Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 9:18 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The Christian Science Monitor reviews Brontë's Mistress by Finola Austin.
For her fiction debut, Finola Austin has opted for a more or less straightforward Hollywood story of spontaneous, mutual love. Handsome young Branwell, his hair mussed and his shirt falling open, arrives in the cold and loveless world of Thorp Green, and in short order he and Mrs. Robinson are forging emotional connections. “It was ridiculous,” narrates Lydia. “Me, with wet hair, in a gown too frivolous for a housekeeper to see me in ... and the unkempt tutor playing the eccentric poet. I laughed, and, while Mr. Brontë looked puzzled, I felt a new fragile bond forming between us.”
The bond causes trouble. Inevitably, Anne discovers it (“But it isn’t as you think,” Lydia protests to her), and the rest of Thorp Green isn’t far behind – including Reverend Robinson, a powerful man whose strange combination of stillness and rage makes him the novel’s most interesting character.
Austin can sometimes lapse - or allow Lydia to lapse - into the kind of breathless prose more endemic to old-fashioned romance novels. “The music washed over us in wave after cleansing wave. I knew – hoped – that Branwell heard in the music what I heard, that his soul was vibrating at the same frequency as mine,” we’re told at one such point.
But the bulk of the novel’s momentum builds a convincingly multifaceted picture of Lydia, a smart, passionate woman who is caught between her own thwarted desires and the gears of society’s conventions. Austin grounds her book in research, but it’s the entirely fictional letters she intersperses throughout the book that truly bring Lydia and many of her other characters to life.
And the mystery? Well, unless some new batch of records comes to light, it will no doubt continue to be a bone of contention for Brontë scholars – and a fruitful ground for novelists. Austin has written a stirring defense of the maligned Mrs. Robinson, and who can say if it isn’t also the truth? (Steve Donoghue)
The Christian Science Monitor also lists this novel as one of 'The 10 best books of August 2020'.

The New Yorker discusses the style of Elena Ferrante.
Ferrante’s style is blunt—at times even careless—as if she were deliberately rejecting centuries of preciosity in women’s prose. “When I write, it’s as if I were butchering eels,” she told Io Donna. “I pay little attention to the unpleasantness of the operation.” The word “revulsion” recurs so often in her pages that it is almost a tic. She revels in descriptions of incontinence: leaking tampons and spastic ejaculations. Women novelists before her have seethed at the benevolence expected of them—the Brontë sisters are a notable example. But Ferrante is a brawler, not a seether. She co-opts the pugnacity of a male voice to express the unsayable about female dilemmas, and this belligerence feels revolutionary. (Judith Thurman)
Daily Mail has interviewed writer Joanne Harris.
Any staycation tips?
I’d rent a house in Haworth - Wuthering Heights country — and run around on the Moors all day. (York Membery)
So would we!

Good Housekeeping asks writer Stacey Hall about the books that shaped her.
Your favourite book of all time...
Wuthering Heights
It would have to be Wuthering Heights, with Great Expectations a close second. I read both in my impressionable teens and turn to them often. Wuthering Heights isn’t a perfect book, and Nelly can be a bit of a drip, but it’s got so much soul and energy and atmosphere. I lived in West Yorkshire at the start of this year and reread it while I was there. I connect so much with the landscape; it’s my favourite place in the world. There’s something so horrible about the book that you can’t stop reading - how the characters act and treat one another, how they all die so young and unfulfilled, Heathcliff’s psychosis and sheer determination to make everyone around him miserable to the end of days. But its spirit and passion is what makes it so compelling. There’s also something intensely fascinating about the fact that it was Emily Brontë’s only novel, and she, too, died so young.
Cumhuriyet (Turkey) features the book Delirtilen Kadınlar by Gönül Bakay about women in the literary world.
İlk önemli kadın yazarlar bu çağ ve sonrasında görünür olurlar, ancak birçoğu takma erkek isimleri kullanmak zorunda kalır: Mary Ann Evans “George Eliot”, Charlotte Brontë “Currer”, Emily Brontë “Ellis” ve Anne Brontë ise “Acton” adlarıyla eserlerini yayımlarlar.
Dickens’ın aşkta mutsuzluğu işlediği Büyük Umutlar ve Collins’ın varlıklı bir kadının aile mirasını ele geçirmek için akıl hastanesine kapatılmasını konu alan Beyazlı Kadın romanları önemli örneklerdir.
19. yüzyıl edebiyatında artık deli kadın imgesi kültürel baskıyı temsil eder. Charlotte Brontë’nin Jane Eyre romanındaki Bertha Mason karakterinde olduğu gibi, ataerkil baskıya delilikle isyan eden kadın tipine sıklıkla rastlanır.
Bugün Charlotte Brontë’nin Jane Eyre romanı, kadın deliliğinin kadınca bir başkaldırı olarak ortaya çıkışını simgeleyen bir yapıt haline gelmiştir.
Aynı özelliklere, 20. yüzyıl başlarında Jean Rhys’in Jane Eyre’e bir bakıma nazire olarak yazdığı Geniş, Geniş Bir Deniz romanında da rastlanır. (Handan Dedehayır) (Translation)
Republic World (India) has a literary quiz:
The story of this 1847's novel revolves around scandalous passion, love triangles, and the supernatural. It follows the lives of Catherine and Heathcliff and their fraught love. The duo marries other people, but former lover's children suffer their own fates as their lives move forward. Can you guess the title of this Emily Brontë novel?
No Coward Soul Is Mine
Wuthering Heights
To a Wreath of Snow
 Agnes Grey: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall [sic]
This Charlotte Brontë novel follows the story of a simple girl, Jane, as she battles through various struggles in life. Her struggles include her abusive Aunt Reed, her deep-rooted emotions for Rochester and Rochester's wedding to Bertha. Can you identify this classic novel based on its plot?
Villette
Shirley, A Tale
Jane Eyre
Glass Town (Kashyap Vora)

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