Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 8:26 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
The London Evening Standard makes the case for leaving Jane Austen alone after she has bee increasingly buried under a weight or modern looks.
I can’t think of any other author who’s been co-opted by the modern world quite like her. She’s everyone’s go-to author; a genius in her own day and branded and processed for our own. But the effect of the blanket coverage, the websites, the blogs, the spin-offs, has been to render her unreadable. [...]
First, you take on board that Jane Austen wasn’t one of us but a woman of her own time. Read the biography by Lord David Cecil, the best of the lot. She was an unaffected Anglican; she wasn’t a feminist; she didn’t give a toss about the inequality of the sexes; she was extraordinarily modest — “few so gifted were so unpretending,” said her nephew. So, really not 21st century at all.
Next, you go cold turkey. No Austen programmes, no films, no self-help books and, most importantly, no Austen novels at all. Take up the Brontës instead, if you can handle the torrid sexuality. Or Muriel Spark. Then, after a couple of years of strict abstinence, you can start, very gradually, to work backwards into the works, starting with the letters (very funny) and the juvenilia, and, after a year or two, the novels proper — beginning with the least popular, Mansfield Park, then Northanger Abbey, then Persuasion, followed by Sense and Sensibility. Then and only then can you go on to read Emma and finally Pride and Prejudice. (Melanie McDonagh)
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is indeed present in the Facebook meme of books that have stayed with you. But then again so is Jane Eyre, so quite a few people can and do handle the 'torrid sexuality'. According to Hypable,
Everyone has seen the popular Facebook meme in which your friends rattle off the ten books that have stayed with them. Now the social network has found a way to determine the top 100 books mentioned most in that meme.
The analysis was conducted using 130,000 status updates matching “10 books” or “ten books” appearing in the last two weeks of August 2014. Of the people posting, 63% were from the U.S. and women outnumbered men 3:1. The average age of those posting was 37.
The top twenty books do reflect more classic novels, however, the Harry Potter series leads the list with The Hunger Games series coming in at number seven.(...)
Top 20 books (...)
14. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë 5.23% (Jen Lamoureux)
The list can also be found on The Telegraph:
29 Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (3.26%)
Seattle Weekly News reminds us of the fact that playing Mr Rochester wasn't exactly a highlight of Errol Flynn's career.
Career on the skids, unable to remember his lines, performing some kind of Broadway abridgement of Jane Eyre, a bloated, alcoholic Errol Flynn wanders about the stage, reading from cue cards in the wings. It’s a brief scene, and not a little sad: Flynn, once so handsome and charismatic, is clearly not much of an actor (and he knows it). (Brian Miller)
This columnist from Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany) is reminded of a poem by Emily Brontë upon entering Tranquebar, a bookshop in Copenhagen.
Am glücklichsten bin ich, wenn am weitesten fort / Meine Seele ich trag aus ihrer irdischen Hülle, / In windiger Nacht, wenn der Mond mir strahlt / Und das Auge schweift durch Wellen des Lichts.“ Mit diesen Worten beginnt Emily Brontës Gedicht „I’m happiest when most away“. Es beschreibt sehr schön, was ich empfinde, sobald ich die Kopenhagener Buchhandlung „Tranquebar“ betrete. (Janne Teller) (Translation)
Apparently, the Brontës have inspired Thom Browne's Spring 2015 collection. As reported by Interview Magazine,
For his Spring 2015 collection Thom Browne looked to the Brontë sisters and Little Women: "Girls who love each other, but who are also fiercely competitive." Browne wrote his own fictional story about six sisters and explored what they enjoy doing in the summer months, namely gardening and playing tennis, as shown by the strong sportif elements and rainbow floral motifs embroidered on a mélange of silks and fine tweeds, some woven with grosgrain ribbon. In addition, Browne says, he was inspired by a certain "very American, very individual, and very iconic" mystery woman. [...]
Oh, and if all this idiosyncratic suit business full of funnies sounds familiar, it's because the mystery woman in question is the original Annie Hall, Diane Keaton, who did the honor of reading Browne's charming narrative. (Teddy Tinson)
The New Zealand Herald puts its readers at ease:
Charlotte Brontë probably died of it but these days hyperemesis gravidarum - the severe form of morning sickness experienced by the Duchess of Cambridge - is easily treatable. (Natalie Akoorie)


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