Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 9:54 am by Cristina in , , , , , , ,    No comments
Patricia Park, author of the recent Re Jane, writes about Jane Eyre adaptations for Word & Film.
We all know the story of Jane Eyre by heart: a poor orphan banished by her relations; near starvation at a cruel boarding school; the chance for a better life as a governess; the sizzling tête-à-tête with her broad-shouldered and brooding employer; a marriage proposal; and happiness interrupted by the "madwoman" in the attic...who turns out to be the man's wife. All set in the bleak moors of the North Country.
Jane Eyre is a work that continually inspires remakes -- in the forms of other novels, films, and even a coffee table book composed of her fictional text messages.
I don't envy the movie director tasked with a Jane Eyre remake. At least with a literary retelling, there is more room for leeway. We novelists can slap on a different title, transport it to a different time and place -- all the while staying true to the spirit (if not the details) of the original. In my own retelling, Jane is a half-Korean, half-white girl from Queens, New York: a sacrilege to the purest of purists.
But more often than not, film audiences want to see the words of their beloved classic faithfully translated into the images they have carried for years in their heads and hearts. The most faithful adaptations for me (across genres) preserve the spirit of Jane as the "poor, obscure, plain, and little" heroine. The beauty of Jane Eyre is that despite being the underdog in every way, she is unbreakable.
Without further ado, I present a roundup of Jane Eyre film adaptations in the order in which I happened to watch them. (Read more)
No More Grumpy Bookseller reviews the novel.

Kate Atkinson, who has just published her new novel A God in Ruins, is interviewed by The Globe and Mail:
What’s the best death scene in literature? I think I’d have to nominate Emma Bovary’s. Painful but relatively swift once she gets going. There’s a repression about it that’s admirable, although clearly she is her own worst enemy and should have tried walking out and slamming the door like Nora in A Doll’s House. She’s more efficient in her end than Cathy in Wuthering Heights, who takes pages and pages to shuffle off her mortal coil – a real scenery chewer. I’m rather inclined to agree with the ubiquitous Nelly when she says, “Far better that she be dead, than lingering a burden and a misery-maker to all about her.”
La opinión de Málaga (Spain) interviews writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Está en Málaga para presentar su nuevo libro, Los héroes son mi debilidad (Vergara), pero esta vez en la historia además de romance hay un toque de misterio, gótico, que recuerda a Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë e incluso Georgette Heyer. Este libro es un tributo a las novelas góticas, tiene referencias a Jane Eyre, a Rebeca, de Daphne du Maurier. Me encantaban ese tipo de novelas cuando era joven. Y ha sido muy divertido coger los elementos de estas historias, con sus casas y héroes misteriosos, que pueden ser villanos, y traerlo todo a los tiempos modernos, desarrollar más los personajes e incluso hacerlos más sexys. (Virginia Guzmán) (Translation)
And El diario (Spain) interviews Caitlin Moran.
En su libros resulta curioso cómo trata temas que han sido muy mortificantes para las mujeres: su relación con el cuerpo, la anorexia, las dietas… simplemente los ignora.
Sí, Johanna es una adolescente gorda y por cómo se cuentan las cosas en la ficción, debería haber pasado por una etapa en la que nadie se quiere acostar con ella. Pero es que la realidad no es así: los hombres no tienen muchos prejuicios, no eligen. Si vas a un tío en una discoteca y le dices: “Me gustaría que me besaras”, en un 90% de las ocasiones, lo hará. Las mujeres nos obsesionamos por ser perfectas en un futuro. Siempre pensamos: en diez años, mi vida comenzará. O “cuando pierda esos kilos, mi vida molará realmente”. Y eso no es así, tu vida es tuya ahora, eso es lo que hace el personaje: tomar las riendas. Odio esa mierda del hombre que descubre a la mujer en las películas y los libros, como Rochester con Jane Eyre: “Yo veo tu belleza interior”. Francamente, Rochester: que te jodan. Quería una protagonista que fuera consciente de su atractivo, de sí misma, que no tuviera que esperar a que un tío se lo enseñara. (Lucía Lijtmaer) (Translation)
It's nearly time for this year's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Express has spoken to designer Jo Thompson:
“I grew up in Thomas Hardy country, so [...] I have always been fascinated by writers and their landscapes, such as the Brontes at Haworth and Beatrix Potter in the Lake District.
“We have a real heritage of writers in Britain who wrote in the garden – Roald Dahl had a hut, Dylan Thomas with his boat house, Bernard Shaw with his summer house and Virginia Woolf with her writing shed – it all came together and took on a life of its own.” (Deborah Stone)
The Telegraph and Argus features a trek on the Pennine Way:
The Pennine Way is not a stroll in the park.
“The key to success is careful preparation,” say the Grogans. Even these two experienced hikers had moments of trepidation setting off from Hebden Bridge to Haworth. But the weather was good and Brontë country proved uplifting. They entered the Yorkshire Dales via a riverside ramble to Malham. (Jim Greenhalf)
The Press Enterprise features the end of the season concert (next May 17) by the Redlands Community Orchestra.
The Redlands Community Orchestra will close its second season with a guitar composition and a new piece written by one of its members
The concert, which will be at Red-lands High School's Clock Auditorium on Sunday, showcases guitarist Ian Rowe in Joaquín Rodrigo's “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.” The program also includes the debut of a new work, “Non-Diegetic Music” written by orchestra member Sandy Megas. Conducted by James Benanti, the free, family-friendly concert will also include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2. [...]
The term non-diegetic refers to music that accompanies the scene of a play or film for dramatic effect but is not part of the action. Megas’ composition is intended to sound like a tongue-in-cheek melodramatic movie score inspired in part by the novel “Wuthering Heights,” he said.
“The first section has a melodramatic theme, the middle a feeling of flight and the last the feeling of a happy romp,” he said of his eight-minute composition.
The piece has been well-received by his fellow musicians.
“The piece sounds like the background music for a movie, with a lot of creepy parts, including one that is supposed to sound like spiders crawling on a grave,” Griffin said. “It's definitely a lot of fun to play.” (Penny E. Schwartz)
Librópatas (Spain) has an article on pseudonyms and the Evening Standard looks at several of Princess Charlotte's namesakes. Public Books interviews Caryl Phillips about his latest novel, The Lost Child.


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