Wednesday, February 03, 2016

BBC News has an article on the launch of Charlotte Brontë's bicentenary celebrations.
An exhibition has been launched in West Yorkshire to celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte Brontë's birth.
The world-renowned author of Jane Eyre and Villette was the eldest of the literary Brontës, born 21 April 1816.
The exhibition, Charlotte Great and Small, marks the start of a five-year programme of events to celebrate 200 years since the Brontes' births.
It includes a letter sent by Charlotte to Constantin Heger, thought to be "the real Mr Rochester" of Jane Eyre.
Child-sized clothes, books and paintings are also on show, as well as the Heger love letter - loaned to the Brontë Society from the British Museum - which was torn up and stitched back together.
It it is the first time in many years the letter(Read more)
has been back to the Parsonage.
EDIT: BBC One's Inside Out (Yorkshire and Lincolnshire) Monday programme had a Brontë section where the origins of Rochester were traced to Professor Heger. Claire Harman and Helen MacEwan were interviewed in both Haworth and Brussels:
Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire 

Inside Out reveals allegations of excessive physical punishment and sexual abuse by staff at institutions for troubled teenagers across the north of England between the 1960s and 1990s. Also, Paul Hudson finds out why some Lincolnshire anglers are up in arms, and Lucy Hester investigates claims in a new book that all of Charlotte Brontë's leading men are based on a man she was in love with in real life.
Bristol Prospectus reviews the Sally Cookson Jane Eyre adaptation:
And, as Madeleine Worrall, who plays the eponymous heroine, enthuses, there are “no tea sets and no rugs” in this performance; rather, the cast climb up ramps and clamber down ladders on the bare, multi-layered stage. There is something beautiful about the way the cast move amongst each other and interact with the space in this production – at time it feels more like watching well-oiled choreography than traditional theatre. (...)
For the most part, however, the show flies by. Don’t let the lengthy three-hour running time (and no, that’s not including the interval) put you off – this is a gem of a production. If you have the chance to see it, do.
London Pub Theatres reviews the Rosemary Branch Theatre's adaptation of Jane Eyre:
 The Opening scene is beautifully set up with the sound of scribbling; a scratchy pen on rough paper. We are reminded straight away that this production of Jane Eyre is timed to celebrate Charlotte Brontë’s 200th birthday. It is also a celebration of Co-Artistic Directors Cecelia Darker & Cleo Sylvestre 20 years at the helm of The Rosemary Branch Theatre. They have chosen to revive Artistic Associate Bryony J. Thompson’s well-loved production of Jane Eyre, just in time for Valentine’s Day! (...)
On the downside, those who have come to see a play, might be disappointed. This production can be better described as theatrical story telling as the characters tell their own narratives. Whereas the device used for verbalising ‘thoughts’ works well, the narrative sometimes makes the two act show feel a little turgid. However, those who love the text and those coming fresh to the story are likely to be completely entranced. (Heather Jeffery)
The Telegraph has published an obituary of Jacques Rivette.
Many Rivette movies went into production with only a hazy notion of how they would end, allowing the actors to steer the action as seemed best to them at the moment of shooting. Unsurprisingly, this did not commend him to producers and distributors, which accounts for the relatively few films he was able to make.
They appealed not to mass audiences but to intellectuals – philosophers, students, literary buffs. Rivette’s movies assume an acquaintance with literature – Shakespeare, Racine, Emily Brontë, Lewis Carroll, Proust and many more. They are more about the craft of story-telling than about the stories they tell. Which is, doubtless, why ordinary filmgoers resisted them. Despite their considerable qualities, they often seemed cold and abstract. [...]
Many of his later films were stylistic exercises more than human dramas. It was hard to relate to the main characters of Duelle (1976), Noroît (1976), Merry Go Round (1983), Le Pont du Nord (1981) or L’Amour par Terre (1984). Even Hurlevent (1983), a version of the first part of Wuthering Heights, achieved the difficult task of deromanticising the novel.
The Atlantic's By Heart section features writer Alexander Chee and how a scene from Villette 'showed him the dramatic stakes of social interaction in fiction'.
In our conversation for this series, Chee looked closely at a pivotal scene in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, where a play is put on during a lavish ball. In Chee’s view, Bronte offers an apt metaphor for how parties work: We’re all acting, and the roles we choose and costumes we wear say everything about us. [...]
I knew I wanted the parties in The Queen of the Night to be convincing, beautiful, and also dramatic, situations where significant things happened on a scale that was both grand and intimate.
There were several texts that helped me think about how to do this and one of the most important ones was Charlotte Brontë’s novel Villette. The heroine, Lucy Snowe, is not particularly beautiful, but is incredibly intelligent, and was born into unfortunate circumstances. She has ruthless standards of behavior for herself and others that she believes protects her, and so parties are almost like battles for her, over her identity, even her soul.
There’s a party in Chapter XIV, “The Fête,” which beautifully demonstrates the dramatic stakes. Lucy has left England for France, and is working as a teacher at a boarding school for young women there. The party is an annual one, celebrating the headmistress, Madame Beck, and involves a short play performed in her honor as well as dancing. [...]
But “The Fête” does its best on a smaller scale, bringing out dynamics between the main characters. One of the things that’s really important in Queen of the Night is how people communicate with their clothes. We start to see that, here, before the party even begins. There’s a great scene where Lucy is thinking about how everyone will dress, and also how she will dress, and is anxious about it. As she watches a group of young girls preparing for the evening, dressed in muslin, she can’t see herself in their brilliant white outfits: (Joe Fassler) (Read more)
MPR News wonders, 'Where do these 'long-lost' manuscripts keep coming from?' and specifically mentions the recently-found unpublished manuscript by Charlotte Brontë acquired by the Brontë Society.
An unpublished short story from Charlotte Brontë
As a teenager, Charlotte Brontë dreamed up a fantasy world called Angria and wrote miniature stories about it. (The stories were literally miniature; she wrote them on paper the size of a matchbook.)
A new short story and a poem about Angria surfaced last November, tucked into the pages of a book that belonged to Brontë's mother, Maria. The Bronte Society recently acquired the book at auction and is making the newly discovered work available to the public.
The collections manager at the Brontë Parsonage Museum told The Guardian the book "was clearly well-used and of great sentimental value to the Brontë children, who lost their mother while they were very young. In addition, the unpublished writings by Charlotte offer new opportunities for research, which is really exciting." (Tracy Mumford)
Via New Republic we have found out that Deborah Lutz's The Brontë Cabinet has been shortlisted for the PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. Coincidentally, Deborah Lutz will be giving a talk on “Literary Relics: Charlotte Bronte’s Hair, Percy B. Shelley’s Skull and Emily Bronte’s Black Sofa,”  will be presented at noon on Thursday at the University Club, as part of the monthly “Meet the Professor” series at the University of Louisville, as reported by 89.3 WFPL.
Lutz said she is interested in the way that objects can carry memory — for example, a ring passed down from a family member — or can be imbued with meaning, such as an everyday object that belonged to someone who was well-known.
In the digital age, those objects carry even more resonance, she said.
“One of the arguments that I make in my books is that we have, to some extent, lost this connection to the tactile, especially in relation to the dead body,” Lutz said.
Lutz collects vintage “hair jewelry” and will be bringing some examples to show at the lecture. In the Victorian era, it was common to cut a lock of hair from a deceased spouse or other loved one, and have it made into a piece of jewelry, usually combined with metals like gold or precious stones. Lutz said she loves these artifacts, but understands that many people find them to be odd or distasteful.
“It’s interesting to see people’s reactions to that. One of my things I do in these talks is, in some sense, try to convince people that it’s something beautiful and not something that is creepy,” said Lutz.
Literary Relics: Charlotte Bronte’s Hair, Percy B. Shelley’s Skull and Emily Bronte’s Black Sofa,”  will be presented at noon on Thursday at the University Club, as part of the monthly “Meet the Professor” series.
To reserve a spot at the luncheon, attendees must register by calling  852-2247 lecture by noon Wednesday. The cost is $15. (Tara Anderson)
Broadway World interviews Jane Eyre the Musical composer Paul Gordon.
Jennifer Ashley Pepper: Paul, in addition to Sleepy Hollow, you have written the scores to shows like Jane Eyre and Daddy Long Legs which are also adaptations of beloved properties. In adapting these properties, for a stage musical, how do you determine what to keep and what can be excised?
Paul Gordon: Great question. With Jane Eyre we learned the hard way. In our first few productions, John Caird and I basically attempted to perform the entire novel on stage. In trying to stay so true to the authors intentions, we created, at first, a musical that would be better read than seen. But through trial and error I/we gradually became better equipped to decide which parts of a novel to musicalize and which parts to leave out. As an example, with Emma, I decided that Emma's sister and Knightley's brother - who take up numerous chapters in the book, were unnecessary in the story telling and I believe I made the correct decision. In Sense and Sensibility, I killed off the mother and the youngest sister - again, I didn't feel the characters were necessary in telling the story I wanted to tell. When musicalizing a novel, the most important thing is to know which parts to leave out of your musical. Of course you may irritate fans of the author. I have no doubt that if there is a heaven and if I'm allowed in (doubtful) I'm pretty [sure] that Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Oscar Wild [sic] and Charles Dickens are going to beat the shit out of me. (But in a loving way...)
Eurasia hoy interviews poet Marta Ortiz, who is quite the Brontëite.
 “Cumbres borrascosas” (Emily Brönte [sic]), leído y releído en diversas etapas de mi vida. [...]
Sumé “Jane Eyre”, de Charlotte, la otra hermana Brontë; “Mujercitas”. . . (Rolando Revagliatti) (Translation)
This is how El Mundo's Sin noticias de Dior (Spain) describes Clare Bennet, creator of The Prince George Diaries.
Se llama Clare Bennet y es autora de artículos titulados tal que así: 'Cómo conseguir una cita con un lord', o el exitoso diario absurdo del principito George. Considero a Clare una mezcla de Rosa Belmonte, Emilia Landaluce, Diana Aller y Carmen Rigalt con Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling y las hermanas Bronte. Un cóctel de todas ellas metidas en una Thermomix. En definitiva, una locura deëhumor británico. (Beatriz Miranda) (Translation)
Valentine's Day is approaching and so Bustle has compiled another V-Day-related list: The 10 Best First Dates In Literature.
9. Chilling on the Moors From Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Catherine and Heathcliff's love in Wuthering Heights is one of those classic don't-try-this-at-home love stories. They're not very nice people, completely obsessed with each other, and not very good at making each other happy, but they're the kind of train wreck you can't look away from. So it's fitting that their first dates (or rather, the childhood hangouts where they fell in love) take place on the wild and windy moors. Out on the moors, Catherine and Heathcliff are free to just be two mean people in love. (Charlotte Ahlin)
Freitag (Germany) quotes Charlotte Brontë's opinion of the 1851 Crystal Palace exhibition. On the Brussels Brontë Blog, Eric Ruijssenaars discusses the international copyright of Villette in Charlotte Brontë's day.


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