Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:59 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
Here's a press release we have received and which has also made its way into several news outlets:
The most haunting characters in literature revealed

#Brooding Heathcliff tops the male list with a fifth of votes
#Miss Havisham from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations tops the female list, over 150 years after story was first published in 1860
#North Yorkshire Moors in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights voted most haunting location from British fiction

LONDON, Monday 19 May 2014: He is a tortured romantic hero whose passions destroy both himself and those around him, while she is a decaying spinster described as ‘the witch of the place’, as Heathcliff and Miss Havisham top the lists of the most haunting characters in British literature according to new research released today.

The survey of 2,000 British adults was commissioned to mark the screening of Great Expectations on TV channel Drama, and asked respondents to select their most haunting characters from a long list of over 50 iconic personalities from the pages of well-loved fiction. Great Expectations will be shown on the channel on Sunday 25 May at 6pm and repeated on Monday 26 May at 4pm.

Eternal bride-to-be Miss Havisham, played by actresses including Gillian Anderson (2011), Helena Bonham Carter (2012) and Charlotte Rampling (1999), was voted the most haunting female character with a fifth of the vote (21%), suggesting that the character is one that stays with readers long after they have put the book down. The ghost from Susan Hill’s chilling tale of The Woman in Black comes second (14%) and the top three is completed by the forceful Lady Macbeth, created by William Shakespeare, more than 400 years ago (13%).

Emily Brontë’s brooding gypsy foundling Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights was voted the most haunting male character with 21% of the vote. He is followed by Bram Stoker’s terrifying Count Dracula (18%) and Jack Torrance from The Shining (13%).

Stephen King has the most entries in the list with Annie Wilkes from Misery (10%) and Pennywise the clown from It (10%), as well as Jack Torrance, all featuring. Shakespeare features twice with Lady Macbeth (13%) and Caliban from The Tempest (6%).

Top ten most haunting female characters from dramatised literature
Top ten most haunting male characters from dramatised literature
  1. Miss Havisham – Great Expectations, Charles Dickens (21%)
  1. Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (21%)
2. The ghost – Woman in Black, Susan Hill (14%)
2. Count Dracula – Dracula, Bram Stoker (18%)
3. Lady Macbeth – Macbeth, William Shakespeare (13%)
3. Jack Torrance – The Shining, Stephen King (13%)
4. White Witch – Chronicles of Narnia, C S Lewis (11%)
4. Mr Rochester – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë (12%)
5. Annie Wilkes – Misery, Stephen King (10%)
5. Alex – A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess (10.2%)
6. Mrs De Winter – Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier (9%)
6. Frankenstein’s Monster – Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (10.15%)
7. Nurse Ratched – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey (8%)
7. Pennywise the clown – It, Stephen King (9%)
8. Mrs Coulter – Northern Lights, Phillip Pullman (6%)
8. President Coriolanus Snow – The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins (7%)
9. Miss Trunchball – Matilda, Roald Dahl (6%)
9. Caliban – The Tempest, William Shakespeare (6%)
10. Miss Hardbroom – The Worst Witch, Jill Murphy (1%)
10. Kevin - We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver (5%)

The findings also reveal the most haunting locations from British literature, with the windswept North Yorkshire Moors from Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights taking the top spot (51%). This is followed by Whitby from Bram Stoker’s vampire classic Dracula (28%) and in third place were the eerie marshes from Dickens’ Great Expectations (27%).

The findings also reveal some interesting regional differences with respondents from East Anglia the most likely to vote Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula the most haunting character (22%), compared with a national average of (18%). In Yorkshire, respondents are most likely to be haunted by Heathcliff long after putting the book down, with 28% favouring it, compared to the national average of 21%. Miss Havisham outperformed the 21% national average in Northern Ireland (26%), East Anglia (25%) and the South West (25%).
In the meantime, The Guardian looks at the best wedding dresses in literature.
Is the most famous wedding in literature the one that doesn't take place? Jane Eyre is set to marry Mr Rochester wearing pearl-grey silk – she has insisted on plainness, but as an alternative to bright colours, not to white. He gives her a beautiful, elaborate veil, but that is destroyed by the woman from the attic. We know this story all too well, but the scene where Bertha comes and tries on the veil is bone-chilling – the more so because we feel such pity for her, though no one in the book seems to. (Moira Redmond)
Comic Book Resources reviews Vivienne Medrano’s Zoophobia:
Vivienne Medrano’s Zoophobia stars a young woman named Cameron who’s desperate for a job and will take any available position in her field of counseling. She’s basically duped. When she hears there’s a job that it involves relocation, she expects, quite reasonably, that the students will be of the human persuasion. To her surprise, she’s whisked away to Zoo Phoenix Academy in Safe Haven, a land full of anthropomorphic creatures. That’s not ideal because, as the title suggests, animals give Cameron the heebie-jeebies.
When you get down to it, Cameron’s journey is not unlike Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. A bold statement, I know, but think about it: Cameron gets suckered into counseling animals, while Ms. Eyre is duped into a teaching job at a spooky manor house inhabited by a creepy ghost woman or something. Shoot, there’s even a supernatural element established early on. It turns out that Cameron’s recruiter … is a warlock of some sort? What’s got her so interested in a clueless educator who just happens to have strange dreams at night? (Larry Cruz)
The Independent mentions Charlotte Brontë and William M. Thackeray in an article on the latest biopics on Dylan Thomas and J M W Turner and the portrayal of creativity on the screen.
There is no point in complaining about this mythologising process, if only because it stems from a very natural wish to dramatise what is nearly always highly prosaic – most artistic lives, seen in the round, are horribly mundane – and give it sparkle. After all, when Charlotte Brontë made the mistake of dedicating the second edition of Jane Eyre to Thackeray, a rumour instantly swept round literary London identifying the author of Vanity Fair as Mr Rochester and Brontë as the governess. (DJ Taylor)
According to The Times of Israel this is the reason why many women own dog-eared copies of Jane Eyre:
But at the same time, many women want something old-fashioned and retrograde. We want love and romance. We would like to find a soul mate. Many of us own dog-eared copies of “Jane Eyre” and “Pride and Prejudice” and in our idealistic youth nurse fantasies of finding such love for ourselves. (Simona Fuma Weinglass)
God forbid they own them for their literary value, etc.

Bristol Culture reviews Peter McMaster's Wuthering Heights as performed during the Bristol Mayfest.
For those of a certain age and who didn’t study the book at school, Wuthering Heights is more likely to be known as the song by Kate Bush rather than the novel by Emily Brontë.
The piano chords of the song were almost the first sounds at this all-male production by Peter McMaster, as the four-strong company provided a hilarious interpretative dance to the student bar jukebox favourite.
Bush’s music then featured throughout the show, performed in the round within Trinity’s recently refurbished upstairs event space.
It was told through the eyes of Heathcliffe (sic), interspersed with a look at the lives of the actors themselves and also some on-stage direction which led to further character revelations.
Clothes were ripped off with as little restraint as Brontë’s original text was ripped apart.
Lovers didn’t just argue but wrestle, as the actors grappled physically and metaphorically with issues such as gender, hate and love in a wickedly entertaining production.
The Guardian brings up Heathcliff in an article about Oscar Pistorius and the psychiatric tests he's going through.
(There is a parlour game to be played in handing out contemporary diagnoses to characters from literature. Did Heathcliff suffer from oppositional-defiant disorder? Was Raskolnikov schizoid?) (David Shariatmadari)
BND looks into the origins of Chevy Chase and reminds us that it is even mentioned in Wuthering Heights.
In Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights," for example, Catherine Heathcliff makes fun of Hareton Earnshaw's reading ability by saying, "I wish you would repeat Chevy Chase as you did yesterday; it was extremely funny." (Roger Schlueter)
The Guardian lists 'four great pieces of hip-hop':
Sub Pop's own Palaceer Lazaro (real name Ishmael Butler) and Tendai Maraire return with their own off-kilter and intriguing take on hip-hop. This is from their forthcoming album Lese Majesty (which has an impressive 18 tracks, is out in late July and will be housed in a shark-skin embossed sheath) and is shaping up to be one of the most exciting releases this year. They Come In Gold sounds like it's going to drop into a Bangladesh-style A Milli beat then quickly veers off into a world of abstract word play and Afro-futurism that would make Sun Ra proud. Next time someone says hip-hop is just all about bitches and bling, put this on; it's got more depth than an Ellen Gallagher exhibition. They also provided the music (in the shape of the opening track from Lese Majesty, Dawn in Luxor) for a promo video by the French fashion label Kenzo, which is a four-and-a-half minute head-trip that feels like Jodorowsky directing a modern take on the Wide Sargasso Sea; lots of post-colonial sub-text to get stuck into there. (Lanre Bakare)
Writer's Block posts about Wuthering Heights.


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