
From her lonely beginning to her new beginning in New York, this modern Jane was both fearless and frightened. New horizons mean new challenges but all she ever wanted to do was make art, so the Big Apple was her destiny. At least it was until she picked up a job as a nanny. Suddenly, day after day, week after week, her life became increasingly more complicated. But this is not just a story of a young woman finding her way in life, it is also a tale of redemption. Truly there are few things that you cannot come back from in life, never give up.
I encourage anyone with a previous Brontë interest to explore this but know that it is unique in its own right. While it was inspired by a classic, it is a story with its own heart and soul. (Waerloga69)
Los Angeles Review of Books reviews Barbara Comyns's novel The Juniper Tree.
But The Juniper Tree is neither a horror story nor a work of literary redemption; Comyns’s novel isn’t playing Wide Sargasso Sea to a Brothers Grimm Jane Eyre. (Anna E. Clark)
Le nouveau Cénacle (France) wonders whether all literature comes from the Bible.
Toute littérature s’origine-t-elle à la Bible ? Certains l’ont affirmé. Certainement, du Paradis Perdu de Milton, dont nous reparlerons, jusqu’à Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë qui se régale du Livre des Rois, en passant par Blake qui se voulait l’égal des prophètes, tous ont de grandes obligations à Jacques Ier et à ses traducteurs. Chez les Américains, la trace de la Bible sillonne les vers de Walt Whitman et d’Emily Dickinson, les romans de Cormac McCarthy ; Steinbeck y a trouvé le titre de ses Raisins de la colère, et Faulkner de son Absalom, Absalom ! qui reprend le cri du roi David apprenant la mort de son troisième fils. (Clément Bosqué) (Translation)
Is Jane Eyre similar in any way to the Book of Kings?

Culturalmente incorrecto writes in Spanish about Wuthering Heights 1970.

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