Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Irish Times discusses Elizabeth Hardwicke's essay Seduction and Betrayal (1974):
It opens with the Brontës, not just the sisters but Branwell too, that “pestilence” of the family who still draws too much attention. (When Winifred Gérin wrote her biographies, Branwell’s came second, before the greatest geniuses of the family, Emily and Charlotte.)
Hardwick reminds us that the Brontë sisters wrote not out of romantic high-mindedness but from a “practical, industrious, ambitious cast of mind”. She is particularly interested in the “brilliant, troubling force” of the much-misunderstood Wuthering Heights, by which even Charlotte was perplexed.
After Emily’s death she wrote: “Whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff, I do not know: I scarcely think it is.” If she had lived to see Cliff Richard’s portrayal in his 1996 musical Heathcliff, all doubt might have fled.
The most mouth-watering section is three essays grouped as Victims and Victors, concerning Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. Fitzgerald is presented not as the Branwell Brontë of the jazz age but a tragic figure of thwarted intent.  (John Self)
The Weekend Australian explores Yorkshire:
Over hill and dale
The Brontës loom large in Yorkshire but there’s plenty of other history to uncover. (...)
We call into Haworth, where the Brontës lived in later life. It is Monday and the town is quiet after the weekend crowds. Many cafes are in recovery mode and closed, so there’s a cheerful throng in the ones that are open. Photographs and paintings in a small art gallery show the stark beauty and drama of the countryside that inspired the landscape of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights. The Brontë Parsonage where the family lived was acquired in 1928 by The Brontë Society and has a rich collection, much of which came from Philadelphia author and publisher Henry Houston Bonnell. The society’s website reports that Emily had a brief moment teaching at Miss Patchett’s School in Halifax. She left, “reportedly having told her pupils she preferred the school dog to any of them”. (Jane Sandilands)
And The National Student explores culture in Bradford:
It’s well-known that the West Yorkshire hills have inspired some of our most beloved literature - from the Brontës to Ted Hughes. Jump in the car or on the B2 Brontë Bus (yes, it’s a thing) from Bradford Interchange to Haworth, where you can spend a delightful day learning about Brontë history at the Parsonage, uncovering the inspiration for Wuthering Heights at Top Withens, and drinking hot chocolate in cafes set on picturesque, steeply cobbled streets.
If you’re into the mythology that surrounds Ted Hughes and his ill-fated wife Sylvia Plath, you can also cross the moors to Heptonstall, where you’ll find a small museum that’s dedicated to the area’s most poetic son (sorry Branwell.) (Lucy Miller)
City Girl Network reviews the Wuthering Heights performances at the Brighton Open Air Theatre:
The cast of 11 was given no easy task of doubling up on characters: a real exercise in their flexibility and skill as performers. But, this particular production from Identity Theatre Company boasted a strong and talented cast, with every actor balancing the darkness of the script with its moments of sharp and sarcastic humour extremely well.  (Lois Zoppi)
She also interviews Kane Magee, Heathcliff in the production:
I gathered and watched as much source material as I could. I watched most adaptations of Wuthering Heights; I got the book. A lot of Heathcliff’s life is discussed on the Internet. Where did he come from? What happened to him when he was young? Where did he go for three years and get all that money?
There’s always been that air of supernatural to him, like he’s a devil. Everyone thinks Wuthering Heights is a romantic love story and it’s definitely not. It’s a story of betrayal, torment and revenge, Heathcliff is the essence of that. He is not a nice person and the things he does in exacting his revenge are beyond awful. (...)
However, I wanted people to sympathise with him. I believed everything he did came from a place of pain. Cathy drove him to do what he did; if she hadn’t betrayed him then events would have played out so differently, and maybe they would have lived happily ever after. But, this is not a love story. I could feel empathy towards the character because I had a lot of bad stuff happen when I was young that has always stayed with me, much like him. But, I try and use it positively in my work.
Jason Manford and British holidays in The Mirror:
You know, it’s said that when Charlotte Brontë first saw the sea at Bridlington Beach, she was so overcome with emotion she burst into tears.
I’ve a feeling a similar thing might happen to my kids when I tell them that’s where we are going on holiday next year, but for entirely different reasons. I can’t wait!
And now, the impossible happening. A positive story about teens and the Internet. The miracle happens in Wyoming Public Media:
And writers have always shared their work with each other. Consider the Brontë siblings, writing stories and plays to entertain each other over long lonely nights on the English moors. Those stories gave birth to Heathcliffe (sic) and Jane Eyre. But now, people can share their work and get feedback and talk craft even if they didn't grow up in a writerly household. Even if they live in a small town. Even if they've never met anyone else who carries a notebook everywhere they go. And eventually, their creative incubation online can pay off in real life. (Erin Jones)
East Anglian Daily Times announces the new regional theatre season:
Fans of classic literature will also be treated to a staged production of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre which has been described as a Gothic masterpiece. The new stage adaptation by Blackeyed Theatre is designed to capture the novel's brooding and intensely powerful atmosphere. Jane Eyre is a moving and unforgettable portrayal of one woman's quest for equality and freedom, and is rightly regarded as one of the great triumphs of storytelling. Jane Eyre is on stage November 14-16. (Andrew Clarke)
Claire Allan recommends summer reads in News Letter:
The most beautiful book I’ve read this summer, and perhaps this year, is The Girl At the Window from English writer Rowan Coleman, who has become a must-read author for me.
The book is set against the backdrop of Ponden Hall, where Emily Brontë penned most of Wuthering Heights, and it is an exquisitely written story of love, loss, hope and strength – with a ghostly twist or two.
Anna Murphy wears that Zara dress for The Times:
Take one slightly Victorian dress, long of skirt and puffy of sleeve. Splice with disco razzle-dazzle. The end result might be summed up with one of two words, each beginning with N.
Now is the first word, as in very, very now. Nonsensical might be the second, if you take the view that a frock that is one part Jane Eyre to one part Saturday Night Fever is a peculiar notion indeed. Though a lot of women clearly believe this is a garment that’s not nonsensical: it’s currently selling, and selling hard, at Zara.
Paste Magazine reviews the Jacques Tourneur masterpiece I Walked with a Zombie 1943:
It combines the beautiful black-and-white cinematography of Tourneur with a story partially cribbed from the bones of Jane Eyre to create a work that feels entirely unique, suffused with death and mystery. As one character says, looking out at the sea: “That luminous water. It takes its gleam from millions of tiny dead bodies, the glitter of putrescence.” (Jim Vorel)
The Scotsman reviews the Reuben Kaye show at the Edinburgh Fringe:
The sequins and smut come flying at such a pace, and the mash-ups of, say, ZZ Top and Kurt Weill, command the attention such that you barely notice the growing roster of cultural references peppering Kaye’s material – a glance at the Brontës here, a cute disquisition on Berlini there – or indeed the increasingly barbed doses of social critique. (Ben Walters)
Financial Times reviews Rebel Writers. The Accidental Feminists by Celia Breyfield:
Brayfield’s equally illuminating book homes in on the late 1950s and early 1960s, revealing that Delaney wasn’t the only one showing that female experience was about more than just falling in love. Hot on her heels came Edna O’Brien (The Country Girls), Lynne Reid Banks (The L-Shaped Room), Charlotte Bingham (Coronet Among the Weeds), Nell Dunn (Up the Junction and Poor Cow), Virginia Ironside (Chelsea Bird) and Margaret Forster (Georgy Girl). “Not since the Brontës had a group of writers been united by such a burning need to tell the truth about what it was like to be a girl,” Brayfield contends. (Lucy Scholes)
The Hub lists the Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees:
When the Ground is Hard by Malla Nunn
Throughout the story Adele and Lottie spend a lot of time reading and discussing Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, which may be a gateway to the classic for teen readers.  This is also a title that would pair nicely with Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime in both tone and treatment of systemic racism. (Jodi Kruse)
Things only midlife homeowners know according to The Telegraph:
Sash windows are so charming. Until they start giving it the full Wuthering Heights, complete with death rattle and Arctic breeze that ripples along the cur- tains. (Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan)
El Peruano (Perú) and one-novel-writers:
En primer lugar, recordemos a cuatro autoras cuya obra completa se limita a un único libro: Emily Brontë y su Cumbres borrascosas, un clásico de la literatura anglosajona a pesar de que inicialmente desconcertó a los críticos. Ella murió en 1848 a los 30 años. (José Luis Vargas Sifuentes) (Translation)
Dziennik Zachodni (Poland) reviews the novel El Bosque Sabe Tu Nombre by Alaitz Leceaga:
Wydawca na okładce porównuje powieść hiszpańskiej autorki do książek sióstr Brontë. I faktycznie „Las zna twoje imię” ma ten sam klimat. (...) Ale Alaitz Leceaga nie kopiuje ani sióstr Brontë, ani Mitchell. Autorka ma swój styl, wykreowała wciągającą historię, która spodoba się miłośnikom powieści obyczajowych, thrillerów i fantastyki. (Mara Olecha-Lisiecka) (Translation) 
La Provincia (Argentina) interviews the writer Fernando Krapp:
Télem: Son muy impactantes las vidas de las sobrevivientes de la bomba atómica y la historia familiar de Pepa Hoshi, habitante en ese pueblo casi desértico del sur mendocino.
- F.K.: La historia de la Pepa Hoshi es una novela aparte. Y por eso es tan relevante en el libro, tan extensa. Tiene todos los condimentos para una novela del siglo XIX al estilo de Charlote Brontë. (Translation)
Blitz (Portugal) interviews Patti Smith:
Lia Pereira: É verdade que os livros desempenharam um papel importante na sua sobrevivência, como escreve no livro Just Kids?
P.S.: Sempre adorei livros e tinha olho para escolhê-los. Desde criança que compreendi a sua beleza. A certa altura, nos anos 50, muitas pessoas queriam livrar-se dos seus livros e [vendiam] primeiras edições de grandes escritores! Livros lindos, com lindas encadernações... Vias o “Moby Dick”, o “Jane Eyre”, o Robert Louis Stevenson. (Translation)
Milenio (México) interviews standup comedian Gon Curiel:
Carlos Vega: ¿Cuál es el libro que lo marcó? 
G.C.: Wuthering heights (Cumbres borrascosas), de Emily Brontë, tiene un personaje protagónico que se llama Heathcliff que es un monstruo, pero también es humano y lo acompañas a lo largo de su vida. Para mí es lo más impactante que he leído, porque descubres que por más villano que seas, siempre hay un ser humano detrás con emociones, con traumas, experiencias, etcétera.  (Translation)


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