Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Sam Leith in the Evening Standard apparently does not know the BabyLit counting primers:
Lily Cole, the model and actor whose appointment as “creative partner” by the Brontë Society caused some tut-tutting earlier this year, has sailed blithely towards the gunfire by suggesting that a graphic novel version of Wuthering Heights, aimed at those aged nine and over, might introduce younger readers to Emily Brontë’s work. Well, why not?
I’m intrigued, though, to read there also exist “baby lit versions of Wuthering Heights — picture books that introduce toddlers to the world of classic literature”. Here’s a book about insanity, obsessive love and domestic violence, with more than a whiff of incest and necrophilia. Let’s save all that for the nine and overs.
The New Yorker has some hilarious comments by children reading classics:

(Glynis Fawkes)

Nobody loves a good controversy like Germaine Greer. In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement she blows up political correctness in Daily Mail or The Times:
‘The man who groans and clenches his teeth as he struggles to resist the heroine’s fatal charms has been a staple of chick-lit ever since Jane Eyre.
‘The delusion that rape is the result of overwhelming sexual desire is a female delusion.’ There is some evidence to back up her claims that women are drawn to tales of murder and sexual violence – a 2010 study from the University of Illinois found that women were more likely to review true crime books on Amazon, and crime TV shows draw predominantly female audiences. (George Odling)
 Atlas Obscura tells the story of one Glen Eden who collects artefacts with Glenn Eden on them:
He is still hashing out other guidelines, he says, like whether a series of Emily Brontë poems addressed to a mysterious R. Gleneden are valid additions. “It feels like it’s not specific,” he says, holding the book open. “A person is harder. Because I’m the person—so if there’s others, it doesn’t work for the collection.” (Natasha Frost)
Gleneden's Dream can be read here.

The Irish Examiner interviews the writer Katherine Rundell:
“I didn’t read until I was six. When I did, it suddenly clicked, I remember reading like I was hungry, reading anything — stuff I didn’t understand at all. I read The Hobbit over and over but also books like Jane Eyre, without really getting any of what it was really about. Those gothic emotions and sexual tension went completely over my head at the age of seven, but I found something to love in everything I read." (Marjorie Brennan)
Perri Klass on the New York Times writes about losing your parents. A moving article:
When I was a child, I didn’t give much thought to whether he — or any other adult — was really an orphan. In fact, I thought orphan was a rather romantic storybook word, suggestive of children cast out to have adventures in a cruel uncaring world — “Oliver Twist,” “Jane Eyre,” “The Secret Garden,” “A Little Princess,” “Escape to Witch Mountain” (I grew up before “The BFG” or “Harry Potter”).
The Brooklyn Rail interviews the writer Leslie Jamison:
Eric Farwell: You’re using your story as a way to connect to other explorations of addiction. You do a good job of just opening up those considerations. One thing that was interesting is that in your examination of literary addiction, most of the examples of literary addicts you point to are men, but you also take a lot of care to articulate the experience of Jean Rhys. I know you take the time to explain that female addiction stories are viewed as tragic or lesser-than, culturally speaking, but I’m curious about how you landed on Rhys as the primary female addiction story apart from your own.
Jamison: I have always responded to her work—to the ways in which her novels explore consciousness and female consciousness in particular, and the way her narrators look at pain and self-pity, and performed-pain in particular. There were so many issues at the heart of her art that have also felt close to the heart of what I write about, so I think there was a kind of immediate resonance there. I was also really interested in the arc of her career, and in particular, how Wide Sargasso Sea (1966)—her final and most famous book—emerged from her four autobiographical early novels after a decade’s delay, and how it was a continuation of the themes of those early works—the spurned woman, the exiled woman, the love-lorn woman—but took their scenes in a totally new direction by engaging with this marginalized canonical figure (Jane Eyre’s Mrs. Rochester), and by ending with this massive act of what I read as articulate destruction—burning down Rochester’s estate. I was also interested in Rhys’s story as a kind of anti-recovery story because obviously she was never in twelve-step recovery, and she was never in any kind of sustained sobriety.
USA Today reviews the romance novel House of Cads by Elizabeth Kingston:
Unlike Jane Eyre’s Rochester, however, he doesn’t have a mad wife stashed in the attic, but he does have an inconvenient fiancée. When both Mason and Marie-Anne discover that Mason and one of the Shipley girls are entangled with each other, they’re faced with a conundrum of how to sort it out. (Keira Soleore)
Vulture announces that Lady Macbeth will be soon available on HBO:
Left alone for an extended period of time, she begins an affair with a workman on the estate, and Katherine’s suffocating existence suddenly becomes an unbearably tense one as the affair is discovered. It’s Wuthering Heights as a tense-as-hell thriller, anchored by Pugh’s tremendous performance. (Joshua Rivera)
Missoulian regrets the decline of literature as pleasure:
National studies (Pew, NEA) show that the number of Americans who read literature for pleasure is declining, and that this decline is most acute among teenagers. Thanks to digital technology, we are, in fact, reading a great deal more verbal text these days; but the habits cultivated by internet browsing tend to leave less time for the kind of patient attention that’s needed to peruse lengthy, rich books such as "The Odyssey," "The Divine Comedy," "Jane Eyre" or "Fools Crow." (Rob Browning)
Quotidiano (Italy) looks for quotes appropriate for May 1st, Workers' Day. A quote from Wuthering Heights is chosen:
A person who has not done one half of his day's work by ten o'clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.
On Firstpost (India):
It has been a long and arduous history of us distancing ourselves from chick lit unless we are with our (female or non-male) besties, I think it is high time that we stopped lumping Charlotte Brontë and Meg Cabot in the same category. (Antara Telang)

ABC (Spain) reviews Memorias de un escribidor by José Jiménez Lozano:
Tan pronto se tropieza en medio del campo nevado a Tolstoi, «disfrazado de pobre» para variar, como que se le aparece junto a la ventana de su habitación la madre Angélica Arnauld; lo mismo se deja acompañar por Homero o Micer Virgilio que por Emily Brontë «la Comevientos», Agustín de Foxá o Somoza, «el filósofo de Piedrahíta», junto a su compañero de escuela el poeta abulense Jacinto Herrero. (Fermín Herrero) (Translation)
L'Express (France) takes for granted that Emily Brontë had Asperger's. A vocational librarian (and Brontëite) in The Robesonian. May's Book Club Selection on The Deliberate Reader is Wuthering Heights. Nick Holland presents his new book Emily Brontë: A Life in 20 poems (and a giveaway) in his blog. The Eyre Guide relaunches the 31 Days Jane Eyre Challenge.


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