Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 10:06 am by Cristina in , , ,    No comments
Fangoria interviews writer Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
I mean, who hasn’t heard about black mold and how dangerous it can be to your health? It just immediately grabbed me like a little finger of fear. I think it's a great way to base the family curse of a Gothic novel in a scientific reality. 
Yes, and some readers don't like that. That's exactly what turns them off. They think there's sci-fi elements in a horror book. But like I said, Gothic is a malleable category. Frankenstein is also a Gothic novel and it's a sci-fi novel at the same time, even though we can't really make people out of dead body parts. Jekyll and Hyde is also another sci-fi-ish concept. We can't create another personality or person and undergo the changes that happen in Jekyll and Hyde just by taking a drink. But that’s exactly what happens in the novel.
So the Gothic is really the space of confluence of different currents. A space where things can change. I think, for some readers who are just not familiar with it, readers who have only, for example, read romantic novels like Wuthering Heights, they might get angry because it's sci-fi, but it's very true to the genre. Because Gothic is a genre that exists at a merging of different points of view and different ideas. It's not exclusively the domain of one single idea. Unlike other genres, like the western where the borders and the boundaries have been very well-defined, Gothic’s borders are much more porous. [...]
That's another thing that I find incredibly encouraging, because it's also a way of pushing the genre outward. I think that it is the decolonization of literature and the changing of the default. I think it's necessary and makes the novel more vibrant. I am very engaged with Noemi as a character because she's smart and she's strong, but she's not the prototype that most people think of as the strong woman. The non-feminine woman who only thinks of serious things. I was wondering how you came to that characterization?
I was inspired by a great aunt of mine for some of the physicality of the character. But in general, Gothic novels tend to have structure and certain characters that appear in them that are dominant in them. You tend to have a wealthy Byronic male hero in opposition to a female heroine who is submissive to him in one or more ways. Sometimes she's a young bride and he is the man of the house and that’s where the submission comes from. He's at the top of the hierarchy; she is below him. Sometimes it comes in the form of the heroine being somebody who works for him. Somebody who takes care of the kids, basically the nanny or the governess. In that sense, there's always the structural kind of hierarchy going on where the man is the powerful one. He's wildly powerful. The woman comes in and she is not his equal obviously. But then, through love and trials – if it's a romantic Gothic, such as Jane Eyre, they will be united at the end in romantic bliss.
But I didn't want my heroine to come in and be, for example, the maid cleaning the house for this male character. I wanted it to be somebody who would be the social equal of these people, and who, in fact, would kind of stare at them and be a little bit shocked. Someone who would think that [The Doyles] are not superior to anyone. In fact, she would think, 'You live in a dirty old house, what the hell is wrong with you?' Somebody who would be able to have those sorts of interactions, as opposed to if she had been a governess, [or] if she had been getting a paycheck, she probably would never have had Noemi’s attitude and done some of the things that Noemi did.
Noemi does come with a position of privilege, but that also allows her to face the people in privilege and push back at what they're saying, doubting some of what they're saying, precisely because she comes from a different place in life. And so often the characters that are kind of allowed in popular media for Latin American characters or for Mexican characters are either the [nanny] or the servants. Those are the two kinds of positions that popular culture allows us to inhabit. But I know for a fact that as a Mexican, people inhabit all kinds of roles and belong to different socio-economic strata. The fact that we have been put in those two narrow categories doesn't mean that there isn’t more to us. I wanted to show something different that allowed me to do things with the plot that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. If Noemi’s character had been a maid, she would have probably been dead by page 15 and turned into a zombie.[...]
The template of Lord Byron.
Yeah. So you're going back to [Wuthering Heights'] Heathcliff, and those sorts of characters, also like [Jane Eyre's] Mr. Rochester. Those kinds of characters who inspire fright, as well as desire, in the female characters. It's a very popular character trope, one that we still find nowadays. If you look at 50 Shades of Grey, that character is basically the evolution of the proto-Gothic hero, the dominant hero and the submissive heroine and that kind of dynamic, but he's still attractive, right? In Gothic fiction, that is what you generally find as a male interest for the heroine. That is the guy. (Dolores Quintana)
The Bookseller on what's in store for the Book Club Bunch:
The kernel of the idea for Book Club Bunch (BCB) came from a place very close to home for founder Melissa Haggist. Four years ago she was trying to think of ways of getting her son and his male friends more engaged in reading. [...]
She hit on a relatively simple but seemingly untapped idea: why not start a company of professional actors who will read to children at bookshops and schools in order to really bring books to life? So, in 2017 in the downstairs corner of Waterstones’ King’s Road branch, London, what was then called Book Club Boys was born. After a few successful sessions, Haggist decided to broaden the scope and the model was changed to make the clubs available for boys and girls (and the current company name was introduced) but the core mission remained the same. [...]
Last summer, BCB created a new product, almost 10 hours of online reading and discussions by senior readers, [BCB creative director Matthew] Peter-Carter and Alex White, of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Haggist said: “It captures the energy and accessibility yet elevated nature of our book clubs. We have been approached by a children’s video-on-demand service to license our vlogs, and we are hoping to record more of these for Key Stage 2.”
Peter-Carter adds: “We’re looking to expand our age-range following the success of our Animal Farm club, so we’re looking to add some other classics, like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.” (Nuray Bulbul)
Marie Claire (Spain) still thinks that the novels penned by the Brontës and Jane Austen are no more than old romantic novels.
Si le preguntásemos a cualquier lectora amante de las novelas románticas el nombre de su libro favorito de todos los tiempos, probablemente nombraría el título de algún clásico como Orgullo y prejuicio, Jane Eyre o Cumbres borrascosas. Sin embargo, aunque las novelas románticas clásicas son un must de las bibliotecas de toda fan del género, lo cierto es que los nuevos lanzamientos que recopilamos a continuación han nacido con la intención de hacerse un hueco en sus estantes, codo con codo con Jane Austen o las hermanas Brontë. (Cristina Sánchez de Pedro) (Translation)
Brontë Babe Blog shares an update of her Reading Challenge 2021.

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