Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday, March 31, 2018 12:11 pm by M. in , , , , , , , ,    No comments
On the 163rd anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's death, we made our daily news round and this is what we found:

The Telegraph & Argus presents the book The Brontë Sisters. Life, Loss & Literature by Catherine Rayner:
The book casts a light on all three sisters, looking at the impact of their childhoods on their adult psyches; the lure of the moors and how their imaginations were moulded by their surroundings.
Written in the mid-19th century, the Brontës’ novels caused quite a stir when first published, not least when the authors were revealed to be women. The Brontë girls grew into women unafraid to write about territories previously only visited by male authors. They tackled taboo subjects of their time - divorce, child abuse, bigamy, domestic violence, class, depression and mental illness.
Catherine’s book offers a fresh perspective on a remarkable trio of trailblazing sisters whose work is still celebrated, 200 years after they were born. She offers a fascinating account of the siblings’ formative years to their deaths, exploring the forces that shaped them.
As she writes in her chapter The Birth of Genius, having educated parents and growing up in a time of huge social change doesn't explain why the siblings developed such extraordinary writing talents: "Many families could follow a similar pedigree with no remarkable offspring, so other influences must have been involved."
She looks at how literature and the world of books sparked their fertile imaginations as children. Having lost two sisters in childhood, and their mother, Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Branwell escaped into books and their creative expression, leading to their intricate play-world.
"Although they naturally paired up at times, they remained a unit and worked and lived together to the extent that they could think and speak for one another...not unusual in siblings, but in the case of the Brontës it appears to have been life long and at time, all consuming," writes Catherine. "As they grew up they seemed to feed off each others' ideas and imaginations so the whole was greater than its component parts. Only as adults did they go in any different direction and often only because work and the necessity of earning an income dictated the circumstances."
Their hilltop parsonage home, and surrounding moorland, were equally important factors. "If one walked through the house from front to back in the first half of the 19th century, one would move through an invisible barrier that exchanged a social and ordered, manmade environment for a natural and disordered one. Standing at the back door of the Parsonage or, better still, at one of the back bedroom windows, one had a 180-degree view of moorland. The view from the front windows and doorway was of the church, the rooftops of the town and the graveyard. The contrast is extraordinary."
After studying the Brontës at school and university, Catherine Rayner became a life member of the Brontë Society. She has researched the family for more than 40 years, and has written two theses on Emily Brontë. She is also a qualified nurse and has studied the effects of childhood on the development and psychology of adults. Her book combines her medical, social and literary interests. “My career as a nurse involved me in psychological analysis of children and adults and furthered my research and understanding of the Brontë siblings and their representation of children and illness in their novels," says Catherine. (Emma Clayton)
Rochdale Online talks about a local publication, the booklet Discover Amazing Women by Rail:
Jointly produced by the Mid-Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, Friends of Littleborough Station and Community Rail Lancashire with support from the Association of Community Rail Partnerships, the booklet includes famous Northern women such as Rochdale singer Gracie, poet, Sylvia Plath (Hebden Bridge) as well as Knutsford novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, author of ‘North & South’ and Manchester’s political activist and suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. Along the railway line, Burnley’s Angela James (social campaigner), Frances Hodgson Burnett, children’s author & novelist (who wrote ‘The Secret Garden’) and Bradford’s Brontë sisters are also mentioned.
Belfast News Letter announces the upcoming performances in Belfast of Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre:
One of the company’s Leading Soloists, Dreda Blow, who has been with the Northern Ballet for 11 years, will be stepping into the role of Jane, and she admits that bringing the formidable character to life has been challenging, both physically and emotionally.
“Dancing Jane is exciting but a little bit exhausting,” revealed Dreda. “I play the grown up Jane and from then on I am on the stage pretty much the whole time.
“Physically, of course, it is very demanding but it is emotionally very taxing and requires a great deal of concentration. Jane has so many layers to her. There is what is going on inside her and what she decides to show. There are moments you need the audience to understand what is going on inside but you don’t want the characters on stage to know. It is harder than any other ballet I have done because there is so much to portray.” (Julie-Ann Spence)
Billboard lists songs with more than one music video:
Kate Bush — “Wuthering Heights” (1978)
Plenty of music videos from U.K. artists in this era typically had a slightly gloomier, abstracted version for the homefront and another more “Americanized” version for across the pond. This Emily Brontë-inspired hit features Bush in a glowing, ethereal realm with white dress and all in the British version, while the American version finds Bush in a red dress in a forest clearing. Tellingly, Bush got most of the influence for her idiosyncratic dance routine from English mime artist Lindsay Kamp, which explains this pair of videos’ ahead-of-their-time minimalism in an era of tacky sci-fi imagery and fog machines. (Morgan Enos)
PBS lists books that you may not have read in high school but which you should read now:
“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë
I was an avid reader in high school, but never touched the classics they assigned. I picked up Jane Eyre years after graduation to force myself into classical literature — more out of duty than anything else. I finished it quickly and was profoundly affected by it.
Between the page-turning elegance of Bronte’s style and my personal admiration of Jane’s fierce independence and sense of self, I was convinced I had missed something in the milieu of novels I tossed aside when I was 16. That said, I tried another high school standard (“Pride and Prejudice”) and couldn’t get past the first 20 pages. Jane Eyre remains one of my favorite novels, mostly because I still draw inspiration from Jane’s strength, especially now in a new city and phase of life. But I also find some comfort in acknowledging that not all classics are for everyone — so English Lit wasn’t a total loss. (Jennifer Hijazi)
The Berkshire Eagle interviews the poet Cheryl Nelsen:
Benjamin Cassidy: What's your favorite novel to teach?
CN: I'm torn between "The Color Purple" [by Alice Walker] and "To Kill a Mockingbird" [by Harper Lee]. And you know what else people loved, which is not a tour de force, which is not considered a literary novel? "[The] Five People You Meet in Heaven" [by Mitch Albom]. Because I had a lot of hesitant readers and a lot of limited experience readers that basically wouldn't read any books, like the football team at Lee High School. Not all of them, but some of them just — they were kind of phobic to literature. And some of them say it was the only book they ever read ... just a very compelling book. Now, for a more sophisticated reader, "Jane Eyre" [by Charlotte Brontë] and "1984" [by George Orwell]. I loved those books. There's a lot of cool books, endless cool books. If you can get somebody into them, if you can get them to slow down to actually read something and stay in it, it's fantastic.
NPR's Ask Me Another games and trivia show contains a Brontë reference:
(Singing, playing guitar) If you publish under a pen name - oh, yes, girl, I'm talking to you - and if Ellis Bell was your pen name - oh, yes, girl, I'm talking to you. The sisters three, all literary, but I wrote "Wuthering Heights."
GAYLE GAWLIK: Charlotte Brontë?
COULTON: I'm sorry, that is incorrect. Britter, do you know the answer?
BRITTER GUNDERSEN: One of the other Brontës?
COULTON: Can you be more specific?
GUNDERSEN: Elizabeth Brontë? I don't even know their first names (laughter).
COULTON: Very close - no, it was Emily Brontë.
COULTON: The single clap.
EISENBERG: Everyone's like, oh.
COULTON: Single clap in the audience for Emily Brontë. All right. This is your last clue.
The Times runs a cryptic article on football balls:
 Anyway, flash forward to this month’s two-match international break, a crucial staging post in the almost completed journey to Russia, and while the likes of Spain and Belgium were sensibly using their games to begin getting match-acclimatised around the Adidas Telstar 18, England were still contractually prodding about with a Nike Ordem V. That’s like preparing for tomorrow’s chemistry test by reading your mate’s notes on Wuthering Heights. And so much for the marginal gains earned in and around Starbucks. (Giles Smith)
Causa Operária (Brazil) publishes a radio alert for tomorrow:
Nesse domingo, 1º de abril, o semanal “Programa Mulheres” (que vai ao ar às 19h) vai falar sobre a situação de vida feminina, a literatura e as escritoras, da época vitoriana. Quem falará sobre o tema será a entrevistada Camila Nogueira, colunista do DCM e do El Hombre e editora do Ladies’ Mag. (...)
Algumas escritoras, como a Ellen Wood (East Lynne), acabaram seguindo esse modelo; enquanto outras, como a Charlotte Brontë (em Jane Eyre, mas especialmente em Villette), o desafiaram.
Numa época fervilhante de ideias e ideais progressistas (socialistas, inclusive), de fresca memória em relação às revoluções burguesas e aumento da demanda de mão-de-obra feminina, o mundo de muitas mulheres transformava-se e, com isso, crescia sua consciência de luta. (Translation)


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