Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:57 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
Valentine's day today, so let's start with that. According to Indian Express, both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are 'romantic novels to curl up with if you alone on this day'.
Jane Eyre
This 1847 Charlotte Brontë novel terrifies, yes, but also teaches you how to love. Mr Rochester might not be a Mr Darcy but he has his own charm and secrets. The way Jane braves obstacles and a certain mad woman in the attic to reunite with Rochester has made this dark, haunting tale into a classic that you cannot put down.
Wuthering Heights
Written by Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights is darker than Jane Eyre even only by a shade. Set against the moor, the romance as depicted in the novel between Heathcliff and Catherine destroys more than it mends. And yet, ultimately it heals. “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger,” has been quoted over and over again. (Ishita Sengupta)
Similarly, Bustle shares '14 Instagram Captions About Being Single & Loving It To Post On Valentine’s Day 2018', including an apocryphal one by Charlotte Brontë which isn't about loving being single (and lonely) at all.
“The trouble is not that I am single and likely to stay single, but that I am lonely and likely to stay lonely." — Charlotte Brontë
Charlotte Brontë never wrote that at all. In a letter to Ellen Nussey written in August 1852, however, she wrote:
The evils that now and then wring a groan from my heart – lie in position – not that I am a single woman and likely to remain a single woman – but because I am a lonely woman and likely to be lonely. But it cannot be helped and therefore imperatively must be borne – and borne too with as few words about it as may be.
We wouldn't use that on Instagram to convey a cheery image of being single!

Williamsburg Yorktown Daily on 'Where to spark first-date romance in Williamsburg':
Mermaid Books also has first-date potential, with its quirky decor. There are comic strips taped to the walls and mermaid paintings on stools and above bookshelves. Plus, the scent of books — and being surrounded by literary romances from “Pride and Prejudice” to “Wuthering Heights” — could create an intimate mood. (Alexa Doiron)
Chillicothe Times-Bulletin recommends 'Film ideas for a quiet Valentine’s Day on the couch'.
This week, besides candy and flowers, consider sharing a romance movie with your sweetheart. There’s a lot there, from last year’s “Shape of Water” and “Beauty and the Beast” to 1997′s “Titanic” and “The Notebook” (2004), “Splash” (1984) and “Wuthering Heights” (1939). 
The Washington Post has an article by a 'wheelchair user' and author on love and disabilities which begins by wondering,
To you, it may be all about chocolates vs. flowers. But to me, Valentine’s Day raises questions about our society’s shared notions of the ideal romantic hookup.
Romeo and Juliet? Jane Eyre and Rochester? Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? More modern thinkers might offer Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
Worthy examples, all. Yet what do these fantasies tell us about our assumptions? Besides being white and cis-heteronormative, every one of these fictional lovers is able-bodied. (Ben Mattlin)
Writer Rodrigo Fresán writes about love and literature for Página 12 (Argentina).
Y por cada perfectos Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy y Elizabeth Bennet de Jane Austen hay unos muy pero muy complicados Heathcliff y Cathy Earnshaw de Emily Brontë. Aunque –se dice Rodríguez– uno nunca esté del todo seguro de quiénes la pasaron y amaron mejor: ¿los orgullosos y prejuiciosos finalmente humildes y abiertos o los eternamente borrascosos y encumbrados de todo corazón? (Translation)
Juventud Rebelde (Cuba) suggests 14 books for the day, including Wuthering Heights.
11 Cumbres borrascosas, Emily Brontë
Cumbres borrascosas es una novela trágica y dramática. Cuenta la historia de dos generaciones que se entrecruzan en la mansión Cumbres Borrascosas, en los lúgubres páramos de Yorkshire. Entre sus muchos acontecimientos, el más poderoso es el romance entre Catherine y Heathcliff, un amor infortunado y tormentoso. Las diferentes personalidades de los personajes luchan y debaten entre sí y acaban librando una ardua batalla en nombre del amor. La venganza, el odio, el desengaño y la pasión son protagonistas en esta historia clásica de la literatura inglesa.
La novela de Emily Brontë es una de las historias de amor más representativas del romanticismo inglés. A pesar del paso del tiempo y de la realidad social actual, la historia continua teniendo la intensidad de antaño. La intriga se mantiene y va en aumento desde el inicio hasta que descubres la historia completa. (Translation)
Vanity Fair tries to steer away from the usual bookish recommendations.
 In novels, too, what’s referred to as the “marriage plot” is a long-established convention: think of Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre or A Room With a View, all solid Valentine’s Day choices. (Chris Power)
The New York Times begins a review of a couple of recent novels about marriage by quoting - rightly - Charlotte Brontë.
Rarely has a newlywed delivered a more withering assessment of marriage than Charlotte Brontë. “It is a solemn and strange and perilous thing for a woman to become a wife,” she wrote to a friend — fresh off her honeymoon, no less.
A number of recent books have taken up her argument, looking anew at marriage and how it benefits women (or mostly doesn’t), as well as how our ideas about courtship and intimacy have evolved [.] (Parul Sehgal)
A funny typo in an article on the real 'madwoman in the attic' on Bustle:
The "Madwoman In The Attack" From 'Jane Eyre' Was Actually Based On A True Story — Sort Of [...]
In 1839, Charlotte Brontë visited a medieval manor house called Norton Conyers. The grand house is still open for visitors today, and bears a striking resemblance to the descriptions of Thornfield Hall. Being a Brontë, though, Charlotte was immediately drawn to the secret attic passageway: Behind a hidden door in the wall paneling, a secret staircase leads to a small corner of the attic known as "Mad Mary's Room." The story went that years ago, Mary had been confined to that room by the rest of the family, either to protect her or to hide her in shame.
Around the time of her visit, Brontë was unhappily employed as a governess for the wealthy Sidgwick family. When she sat down to write Jane Eyre a few years later, she combined the experience of a young, awkward, impoverished governess with the rumors of a woman locked in the attic, and threw in an unfriendly love interest for good measure.
The secret staircase was re-discovered by the owners of Norton Conyers in 2004, who connected it with the legend of "Mad Mary."
Of course, we don't know much about Mary herself, or even what else Brontë might have heard about her. We don't know whether she was married, or from Jamaica, or even what sort of "madness" she exhibited. What we do know is that confining mentally ill relatives to the home was, unfortunately, often the more humane option at the time. English treatment for mental illness in the 1700s and 1800s mostly consisted of committing patients in prison-like asylums and "treating" them with straitjackets, chains, bloodletting, induced blisters, and the like. Many patients did not survive the process.
But still, I think most of us can agree that "lock your wife in the attic and pretend she never existed" isn't a great solution, either.
We can also guess that Mary was less enamored of fire than Bertha, since Norton Conyers is still standing to this day. In Jane Eyre, Bertha eventually burns down Thornfield and dies by suicide.
One the one hand, Brontë's "madwoman" is a tragic figure, a literary manifestation of Jane's own feelings of oppression, passion, and confinement as she is constantly hemmed in by her class and her gender. But on the other hand... Brontë definitely took the life of a real mentally ill woman and transformed her into a Gothic monster, with some bonus colonial bigotry that seems to conflate her Creole heritage with her "beastly" behavior. That's not great.
We'll never know what Mary herself would have thought of her literary legacy, but if you happen to be in North Yorkshire, England, you can still visit Mary's secret staircase, leading up to her quiet, hidden corner of the attic. (Charlotte Ahlin)
Real Simple on what Jane Eyre is no good for:
Many classic novels have nothing to say about parents, who are often dead or off-stage. Jane Eyre is a great book, but it won’t make you feel better about yelling at your kids for shaving the cat. (Shannon Reed)
Okay then.

Writer Ned Beauman writes about naming characters for Signature Reads.
What I’ve never had the courage to do is write two characters with the same name, like the various Lintons, Cathys and Heathcliffs in Wuthering Heights, or the two Jason Compsons in The Sound and the Fury (which has fifteen point-of-view characters, by the way). A novel with a cast as large as mine should really have at least one name duplication, not only for statistical veracity but also because it’s the logical endpoint of the method I’ve described.
El País (Spain) features the work of photographer Thomas Nölle:
Es fácil imaginarse a Heathcliff y Catherine, los protagonistas de Cumbres borrascosas, en alguno de los paisajes del artista alemán Thomas Nölle (Soest, Alemania, 1948). Pero puede que esos paisajes los haya retratado Nölle en un trayecto entre Badajoz y Lisboa, y no en un páramo inglés azotado por el viento: se huye del realismo fotográfico para introducir la subjetividad creando paisajes propios del universo estético romántico. (Sergio C. Fanjul) (Translation)
Palatinate has an article on the many wonders of Yorkshire:
Arguably the most picturesque part of the country consists of the seemingly endless green blades that stretch from horizon to horizon, which are the Dales and the Moors. Not just the place for Cathy to scavenge for Heathcliff, this part of Yorkshire is the heart of small village culture so quaint and picturesque everywhere you look could form the image of a postcard. [...]
Yorkshire is far from just the birthplace of the humble Yorkshire pudding, Brontë sisters and funny accents. No matter what you interests you on your next trip, God’s own county has everything you need. (Alia Muhanna)
While Belfast Telegraph features the wonders of County Down in Northern Ireland as contributed by school children.
Patrick Brontë, the father of much-loved writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne, was born at Emdale, between Banbridge and Rathfriland. The river valley from Banbridge to Rathfriland is called Brontë Country.
In the mid-1800s Charlotte wrote the novel Jane Eyre, Emily was the author of Wuthering Heights and Anne penned The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, all considered outstanding works of literature.
The Times features actress Florence Pugh, who starred in the film Lady Macbeth.
It started early for Florence Pugh. The word on the street. The buzz. It was during the editing of her film, last year’s critical smash Lady Macbeth. The movie is extraordinary. Like Wuthering Heights meets Wonder Woman, with a dash of Psycho, all wrapped around the monumental performance of Pugh, playing a 19th-century wife who takes a shotgun to the patriarchy. (Kevin Maher)
Esquire (Spain) lists seven fictional characters which weren't rightly portrayed on the screen, including
5. Cathy Earnshaw (Juliette Binoche) – Cumbres Borrascosas
Juliette Binoche tiene el aspecto perfecto para interpretar a la trágica heroína creada por Emily Brontë. Pero no funcionó. En absoluto. Binoche tuvo poca culpa, pero al ser francesa, su acento no logra que el personaje sea creíble. (Rosie Fletcher) (Translation)
Dazeba News (Italy) reviews Villette. Alison's Wonderland Recipes has put together a 'Wuthering Heights reading kit'. On the Brussels Brontë Blog, Eric Ruijssenaars continues 'Mapping the Brussels of the Brontës'.


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