The call of the crows high above the Brontë Parsonage is all that breaks the silence as we take take a breather in the paddock where the world’s most famous literary sisters spent much of their childhood.The Sunday Times talks about John Carey's upcoming memoir, The Unexpected Professor. In the book, the author tells about his dislike for Wuthering Heights:
Tendrils of smoke curl from village chimneys as we admire the view out over the moors and beyond. No wonder Emily, Charlotte and Anne were so inspired by their surroundings.
You’d simply never guess there was a Friday rush-hour going on in nearby Bradford as we contemplate the paths Heathcliffe (sic) might have taken over the moors towards Wuthering Heights.
Our reverie is interrupted as a small group of Japanese tourists, sunhats on (even in February) and cameras round necks, arrives so we decide to head back to our equally peaceful cottage in the cobbled main street of Haworth.
The aptly titled Cobbles Cottage is roughly halfway up the main street (a few doors down from the Fleece, if you go by pubs) and is something of a revelation.
From the outside it looks like a traditional, double fronted cottage; inside, however, two worlds collide in the most delightful way.
Stone flagged floors and exposed beams are teamed with an ultra modern fitted kitchen and spinning bar stools; spotlights pick out the impressively huge original range.
Upstairs, the bright and airy master bedroom’s wooden floor and Victorian fireplace also has a gloriously modern en-suite bathroom complete with power shower and heated towel rail.
The cottage also has free wifi access – not sure what the Brontë sisters would have made of the worldwide web but Branwell would have been a legend on Twitter. (Read more)
I started trying to fill the gaps in my knowledge of Victorian fiction after weeks of immersion in poetry, with the result that I found myself reading novels as if they were patches of poetry interspersed with relatively uninteresting prose — which I still tend to do. My catch-up reading began with Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. I'd always meant to get round to it but never had, and I found it unexpectedly tiresome. The idea of Cathy and Heathcliff as wild children on the moors has great poetic power, of course. But it's essentially timeless, and fitting it up with a plot and a full supporting cast is cumbersome and extraneous. Besides, the minor characters are feeble, and the narrative is tangled and disrupted as if it's trying to hide the unlikelihood of the events. The story is exasperating because the one thing all the passion and violence obviously ought to lead to is forbidden by the conventions of Bronte's day. So instead we have two characters going mad with frustration. Cathy at one point is said to dash her head against a sofa and grind her teeth, almost reducing them to splinters. Besides being ridiculous, this is no substitute for seeing her and Heathcliff in bed together. I realise that these objections may appear coarse and masculine, and apologise if they do. However, an aspect of the novel that appears coarse to me is the simmering female desire, running through the narrative, for males to be brutal and violent, like hugely sexy Heathcliff, and not weaklings like Edgar and Linton.The Irish Independent interviews the author Sebastian Barry:
The principle behind the poetry in Charlotte Brontë, on the other hand, seemed to me to be self-control, which no one in Wuthering Heights could be accused of.
Silver-screen visions aside, Barry was happy to chat about his upcoming book The Temporary Gentleman, which is all about Roseanne McNulty's brother Jack, a soldier who finds himself washed up in Accra at the end of World War II. "I received the first hard copy several weeks ago. That's always one of the best parts," revealed Barry.Daily Mail interviews the actress Sophie Kennedy Clark:
"It feels very Brontë-esque, waiting at the gate for it to arrive. There's a sense of childish joy about the whole thing." (Kristy Blake Knox)
Favourite author? Jean Rhys − Wide Sargasso Sea is my favourite book of all time. Growing up I was terrified by Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre, and Rhys’s book is about her before she went mad! (Amy E. Williams)The Boston Globe does the same with another actress, Kate Burton:
The daughter of Richard Burton, Kate Burton had no ordinary childhood, except like many other teenage girls she soaked up the Brontë sisters. “I loved Hermann Hesse too,” she says. (Amy Sutherland)Broadway Classical World presents an upcoming concert by the quartet Jacaranda:
Jacaranda's next concert, tonight, March 8 at 8:00 p.m., will be held at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall, which is waiving admission to honor Jacaranda's 10th anniversary. (...)The Conversation asks for festivals and funding for female directors and describes Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights 2011 as
Composed in Los Angeles at the end of WWII, Korngold's Quartet No. 3 was performed by Denali in its final season, and will also be performed by Lyris for the first time. The quartet was premiered at UCLA Royce Hall in 1946. Fearing that his film music would be forgotten, Korngold recycled themes from "Devotion" (1943) about the Brontë Sisters, the war themed "Between Two Worlds" (1944), and the classic "The Sea Wolf" (1941) with Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino and John Garfield.
a uniquely brutal and bruising take on Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights in 2011. (Melanie Williams)Diari de Girona (in Catalan) interviews the writer Toni Sala:
No ho tinc tan clar. Mira, ara mateix m'han fet fora d'una feina de biblioteques perquè trobaven que tenia massa nivell.Quite pathetic.
Qui el tenia contractat?
Jo porto clubs de lectura. Trio uns llibres i els comentem amb lectors de la biblioteca. Però a l'Ajuntament de Tordera li ha semblat que treballar llibres de Joseph Conrad o Cims borrascosos d'Emily Brontë era massa elevat i que havíem de fer còmics i novel·la de best-seller. És una renúncia a la funció de la cosa pública que a mi em fa pensar amb el que em va passar quan era professor d'institut i vaig assistir a la degradació del món de l'ensenyament. Em fa por que les biblioteques no acabin anant també cap aquí. (Daniel Bonaventura) (Translation)
Corriere della Sera (Italy) talks about women writers in literary anthologies for schools:
Figuriamoci alle scrittrici come Christa Wolf e Toni Morrison: non esistono. Nel volume su Neoclassicismo e Romanticismo, ci sono soltanto Madame de Staël ed Emily Brontë, in un profluvio di autori tedeschi e inglesi. (...)El Correo de Burgos (Spain) about female writers.We notice that the Spanish newspapers have real problems when it comes to putting the umlaut in the right place:
Invece, editore e autori della Loescher hanno aperto un vero dibattito sul «canone», un termine un po’ tecnico ma importante perché indica l’insieme dei opere-caposaldo di una letteratura, quelle che fanno da linee-guida. Spiegano dunque: «”Rosa fresca aulentissima” ha come connotato specifico la volontà di riflettere sul canone della letteratura italiana… Di qui una scelta necessariamente limitata di autori, che privilegia gli italiani, e che anche fra questi definisce le proprie proposte antologiche in relazione al loro contributo al canone. … Se il tratto essenziale dell’opera fosse stato quello di una storia culturale italiana ed europea, allora senz’altro vi avrebbero trovato spazio il misticismo medievale, e con esso Ildegarda di Bingen, e la Querelle des femmes ottocentesca. Date, invece, le caratteristiche di “Rosa fresca aulentissima”, una generica attenzione alla “letteratura di genere” sarebbe forse suonata posticcia. Le figure femminili, così come quelle maschili, trovano spazio, anche ampio, laddove hanno contribuito ad affermare o consolidare alcuni aspetti del canone letterario, dal petrarchismo rinascimentale all’opera della Brontë e di Virginia Woolf». (Valeria Palumbo) (Translation)
Otra escritora, Charlotte Brönte (sic), revolucionó la literatura de mediados del siglo XIX con Jane Eyre. Una heroína que busca independencia y ser dueña de su propio destino y no el fin último de toda mujer en aquel tiempo: lograr un buen matrimonio. (Marta Casado) (Translation)International Business Times quotes from Jane Eyre (you know, the "women feel just as men feel" bit) in order to celebrate International Women's Day 2014; The Yorker puts Jane Eyre as a notable contender in a a list of best female literary characters; The Sunday Times' Critical List recommmends the Bristol performances of Jane Eyre; The Dawson English Journal publishes a student paper on Jane Eyre; Dan the Man's Movie Reviews posts about Jane Eyre 2011; Better Living Through Beowulf discusses Jane Eyre as a "Lenten Meditation". The Brontë Parsonage Facebook page shares some of the merchandise related to The Brontës and the Animals exhibition.