Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Irish Times reviews Naked at the Albert Hall by Tracey Thorn:
Any reader will find much to love in the sheer number of bookish references, and how the singer, and singing, is represented in fiction. From Willa Cather’s 1915 novel The Song of the Lark, to Joyce’s Ulysses ( Sirens in particular) and the titular Shirley from Charlotte Brontë’s novel. When she sings for a group of guests, her passion is interpreted as “strange” and “improper” for a girl. Thorn can relate, and concludes the book with her own manifesto: “Sometimes I just sing for the sake of it: because I can and because I want to. I just sing”. (Sinead Gleeson)
In the same newspaper an extract from The Thrill of It All by Joseph O'Connor:
We swapped clichés and inanities about the early novels of John Banville, to whose works Fran attributed significance. Anaïs Nin and Brendan Behan he mentioned with similar mercy, at least I think it was mercy, it might just have been drunkenness. Elias Canetti, the 1981 Nobel Laureate for literature, was ‘passable, if you like being bored’. Jane Austen? ‘No.’ Dickens? ‘A perv.’ George Bernard Shaw? ‘A peeved vicar.’ Only one of the Brontës didn’t make you want to kill yourself: Branwell, the piss-head brother. I must surely know the writings of Czeslaw Milosz? I didn’t, but I said that I did. It was difficult, given my condition, even to say ‘Czeslaw Milosz’. Try it next time you’re soused.
Stet interviews Patricia Park about her novel Re Jane:
I heard that you first read Jane Eyre when you were 12 years old, which seems super advanced for a young kid. What was it like to revisit it as an adult? (Jinnie Lee)
Yeah, I was in the 6th grade. [Author] Margot Livesey has her own retelling of Jane Eyre called The Flight of Gemma Hardy, and Margot said she read Jane Eyre when she was nine! When you’re reading it that young you have different ideas of everything. But it was the first time I read about a girl who was not conventionally beautiful; she was “poor, obscure, plain, and little,” that’s what she called herself. When you’re young and watching Disney movies and facing conventionally beautiful protagonists, that becomes your idea of what makes a heroine. And enter Jane Eyre and she tosses everything up in the air and I love her for that. For me, all those insecurities as a pre-teen, of not feeling beautiful or attractive, and not fitting into your ethnic group or mainstream America, I also felt “poor, obscure, plain, and little.” So it was hugely heartening and inspirational to read that and reveal Jane to be the ultimate underdog.
Also, I had more and more ambivalent feelings of Rochester! Others will say it’s the greatest love affair there ever was but I thought there was a lot of cruelty he displayed to Jane trying to make her his wife when he failed to tell her he already had one locked up in the attic. And as I read it more as an adult I think, Oh maybe there’s more nuance there. Also as an adult I noticed that the novel is pretty funny — there are such moments of humor that completely went over my head as a twelve year old.
The Irish Examiner quotes Emily Lockhart talking about her book We were liars:
“With a book such as We Were Liars, I was much more influenced by my education and my academic background, which is around the time when I started to think about narrative structure from reading a tremendous amount of very traditionally structured novels – the classics, Dickens, Brontë, Austen, and so on.” (Tony Clayton-Lea)
The NY Art Examiner interviews JoAnne McFarland who remembers how the A.I.R. Gallery almost had a Brontë name in its origins:
At the original meeting, in the spring of 1972, Howardena Pindell, one of the Founding Artists, suggested the name Eyre Gallery (after Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre). The members decided on A.I.R.—Artists In Residence, an allusion to signs posted throughout New York City’s Soho neighborhood at that time, alerting the fire department to artists living in factory buildings. (Meeghan Meehan)
Bustle has prepared a Phoebe (from Friends) quote quiz. Do you remember this moment?
"So, Jane Eyre, first of all you'd think she's a woman but she's not. She's a _________ ."
A. Cyborg
B. Feminist
C. Man
D. Zombie  (Chelsea Mize)
NDTV celebrates the anniversary of the Indian film Sholay 1975:
"I am Heathcliff," says Bronte heroine Catherine in Wuthering Heights. The dialogue could well apply to another fictional character: Gabbar Singh in Sholay, a fact that the male cast of Bollywood's most iconic film were quick to recognize in its inception. (Gitanjali Roy)
Westword reviews the new The Man from U.N.C.L.E.:
We meet Solo, here played by Henry Cavill, first: It’s 1963 Berlin, and this man of mystery, all cleft chin and Heathcliff cheekbones, pops over to the East to confront a saucy auto mechanic, Vikander’s Gaby — forced to slide out from beneath the car she’s working on, she’s like a smudgy, annoyed Athena. (Stephanie Zacharek
And Hindustan Times interviews the actress Aditi Rao Hydari:
A fictional character you would love to be.
I’d love to be Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries and also play Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights. (Veenu Singh)
The London Free Press begins an article about discrimination and intolerance with the well-known Charlotte Brontë quote:
“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
Scunthorpe Telegraph announces the Elsham Hall performances of the Chapter House production of Jane Eyre; The Psychopathology of Everyday's Life has visited the Brontë Parsonage Museum; Christina Wehner reviews Jane Eyre 1944; Emerald Street has an interesting contest for you:
Win a relaxing break in Yorkshire
Plus a copy of Alison Case’s brilliant new novel, Nelly Dean, and entry to The Brontë Parsonage Museum


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