Saturday, July 09, 2016

GQ Magazine has an article about the late politician Robin Cook who had an unexpected Haworth background:
It was November 2004 and we were talking in the bar of the Old White Lion in Haworth, West Yorkshire, where we were both staying. In March of the previous year Cook, then Leader of the House, had resigned over the war in Iraq and, specifically, Blair’s failure to return to the UN to seek a second resolution on military intervention. His departure underlined the vacillation of his fellow-sceptics in the Labour Party, and even today radiates as one of the few truly admirable acts of principle in the pragmatic culture which increasingly prevails at Westminster.
The Old White Lion is just down the hill from the parsonage that was home to the Brontë sisters. Cook had spent the earlier part of day completing the seven mile walk across Top Withins, the area of moorland reputed to have helped inspire Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. (...)
“When you have been turned over by journalists as often as I have,” Cook said, “you acquire an instinct for caution.”
“You walked across Top Withins?”
“I heard that Alastair Campbell ran over it.”
“I heard that too. But I believe,” Cook added with a note of irony, “that when Campbell was up there, there was ice on the ground.”
“And today?”
“Today,” Cook said, “there was snow. I don’t mind snow. One of the great things about having snow up to your knees,” he added – this was eight months before he would die of a heart attack while hiking down Ben Stack in the Highlands – “is that it is hard to have your mind on anything more than how you are going to get up the next ridge. I like the crunch of snow." (Robert Chalmers)
Financial Times reviews Something for the Pain: A Memory of the Turf by Gerald Murnane:
In his office at the university where he taught creative writing, he pinned up three portraits that stand as a personal trinity: Emily Brontë, Marcel Proust and Bernborough, a horse that won 15 consecutive races in 1946, the year Murnane turned seven. “To the few who enquired I was pleased to explain that the young woman from Victorian England, the eccentric Frenchman, and the bay stallion from Queensland were equally prominent figures in my private mythology and continued to enrich my life equally.” (Bruce Millar)
Star2 reviews Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele:
It is hard to not like this novel. Lyndsay Faye is able to make Jane Steele very much her own story, while still preserving the core traits that make this a recognisable homage to Jane Eyre (and to a lesser extent, Nicholas Nickleby).
Faye writes using Victorian mannerisms of storytelling with a kind of playful deftness, keeping the colour and appeal of the original Jane Eyre while making Jane Steele very much her own.
With a plot that involves anti-colonial rebellion, Victorian pornographers, Sikh warriors and treasure chests – as well as yes, secrets in the attic and malicious maybe–mad women, there’s a lot to like in this updated “Jane Eyre” for our times.
All the same, despite my enjoyment of Jane Steele, I couldn’t help but feel that it lacked the heart of the novel it pays homage to. Jane Eyre was not perfect but there is sincerity and otherworldliness in it that kept the story relevant to generation after generation of readers.
Like its heroine, Jane Steele is smart and sassy. But it suffers a little from its clever world-weariness and thus lacks the depth and heart of Jane Eyre. Perhaps it should be taken in that spirit – it is a fun and slightly irreverent tribute to Jane Eyre, written by a fan of the book and to be enjoyed by those who don’t mind a slightly tongue-in-cheek “updated” treatment of the novel. (Catalina Rembuyan)
Vulture lists the 100 greatest beach books:
3. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë (1847)
In the Brontë oeuvre, this was the dark one — wild, transgressive, unapologetic melodrama. (Boris Kachka)
Wuthering Heights as a beach book?

The National praises the first episode of the new season of the BBC documentary The Secret Life of Books devoted to Edith Nesbit’s Five Children:
Normally, this series focuses on greats like Middlemarch or Jane Eyre so it was wonderful to see it turning its attention to children’s books because they are the stepping stones that lead young minds to Jane Eyre and away from tight, claustrophobic dreams of that wee back and front door. (Julie McDowall)
The Guardian has a chronicle of some of the concerts of the Glastonbury Festival 2016:
Hence Lauren Mayberry’s work boots. Appearing once again as the up-front voice of Chvrches (don’t try to pronounce it that way unless you’re Hungarian), young Lauren was as madly ethereal as Kate Bush in her Wuthering Heights outfit, back when she was first giving insanity a lyrical dimension. (Clive James)
Femina lists the best places to stay in Kashmir:
Vivanta By Taj, Srinagar
I would imagine being wrapped in a shawl with my beloved, overlooking the Dal lake as I read Charlotte Brontë at this gorgeous place. (Reema Behl)
Entrepeneur takes business lessons from classic novels:
“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” - Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
Last but not least, being an entrepreneur is tiring. You will be pushed mentally and physically as you try to realize your dreams. Make sure you value your commitments, prioritize your work, and push forward with the tasks that move your business to new levels. (Jeff Stephens)
Erm... ok.

LubimyCzytác (Poland) on weekend readings:
Postanowiłem zabrać ze sobą dwie książki. Nie zdecydowałem jeszcze niestety jakie. Szczęśliwie udało mi się listę kandydatek zawęzić do trzech. Pewniakiem wydają się Wichrowe wzgórza Emily Brontë. Wyjazdy to dobry czas na nadrabianie hańbiących braków w klasyce. W zeszłym roku czytałem „Słońce też wschodzi” Hemingway'a. (Translation)
American Clarion quotes Emily Brontë in its usual rant against Clinton and Obama; Eric Ruijssenaars continues exploring translations of Villette and The Professor on the Brussels Brontë Blog. Now in the Baltic countries and Poland.


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