Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011 2:41 pm by M. in , , ,    1 comment
The Boston Globe reviews How to Write a Sentence. And How to Read One by Stanley Fish:
His one howler is his complete misreading of the final line of “Wuthering Heights.’’ Having eloquently described the limitations of the dull narrator of “The Good Soldier,’’ he misses the conventional stupidity of Lockwood, the wrong-headed narrator of Brontë’s unearthly love story. (Barbara Fisher)
The actual comment by Stanley Fish is this one:
The relationship between peace and death is what Mr. Lockwood thinks about in the last sentence of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847) as he stands above the graves of Heathcliff and Catherine, who are finally at rest after lives of drama, turmoil and pain:
I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath, and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
The four verbs that describe Lockwood's posture - "lingered", "watched", "listened", "wondered" - have the effect of stilling action and presenting a mental state that is without perturbation or movement. No straight-line motion of either body or mind, just a gentle musing that that mirrors the gentle fluctuations of nature - the fluttering moths, the soft winds that breathe rather than blow, the grass that is slightly ruffled but not really disturbed, all under a calm ("benign") sky. When the sentence finally moves forward with the report of what Lockwood is wondering, it names for a second everything it has excluded -unquietness- but its point is that, at least in this moment, unquietness will not even be imagined for those who, after a lifetime of agitation, slumber. "[S]leepers in that quiet earth" puts the seal on the cessation of activity, and presents us with a sense of resolution that feels like a benediction. 
The Sunday Herald remembers the article about Charlotte Brontë that Dickens never wrote:
On the one hand he felt it pandered to the prurient. People, he reckoned, ought not to be interested in writers’ private lives and should content themselves with the books they produce. Offered an essay on Charlotte Brontë for one of the magazines he edited, he summarily rejected it. However, around the same time, as his latest biographer Claire Tomalin points out, Dickens had appointed his friend John Forster to write his biography. (Alan Taylor)
The Lancaster Sunday News interview Matthew Sternberg, director of the OperaLancaster's production of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Gian Carlo Menotti at Fulton Opera House who recommends a favourite of BrontëBlog's:
The best book I've read lately: "Sloane Hall" by Libby Sternberg. This is blatant self-promotion, because my wife wrote it, but it's a great book! It's a retelling of "Jane Eyre" set in Hollywood in 1929, just as the movie industry switches from silent pictures to sound. (Paula Wolf)
The Guardian reviews the reissue of South Riding by Winifred Holtby (now that it is a new BBC drama):
At first there are inevitable comparisons to be made with Jane Eyre, but this would be too easy for Holtby, and she steers things towards a different place, one altogether more poignant and stubbornly grounded in the real. Though her prose is pedestrian in places, there is a bleak, brave quality to her writing, and certain passages are desperately wrenching. (Natasha Tripney)
The Times reviews Faulks of Fiction by Sebastian Faulks (while the controversy about his article about Jane Eyre still lingers). It seems that his opinion about Wuthering Heights is no better than about Jane Eyre:
Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights is a magnificent thunderstorm of passion, but reduces the rest of the novel to matchwood. (John Carey)
Gorąca czekolada z cynamonem (in Polish), Delightful Eccentric, BooksareExcellent (on YouTube) and The new adventures of old Mandy review Wuthering Heights in Polish; Better Living Through Beowulf posts about Emily Brontë's poem No Coward Soul is Mine; The Squeee watched the Skins episode with the Brontë tattoo; The Ramblings of Two Readers talks about Jane Eyre 2006. Haunting Serenade and The Lurking Librarian take a look at several adaptations of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre respectively.

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1 comment:

  1. That reminds me, I need to write (and FINISH) that review of Sloane Hall. Excellent book, that. Mr. Sternberg might be the hubby of the author, but he's not wrong! :)