Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 11:09 am by Cristina in , , , , , ,    No comments
In light of recent events, a columnist from The Telegraph wonders whether Jane Eyre really needs a trigger warning. (Our answer? NO).
If I were a youngster filling out my Ucas forms, I would quite like to know that the course I will be setting aside three years of my life for – alongside the best part of £30,000 – will be treating me as the adult that I am. Yet we find ourselves stuck in a paradoxical universe where young adult literature is more “challenging” than ever, and its authors celebrated for broaching topics such as cults, suicide, self-harming and gender identity in an almost fetishistic manner (you should know that there is a YA sub-genre, “cutting fiction”) but, once you hit 20, all provocation is deemed dangerous.
Among the most eagerly awaited YA books to be published this year are Noah Hawley’s Anthem, described as “a near-future horror” in which “a plague of teen suicides spreads around the world, in the middle of a climate crisis”; Jan Carson’s The Raptures, which tells the story of “a village blighted by a mysterious disease afflicting its children”; and Chris Whitaker’s The Forevers, in which “the characters are dealing with a whole range of issues – suicide, abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, homosexuality”, not to mention the asteroid that is about to obliterate them all.
Genteel stuff. Enough to make both Great Expectations and Jane Eyre look like bath books for toddlers. Unless, of course, it’s the fact that these are old that’s the real problem? Because what could be more “on message” than a story of bullying, abuse and the triumph of a young girl who believes in gender and social equality above all else? Were Jane Eyre written today, Netflix would surely snap up the rights before the book was even published, although it might still come with Salford University-style “content warnings”.
Actor Simon Callow, who has appeared in several Dickens adaptations, believes these could be made stronger still – you know, to help avoid any undergraduate “distress” – so that they would instead read: “Warning – this book may make you think.” We should certainly guard against that. (Celia Walden)
Although it's even worse when Robert Crampton roleplays the enfant terrible type, trying to sound witty (spoiler alert: it is not, not even funny) in The Times:
Warning: Brontë may bore
I agree with the University of Salford that 19th-century novels such as Jane Eyre and Great Expectations should have trigger warnings on the cover, alerting students to the distressing scenes about to unfold. But the warnings shouldn’t be about mad women in attics, heroes falling in lakes or pickpocketing gangs of singing urchins, more the narcoleptic nature of the prose: “What follows is verbose, plotted at a snail’s pace and likely to contain lengthy passages of botanical, architectural and theological detail which you will not care that you don’t understand.” Something like that would do the trick.
In advance of Anne Brontë's birthday next week, Book Riot has published an article about her.
The way history remembers her, Anne is basically Peggy from the musical Hamilton. But Anne published novels alongside her sisters. In fact, she is likely the sister who began writing novels first. Many consider her novel Agnes Grey to have been an inspiration for her sister’s novel Jane Eyre. And despite a lack of recognition, many consider Anne’s second novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to be the first feminist novel.
Her novels were well-reviewed by critics and popular with readers during her time. But soon after her death she became dismissed as the least talented of the three sisters and forgotten by history. Who was Anne Brontë? And how did she become the forgotten Brontë sister? (Read more) (Alison Doherty)
The Yorkshire Post features Kate Bush's Emily stone.
The Emily Stone, is a tribute to Emily Brontë by singer Kate Bush carved on one of the Brontë Stones, at Ogden Kirk on Thornton Moor near Ogden Water in West Yorkshire.
The Brontë Stones are a group of stones placed in the landscape between the birthplace of the Brontë family in Thornton and the parsonage where they wrote their famous work in Haworth.
The project was devised by writer, Michael Stewart, who took inspiration from another literary walk.
There are three stones that celebrate the bicentenaries of the three sisters: Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and a fourth stone to mark the significance of the Brontës as a literary family.
The stones have been carved by fine art letter carver, Pip Hall, with specially commissioned literature by famous contemporary female writers.
The project was curated and delivered jointly by Michael Stewart and the Bradford Literature Festival and funded by the Arts Council England.
The Emily Stone is sited in the midst of windswept moorland overlooking Haworth. The poem is written by internationally acclaimed singer and musician, Kate Bush, and is carved into the side of Ogden Kirk, a stunning outcrop of rock above the clough.
The poem was written as a tribute to Emily Brontë in her bicentenary year, but also to mark 40 years since the release of Kate’s debut single, Wuthering Heights, which was number one in the charts for four weeks in 1978.
Speaking about the project at its launch Kate said: “I am delighted to be involved in this project. Each sister being remembered by a stone in the enigmatic landscape where they lived and worked is a striking idea. Emily only wrote the one novel – an extraordinary work of art that has truly left its mark." (Catherine Scott)


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