Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Wednesday, July 01, 2020 10:22 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Olivia de Havilland costume test as Charlotte Bronte for Devotion ...
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It's Olivia de Havilland's 104th birthday today. She played the role of Charlotte Brontë in the infamous 1946 film Devotion (that's 74 years ago!).

Médias de Bruxelles reports that Koekelberg has named a square after the Brontës because of their connection to the place (Mary Taylor was lived and studied at Chateau Koekelberg with her sister Martha, who actually died there, while Charlotte and Emily were at the Pensionnat Heger).
La commune de Koekelberg va donner le nom des sœurs Brontë à l’une de ses places. Le conseil communal a en effet décidé lundi soir de rebaptiser la partie supérieure de la rue des Braves, dorénavant interdite à la circulation et en rénovation complète, en place des Sœurs Brontë. Deux des trois sœurs romancières de la première partie du 19e siècle ont visité naguère cette commune de l’ouest de Bruxelles. [...]
L’histoire de Koekelberg a révélé l’existence d’un lien avec des noms féminins au rayonnement littéraire international : les sœurs Brontë, et plus particulièrement deux d’entre elles, Charlotte Brontë (auteur de ‘Jane Eyre’ et ‘Villette’) et Emily Brontë (auteur de Les Hauts de Hurlevent).
Les deux sœurs ont résidé à Bruxelles au début des années 1840. Elles étaient inscrites au Pensionnat des Demoiselles de Héger au centre de la capitale. Elles étaient amies avec des compatriotes, Mary et Martha Taylor, résidant au pensionnat Goussaert, à Koekelberg, dans un parc privé, jouxtant la propriété et l’atelier du sculpteur Eugène Simonis, à 100 mètres de l’actuelle rue des Braves. Les sœurs Brontë ont rendu visite à leurs amies résidant dans la commune. Charlotte s’est également rendu à Koekelberg le jour du décès de Martha. Tout comme leur sœur Anne, elles sont toutes des modèles d’émancipation féminine à une époque où cela ne coulait pas de source. (Translation)
The Washington Post reviews the novel Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia's "Mexican Gothic" is a feminist horror novel inspired by Gothic classics including "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights." It's also a nod to fairy tales, though not the Disney versions. "Mexican Gothic's" characters recall the macabre stories in which Cinderella's sisters chop off their feet and Sleeping Beauty's stepmother meets her fate in a barrel of snakes. (Carol Memmott)
Marhaba (Qatar) recommends it too 'if you are a fan of Rebecca and Jane Eyre'.

Entertainment Weekly reviews new releases in the romance category, including
A Duke, The Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley
Vanessa Riley gifts readers a sparkling love story with deep wells of faith and feeling with A Duke, The Lady, and a Baby. When Patience Jordan followed her new husband from the West Indies to Regency England, she never anticipated being so lonely. Now, widowed and thrown into Bedlam by scheming family members, Patience has to masquerade as a nanny for her newborn son while being overseen by her son’s new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington. Repington comes with a heap of trust issues, having lost a leg in the Napoleonic Wars. Riley’s light, lilting tone is all Austen, but she probes questions of madness and race like a Brontë sister. Patience could easily become Jane Eyre’s Bertha, an Afro-Caribbean woman declared mad by greedy, racist men. There is a touch of the Gothic to Riley’s story, but Patience has the Widow’s Grace, a secret society of widows determined to win justice for their members, on her side. As Patience works to secure a future for her son, she warms to the taciturn, schedule-obsessed Repington after witnessing his tenderness for her child. The two build a gentle romance, rooted in mutual trust. It’s refreshing to read historical romance that reflects the true diversity of the era. (Maureen Lee Lenker)
The Independent features writer Naoise Dolan.
As for those Rooney comparisons, Dolan doesn’t mind them, but she points to many other novels that portray women’s interiority through self-hatred, from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. She believes self-loathing is a form of narcissism. “Simply put,” says Dolan, “if you’re constantly thinking about how much you hate yourself, you’re still constantly thinking about yourself.” (Ellie Harrison)
Admittedly there are bits of Jane Eyre that would fall on the category of self-hatred, but mostly it's a novel about self-confidence, isn't it?

We couldn't agree more with this suggestion in Marie Claire: 'Let's Stop Prying Into the Personal Lives of Women Writers, Shall We?' And we find this quite shocking:
Finola Austin, writer of Brontë’s Mistress, has been asked several times if the sex scenes in her novel are inspired by personal experience (she’s writing about the Brontës!). (Leah Konen)
Some reviewers are still finding it hard to grasp that women do actually have a thing called 'imagination'.

The New York Times features the world of Dark Academia:
Yet in the digital world, a different kind of academic community is thriving, one where students have created a niche of their own, along with an aesthetic that mirrors the world they once knew.
Known as Dark Academia, it is a subculture with a heavy emphasis on reading, writing, learning — and a look best described as traditional-academic-with-a-gothic-edge; think slubby brown cardigans, vintage tweed pants, a worn leather satchel full of a stack of books, dark photos, brooding poetry and skulls lined up next to candles.
Created largely by users 14 to 25 years old, posts tagged with the Dark Academia moniker have racked up over 18 million views on TikTok; there are over 100,000 posts on Instagram. And though Dark Academia predates the pandemic, for many of its denizens it has taken on new importance during a time when school is canceled IRL. [...]
A typical post may involve teens showing off their argyle sweaters to classical tunes, followed by a series of photos of leather-bound books, handwritten notes, a page from “Wuthering Heights” and a shot of classic Greek architecture. (Kristen Bateman)
Corriere della sera (Italy) lists literary families such as the Brontës.

* A line from Devotion, of course.

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