Monday, May 21, 2018

In The Times Literary Supplement, Kathryn Hughes reviews Helen MacEwan's Through Belgian Eyes.
Charlotte Brontë famously loathed Brussels and the Bruxellois. Her letters home during the two years she studied and worked at a girls’ boarding school in the early 1840s comprise a long charge sheet of crimes against her hosts. The girls to whom she teaches English are cow-like in their stupidity and peasant-like in their bearing. Their unthinking adherence to Roman Catholicism makes them sly and hypocritical, if not downright dishonest. The adults, especially the women, aren’t much better.
None of these private feelings would have come to light, of course, had not Brontë transferred many of them into her first and last novels, The Professor and Villette, respectively. (Read more)
The Guardian features film director Jane Campion.
Campion’s taste for wild passion in the wilderness was partly inculcated by the Brontës when she was growing up in Wellington, New Zealand, the daughter of theatrical parents. “I always loved Emily Brontë’s imagination. I feel like she saved my life, in the sense of giving me powerful female stories. To have that model for how a woman and an artist could be was very involving to me.”
Speaking of Wuthering Heights, Campion noted Catherine’s strength. “She was not pliant. She was firm of mind and conviction.” For the director, Heathcliff “was a dark metaphor for sexual drive, and Emily had a sexual drive, obviously, and she rode it like a horse.” Campion roars with laughter. “My psyche understood that at a time when it wasn’t being much explored in literature and film.” (Kate Muir)
A letter from a reader to The Sydney Morning Herald:
An autocratic father and a wild location formed two great writers [...]. Emily Brontë’s legacy has survived sibling rivalry, and both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights are classics. Lovers of their works can fall into the same rivalry or appreciate both. - Pam Connor, Mollymook Beach
Sadly, there was a third sibling, Anne, who does seem to be getting the short end of the stick.

The Reading Cafe has a guest post on the creation of memorable characters by writer Madelyn Hill.
Creating memorable characters is the goal of all writers and we all have our favorites from books we treasure. Mine? I love Kit from The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Jane from Jane Eyre, Ave Marie from Big Stone Gap Series. And of course Harry from Harry Potter, in fact most of the characters from Harry Potter! Well-drawn characters stand the test of time, so the task is arduous.
Brooklyn Paper features Jordan Ellis, who has launched a quarterly magazine called The Sartorial Geek.
Ellis’s quarterly magazine, also called “The Sartorial Geek,” is another way to reach out to the under-served nerdy girl community. The first issue, which launched in March — $5 in print, $1.99 online, free for Jordandené’s email subscribers — features a profile on Brooklyn designer Allison Cimino, who created a line of “Black Panther”–themed jewelry, and a review of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” Ellis said the contributors are focused on telling stories that may be otherwise ignored. (Julianne McShane)
British Theatre Guide reviews Northern Ballet's Jane Eyre:
For once I am struck dumb (a rare occasion—and this is a rare, ravishing occasion) with admiration. The pleasure of that cannot be underestimated. I want to hug that feeling to myself and not tell you about it, but I fear I must. Of course, you all know Charlotte Brontë’s first novel. Enough film, stage, radio and small screen adaptations have been made of it. But have you read it? How long ago? (Vera Liber)
Ciné Chronicle (France) reviews John Williams's recent concert in Chicago.
Quel cadeau de nous le proposer en concert ! Jane Eyre est une vraie surprise. Bien que le score complet soit disponible en CD (La-La Land Records, LLLCD 1214), il est relativement méconnu. D’une couleur très européenne, la suite est composée de trois segments, dont le superbe To Thornfield (on dirait Tess sous amphétamine) ou Reunion (qui renvoie davantage au style de Delerue pour Truffaut). Le film, qui a été tournée pour la télévision américaine, a été distribuée en salles en Europe. (Jérôme Nicod) (Translation)

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