Sunday, January 05, 2020

Sunday, January 05, 2020 10:22 am by M. in , , , , ,    No comments
The Stuff (New Zealand) and 'bad romances' for your reading summer:
"Bad romance" gives us the best of both worlds: sweet and sour; light and dark; funny and fragile.
Its heroes are nasty knights; its heroines are dysfunctional dreamers. And long before the delicious diva Lady Gaga reminded us of how much we need the amorous psycho and vertigo shtick in our lives, Emily Brontë christened the page with that powerhouse of risqué passion, Wuthering Heights. Ever since, the illicit passion between broken boy Heathcliff and his sister, Cathy has set the benchmark for twisted love literature. (Siobhan Harvey)
The Guardian explores how novelists make us love unlikeable characters:
Many of these new protagonists are drawn not from history but from familiar works of fiction – and many of them are women. A key example, and still one of the best, is Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. In Jane Eyre, the first Mrs Rochester, insane and hidden from view, cannot bear witness to her experiJanice Hadlow)
ences; all we hear from her are cries and screams. But Rhys lets her speak – and having heard her story, it is impossible to think of her any longer as merely the malign impediment to Jane’s happy ending. We know now who Bertha Rochester is, and our feelings about her have shifted profoundly as a result. (
The Sunday Times reviews Why Women Read Fiction: The Stories of Our Lives by Helen Taylor:
Novels are not only read by women, they have been — in contrast to plays, films and so on — always successfully written by women. In the course of her discussion, Taylor focuses on two books that play a central part in the female reader’s canon — Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. The two are not necessarily compatible. Brontë famously wrote of her dislike of Austen’s “neat borders and delicate flowers” and claimed, “the Passions are completely unknown to her, she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that Stormy sisterhood”.
Austen, of course, predeceased Brontë, but one can only imagine how she might have satirised Jane’s telepathic communications with her master. But both books have been endlessly adapted for film and television, and their authors have both achieved literary canonisation, complete with places of pilgrimage and collections of acolytes.
And it goes without saying that most of the pilgrims are women (there are male Janeites, of course, but I don’t think little boys read P and P and dream of being Lizzy or Darcy). Both novels could be described as romances, but Pride and Prejudice is a book where the women have all the best lines, and Jane Eyre is really a work of passionate self-realisation. Crucially, both novels offer women a way to triumph.(Daisy Goodwin)
Local Berkshire announces an upcoming production of Wuthering Heights in Bracknell:
A gothic and dark tale of romance and revenge will celebrate The Studio Theatre Company's 50th show with Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (March 4 to 7).
The adaptation by Charles Vance will celebrate the dedicated hard work of the company throughout its past 50 years, guaranteed to be a worthwhile performance to dig your teeth into. (Isabella Perrin)
The Stamford Advocate talks about the non-profit organization The Giving Fund:
Our conversation drifts with my queries about literature that resonates with [Gregory] Hauck. He builds somewhat dramatically to his big reveal — “Jane Eyre.”
We discuss author Charlotte Brontë’s feminist themes in the 1847 novel, and the book’s radical approach to structure and storytelling. It doesn’t resonate with me until later how this sidebar exchange applies to the Giving Fund.
“(Brontë) lets the truth speak for itself. (The novel) doesn’t manipulate heartstrings,” Hauck explains. (John Breunig
Stabroek News (Guyana) interviews the writer Ryhaan Shah:
 People who enjoy reading will find the stories and authors they like best. For [me], as I get older, I find myself returning to the classics I grew up reading. They are like old friends especially everything by the Brontë sisters and by Jane Austen. I just saw the latest movie version of “Little Women” directed by Greta Gerwig and I want to read this classic again with Gerwig’s high-energy and edgy adaptation in mind.
Greta Gerwig's film is also reviewed by Il Librario (Italy):
 Come spiega a Laurie in un dialogo densissimo che funge da snodo fondamentale dell’intero film, sia a livello narrativo sia di senso, senza nessuna proprietà, e non avendo il genio delle sorelle Brontë, l’unica possibilità per una ragazza di uscire dalla povertà è sposarsi “bene”. (...)
Lo stesso riferimento alle sorelle Brontë va a toccare un altro aspetto delicato del romanzo, che ha deluso lettrici e lettori: tutte le sorelle March hanno un talento e lo mettono da parte. (...)
In Piccole donne, però, si fa strada il sospetto che la ragione della rinuncia alle ambizioni non sia solo una questione di reindirizzare il proprio talento dove è meglio sfruttato, o di comprendere i propri limiti, quanto la presa di coscienza che, come donna, essere un vero e proprio genio (appunto, come le sorelle Brontë) sia l’unica strada possibile; l’asticella della bravura, in sostanza, è molto più alta per chi è nella condizione delle sorelle March. (Anna Maniscalco) (Translation)
Io Donna (Italy) talks about modern witches in fiction and asks Michela Murgia and Chiara Tagliaferri, authors of Morgana.Storie di ragazze che tua madre non approverebbe:
«Tre streghe meravigliose sono state le sorelle Brontë: ragazze sbattute nella brughiera, che non hanno mai provato l’amore (tranne Charlotte), fiaccate dalla tisi, e che – eppure – hanno preso a colpi d’ascia l’ipocrisia della società vittoriana, definendo quello che sarebbe stata la letteratura moderna» aggiunge Chiara. (Maria Laura Gioavagnini) (Translation)
Babygaga recommends Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but we don't understand the point of saying:
What child doesn’t love chocolate? Little ones will learn the value of chocolate from an early age. This makes Roald Dahl’s fantastic world created in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory extra special. Roald Dahl might not be a Brontë, in terms of correctness of language, but he definitely has heart, and warmth, and imagination in his writing and his stories are classics in their own rights. (Heather Djunga)
The Yorkshire Post talks about the law firm LCF Law:
The firm’s role in the region’s cultural life was recognised last year, when Mr Stell was appointed to the management board of the Bradford Literature Festival (BLF). In 2018, the firm provided advice to the BLF relating to the creation and installation of four stones to celebrate the work of the Brontë sisters. (Greg Wright)
Universa (Brazil) makes an interesting point:
Para Adriana Sales Zardini, doutora em Estudos Linguísticos na Faculdade de Letras da UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) e presidente da Jane Austen Sociedade do Brasil desde 2009, não dá para negar que autoras contemporâneas como Julia Quinn podem levar o público a se interessar pelos romances de época do tipo "raiz". "Essa é uma contribuição maravilhosa. E esse não é um movimento pequeno, há uma procura enorme pelos clássicos, e as editoras já perceberam isso há alguns anos, basta observarmos quantas edições de Jane Austen e das Irmãs Brontë tínhamos no mercado brasileiro até o final da década de 1990 e quantas edições temos hoje em dia.Isso tudo sem levar em consideração toda a dedicação das editoras em produzirem capas mais atraentes e diversificadas, atraindo cada vez mais um público fiel", declara. (Heloísa Noronha) (Translation)
Critictoo (France) celebrates the film career of Toby Stephens:
Jane Eyre (2006)
Avant de devenir le capitaine Flint (voir plus bas), on peut dire que le rôle le plus emblématique de la carrière de Toby Stephens sur le petit écran était sans aucun doute celui de M. Rochester dans cette adaptation de Jane Eyre avec Ruth Wilson en tête d’affiche.
Célébrée comme étant l’une des meilleures adaptations, l’acteur incarne ce mythique personnage de la littérature, l’exemple type du héros byronien, aussi passionné qu’imparfait. (Carole) (Translation)
Terry Fisk writes to us to report his research on the Pillar Portrait. In his opinion, the man behind the Pillar is not Branwell but someone else: a short African male. As far as we know, the National Portrait Gallery did a very complete study for Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary in 2016.

The Guardian's literary calendar includes, of course, Anne Brontë's bicentenary. Lichfield Live announces the upcoming performances (February) of the Blackeyed Theatre Jane Eyre production. Il Mio Mondo (in Italian) posts about Wuthering Heights. The Brontë Babe explores personal and touching issues interwoven in a Brontë fabric.

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