Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Telegraph & Argus announces one of the upcoming activities at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Visitors to the Brontë Parsonage Museum will be invited to help create a handwritten copy of Wuthering Heights.
Ten thousand visitors to the Haworth museum this year will be invited to each copy one sentence of the novel into a handmade book.
The project is being led by artist Clare Twomey and will run from April 6 until the end of the year, with the new manuscript going on display at the museum in 2018, during Emily Brontë’s by centenary year.
The original manuscript for Emily’s famous novel has not survived.
A museum spokesman said: “Clare hopes that the act of sitting at a table in the house where Emily wrote her novel, and to hold a pen and write, will build understanding of Emily.” (Miran Rahman)
National Post review Goth: The Design, Art and Fashion of a Dark Subculture by Chris Roberts, Hywell Livingstone and Emma Baxter-Wright
Roberts makes the  that, though not nearly as quintessentially gothic as 19th century peers such as Shelley’s Frankenstein or Stoker’s Dracula, the Brontë sisters’ Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights can lay claim to the genre with psychological themes (“jealous infatuation”), hints at the supernatural and their gothic settings on the moors and in creaky manor houses. We should have known: that diaeresis in the Brontë name looks an awful lot like an umlaut. (Paul Taunton)
A curious thing. A 1924 edition of the novels of the Brontë sisters will be auctioned next March 8th. The books belonged to the private library of none other than Sylvester Stallone. The details on Heritage Auctions:
[Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë]. Novels of the Sisters Brontë. Edited by Temple Scott. Edinburgh: John Grant, 1924. Thornton edition. Twelve octavo volumes. Frontispieces, some volumes with additional illustrated plates inserted throughout. Contemporary blue half morocco over light-blue cloth-covered boards by Stikeman & Co., New York, signed on the front endpaper, spines with five raised bands, compartments ruled and lettered or elaborately stamped in gilt; top edge gilt, other untrimmed; marbled endpapers. Bindings lightly rubbed, occasional scratch to leather, few small bubbles under cloth to some volumes. Small leather bookplates. Still, near fine. From the library of Sylvester Stallone. (Via Polsa News)
The Albany Times-Union recommends the Wuthering Heights screenings at the Lincoln Center in New York:
Returning to Those Well-Trod Moors:Heathcliff, It’s Me: Adapting ‘Wuthering Heights’ at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
Just because a movie is adapted from one of the most revisited works in English literature doesn’t mean that its director can’t find a fresh angle, as these five auteurist takes on Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel, screening Friday through Monday, demonstrate. The approaches differ not only in structure — screenwriters generally ignore the book’s second half, as Luis Buñuel’s 1953 film (Friday and Sunday) does — but also in tone. For romantic delirium, none can match William Wyler’s ethereal 1939 Hollywood version (Sunday and Monday), starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. But Jacques Rivette’s 1985 reworking (Friday) has a tinge of the playfulness of his “Céline and Julie Go Boating.” Yoshishige Yoshida’s 1988 adaptation (Saturday) substitutes cloudy Japanese mountains for cloudy English moors, while Andrea Arnold’s 2011 interpretation (Saturday and Monday), the first with a black Heathcliff, favors a claustrophobic, hand-held shooting style. (Kim Stuart Swidler)
Literary Hub has an interesting article on the 'unfilmable' adaptations of Wuthering Heights and how they can affect our interpretation of the original text:
That books change over time is obvious. But how exactly do they change? Of course, there is context and experience, the first lost and the latter gained. The time in which a book was written is naturally in the past, and the cultural and personal understanding acquired, for better or worse, alters how we read. However, what isn’t usually acknowledged is the process by which film adaptations can shift the meanings of an original text. Images become attached to words where none existed before, and that can change how we absorb certain narratives or reshape how they exist in the popular imagination. And when a book has been adapted for the screen multiple times, a strange layering occurs: each successive transformation is influenced both by the previous cinematic treatments as well as the original text. Every new adaptation now carries a heavier burden than before, and has to contend with a growing network of narrative and visual associations.
This can be seen in how we think about Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, a novel which many consider to be unfilmable. And that conclusion is understandable—Brontë’s sprawling book about the destructive bond between the orphan Heathcliff and the object of his desire, Catherine Earnshaw, is split up into two lengthy sections, spans three generations of characters, and is told through a seemingly complex narrative structure using multiple (unreliable) narrators and unfolding mostly in flashback. Translating this accurately into a film is a head-scratcher. But this hasn’t stopped people from trying: at least 14 different film and television versions of the novel exist, the first being made in 1920 and the latest in 2011. While these attempts are often wildly different and vary in their success (the less said about the California-set MTV adaptation produced in 2003, the better), they contribute to our understanding of Wuthering Heights almost as much as the original text. (Read more) (Craig Hubert)
The Nationalist (Ireland) recommends the Jane Eyre. An autobiography tour:
With just a simple, well-lit couch at her disposal, Rebecca Vaughan manages to capture the essence of the novel and brings all the key moments of the book vividly to life opening with Jane hiding from her violent cousin in the window seat, her challenging time at Lowood Institution, her arrival at Thornfield and subsequent relationship with the brusque Mr. Rochester.
'Jane Eyre - An Autobiography' is a fantastic introduction to Brontë's masterpiece, for those who know and love the novel, it is a show not to be missed. The performance is powerful, polished and absolutely unique, a cast of ten actors could not have created a more powerful or emotional production than this. Highly recommended.
The Historic Houses Association in this article in The Telegraph:
Not all the houses on the HHA’s trail are vast piles, but what they have in common is their location in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. “Nowadays we call them ‘Hardy country’ or ‘Brontë country’,” Lytton-Cobbold adds. “That just shows how much we associate these parts of Britain with the authors that really brought them alive.”
In North Yorkshire there is Norton Conyers, believed to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall. Charlotte Brontë visited the house in 1839, and its attic – along with the legend of the mad woman who was confined to it – inspired Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre. (Eleanor Doughty)
The Pocklington Post announces the York performances (in May) of the acclaimed Sally Cookson adaptation of Jane Eyre and highlights the new cast:
Casting for Sally Cookson’s new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre has been announced with Nadia Clifford taking the central role and Tim Delap as Rochester.
Mister FM echoes the search for a dog and two boys in the, yet again, York performances of the upcoming Octagon Theatre's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:
York Theatre Royal is seeking a dog and two boys to play the role of Arthur, the son of Helen, in brand new stage adaptation of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Deborah McAndrew, a co production with the Octagon Theatre Bolton.
They need a very special dog to appear alongside the boys. The dog should be medium sized, border collie type working dog, who is very obedient and will take instruction from its owner.
 Benji Goodhart makes a confession in the Saga Magazine:
Everyone has their shameful little secrets. Here are (just some of) mine: I’ve never read a Jane Austen book. Or one by the Brontës. I’ve never visited Rome. I don’t really enjoy watching Shakespeare. And I’ve never seen a single minute of Prime Suspect.
El Periódico de Catalunya (in Spanish) reviews the Jane Eyre production now at the Teatre Lliure in Barcelona. A very good review:
Reto superado. El regreso al teatro de Ariadna Gil dando vida a la heroína romántica, libre e independiente de 'Jane Eyre', de la célebre novela de Charlotte Brontë, se ha saldado con un notable éxito. El vibrante montaje de Carme Portaceli, apoyado en la atinada adaptación de Anna Maria Ricart y en un reparto de primer nivel capitaneado por la actriz y por el versátil y sólido Abel Folk, conmovió en la noche del estreno al público del Lliure de Gràcia.
Fue una velada de buen teatro, favorecida por una, en general, acertada lectura del texto. Con un personaje que ejemplifica la rebeldía contra la injusticia por el rol que se otorgaba a las mujeres en la rígida Inglaterra victoriana y por el maltrato recibido en instituciones como los orfanatos, pero que vive desde sus firmes convicciones una gran historia de amor, es fácil perder el equilibrio narrativo si se pone el acento en el lado más romántico de la historia. (Read more) (César López Rosell) (Translation)
The excesses of political correctness in El Ideal Gallego (Spain):
Pero no solo las obras musicales son machistas, sino que también genera problemas “Cumbres borrascosas”, de Emily Brontë, por la misma razón. Seguramente, “Lolita”, de Nabokov, un ejercicio estilístico que podría calificarse de pederasta, debería seguir el mismo camino. (Doda Vázquez) (Translation)
Canarias7 (in Spanish) covers itself in glory with this comment:
En cierto modo es injusto que un libro eclipse al resto de la valiosa obra del propio autor, pero así es la Literatura y ocurre con frecuencia, pues nombras a Cervantes y surge El Quijote, dices Charlote Brönte (sic) y se dibuja Cumbres borrascosas (SIC!), mencionas a Pasternak y asoma El Doctor Zhivago. (Emilio González Déniz) (Translation)
Fly High! interviews Shao'ri Morris who plays Catherine in the upcoming independent Wuthering Heights production (the premiere is now scheduled for August):
Had you read Wuthering Heights before being involved in this project? When? And what was  your first impression?
Yes,  I have. My first impression was what a fabulously self confident character Cathy is and how she never does anything that she doesn't want to. She thought once Heathcliff came back that she was going to have her cake and eat it too, but didn't count on him sideblinding her by pursuing Isabella, and the fact that she coudln't rely on Nelly to take her side. The only thing that actually beat her was death, if she'd lived I'm sure she'd have found a way to work things in her favour, as it was even whilst dead she haunted and tormented Heathcliff, so still won in a way. On a wider level the book discusses some really important issues, such as racial  and class prejeudice, female emancipation and the prevalance of domestic violence and it's social acceptability in Georgian times. Since it was written some 60 years later than the book is set at the dawn of the feminist movement it's a really important early piece. (Read more)
Stay at Home Artist is truly a Brontëite (and now she has a street banner from the Morgan exhibition!).


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