Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Scots national poet Jackie Kay will take part in the Brontë Stones project. The Sunday Post asks her about it.
Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay, has been asked to pen a tribute to Anne Brontë as part of a new memorial to the talented trio.
The Brontë Stones project, launched next month, will celebrate the literary legacy of the world-famous Yorkshire sisters with poetry or prose carved on stones laid along the eight-mile route between the sisters’ birthplace in Thornton and the family parsonage in Haworth.
Novelist Jeanette Winterson will celebrate the Brontë legacy as a whole while singer Kate Bush fittingly marks Wuthering Heights author Emily.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is providing a poem for Charlotte, who wrote Jane Eyre, while Jackie will take just 100 words to salute Anne, who most famously wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, before her death at just 29 in 1849.
Jackie was asked by the organisers which she’d choose and was in no doubt which sister she wanted to write a poem about.
“Anne was the one who is often overlooked and is the outsider in her own family,” said Jackie, 56.
“She is a feminist and is much more radical than her sisters, despite being seen as a pale reflection of them.
“I first read Jane Eyre when I was 19 and then I read Wuthering Heights and then Anne’s books. That’s the order people usually do it in but they should start with Anne because her book was finished first.
Jane Eyre is very influenced by Agnes Grey, even down to the plain governess.”
Each of the four has just 100 words to fit the stone.
Jackie said: “It had to be very small, that was the hardest thing, but also thrilling as you are making a poem for a certain purpose.
“I felt that Anne was misunderstood by her own sisters and is the only one not buried there, she’s buried in Scarborough.
“I liked the idea of the stone returning Anne home and her addressing the sisters in her poem. She could be addressing Charlotte and Emily, but could also be addressing all women, the sisterhood.
“‘Sisters you’ve got me wrong all the time’, is one of the lines. And I decided to have a poem within a poem, so there are some words differently emphasised and if read separately they will form their own little poem.
“It’s a bit like a secret. But I’m chuffed to be given the challenge and being in such company.
“I’m a huge fan of Kate Bush. Her lyrics are amazing and she’s a poet of song. When I first heard Wuthering Heights all those years ago it pierced right through me.”
Jackie’s stone will be in meadow directly behind the parsonage which is a mecca for Brontë fans from all over the world.
“There is an extra special resonance to the idea of Anne returning and it will be like she has never been away, which is lovely.” (Bill Gibb)
Daily Times (Pakistan) tells about a trip to Haworth and the Brontë Parsonage Museum.
I was standing in front of a plain dining table in the Brontë Parsonage in the village of Haworth, in Yorkshire, England. The Brontë sisters, arguably England’s most famous literary family, had written all their great novels and poems on that table. I was awestruck at the simplicity of their lives. The site is visited by hundreds of thousands of “literary pilgrims” every year who are presumably similarly awestruck. [...]
I walked over to the cemetery and stood next to their graves [sic]. The sisters had died very young but their place in posterity was assured. Such was the power of the written word. I walked around in the adjacent garden and reflected on the purpose of life. [...]
The trip to Yorkshire had been rewarding in so many ways. The scenery was stunning. But the lasting memory that has stayed with me is that of the village of Haworth and its Brontë parsonage. Every time I pick up my copy of Wuthering Heights, I am transported to that dining table and to the surrounding moors. (Ahmad Faruqui)
Leeds-list includes a trip to Haworth on a list of '25 Things You Absolutely Have to Do in West Yorkshire Before You’re 25'.
19. Follow in the footsteps of three of the world’s greatest novelists
Ever wanted to see the moors that inspired Wuthering Heights or the place where the famous Brontë sisters grew up? You can do it all in one day with a trip to Haworth. First, head over to the Haworth Parsonage – it’s been turned into a museum and it’s filled with a treasure trove of letters, papers and early edition novels that will give you a unique glimpse into the sisters’ lives. Afterwards, take a walk to Brontë Falls, Brontë Bridge and the Brontë Stone Chair.
Io Donna (Italy) recommends several literary destinations across England.
Punto di partenza di questo itinerario è senza dubbio la cittadina di Haworth, abbracciata dalla brughiera dello Yorkshire, dove ancor oggi vive sul mito della famiglia Brontë. Perché è proprio qui che, nella prima metà dell’Ottocento, scrissero le loro opere le famigerate sorelle Emily, Charlotte e Anne, che qui vivevano con il fratello Branwell e con il reverendo padre. Il locale e visitatissimo Brontë Parsonage Museum, casa museo a loro devota, dove si trova la sala da pranzo dove Emily scrisse “Cime Tempestose”, Anne “Agnes Grey” e Charlotte “Jane Eyre”. L’ispirazione? Seduttive e tormentate d’autunno, malinconicamente fiorite in primavera, silenziosamente cariche d’attesa in estate e spettacolari d’inverno, sono le brughiere del North Yorkshire Moors ad avere inciso senza dubbio sulle pagine delle sorelle. (Translation)
Keighley News has an article on the poor state of a footpath between West Lane and Church Street in Haworth.

 World Socialist Website discusses whether Philip Roth was a misogynist.
It is also a backward and, frankly, philistine notion that men ought to be most interested in writing about men, and women about women. In addition to the social question, certainly the central element, there is also a natural, human curiosity in the opposite (almost regardless of sexual orientation). Men spend a good deal of their time thinking about women, and, I believe, vice versa. Contrary to Cixous, Pollitt and their shallow, self-centered ilk, it is certainly “possible to suggest” that men, under certain conditions, might hold the better mirror up to women than women themselves—and, again, vice versa. [...]
Jane Austen is as much (or more) remembered for Mr. Darcy and George Knightley as she is for Elizabeth Bennett and Emma Woodhouse. The same goes for Charlotte Brontë in relation to her Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre, and Emily Brontë in relation to Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. George Eliot titled four of her seven novels after male characters and only one, one of her weakest works, after a woman (Romola). Women artists, it turned out, had a special concern with and sympathy for the difficult and often heartbreaking situations of many men in class society. (David Walsh)
While a columnist on KPC News wonders,
Seriously, though, who honestly expects a 15-year-old boy to read and get anything out of Jane Eyre? (Steve Garbacz)
Vulture interviews Jeff Goldblum.
I’ve pestered people — there’ll be plenty of people you’ll come across who’ll say “keep Jeff Goldblum away from me with the books,” because over the decades I’ve done a lot of recitations. I like the written word. I like language. I like a good story for heaven’s sake. I try to be sensitized to anybody’s disinterest but for those who are interested I’m always raring to go. And yeah, early in our relationship my now-wife and I were at a restaurant and I happened to have Gatsby with me and I said, “Just for the heck of it, would you want me to read any of this to you?”
This sounds like a strategy. I don’t think it was, but it may have been. As you know, you can go to dinner and there’s much to talk about but sometimes it’s also fun to share a reading or two. I also read her The Catcher in the Rye. In my past I’ve read Wuthering Heights out loud to someone.
Who? Someone in my distant past. I can’t say who. (David Marchese)
The New York Times reviews the book Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner.
From her mother’s side, Wagner had been enchanted by stories of Burma but also listened with a sense of detachment, struck by their glamorous unreality. Her grandmother, Mya Mya[...]’s own father had attended Methodist mission schools. He raised a houseful of daughters like “catty, upper-crusty Brontë characters.” (Maud Newton)
StarctMag has an article on the 40th anniversary of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. Signature Reads has compiled a list of '12 Quotes on the Innocence of Children', including one from Jane Eyre. Finally, on the Brussels Brontë Blog, Helen MacEwan writes about the recent Annual Brontë Society weekend.


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