August 29th, 2021

Pacing Anxiously

Western Australia Today interviews the actress Emma MacKay:
A bigger test comes next year when she exchanges her rebellious pink-dyed ends and the hyper-stylised Sex Education set for the Yorkshire moors to play a more historical rebel, writer Emily Brontë, in Emily. It’s this role that Emma hopes will recast her away from Maeve and her frank talks about sex towards the stardom that so obviously lies beyond. (Latika Bourke)
Carolyn Hitt's holidays in Wales Online:
Our itinerary was fairly fluid, but I had expressed a desire to call in on Wordsworth on the way up and the Brontës on the way down.
Sadly Charlotte, Emily and Anne were already inundated with visitors who’d had the foresight to book online weeks in advance, so Haworth was a no-go.
The Independent (Ireland) interviews the writer Carlo Gébler:
The writer who shaped you?
Every writer you read shapes you in some way, but Jean Rhys shaped me the most.
She is best known for her last novel, the best-selling Wide Sargasso Sea, which was Rhys’s answer to another novel I love, the troubling Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre was also the inspiration for a further wonder, The Story of O by Pauline Réage (the pen name of Anne Desclos), a little history that proves (again) that books come out of books.
Jane Eye inspiring The Story of O?  😕

Also in The Independent, Boy George is interviewed:
He told the The Frank Skinner Show podcast in 2010 that prison was “quite stinky” and “not a holiday camp” but that he can understand why people become institutionalised. George spent his days inside reading classics such as Wuthering Heights and The Catcher In The Rye and applied himself so well in the prison kitchen that the lady in charge apparently told him “You’re one of the best workers we’ve ever had here.”
Slate takes a look at kudzu, 'the vine that ate the South':
The obsession with kudzu also reveals the long shadow of the Southern Gothic. William Faulkner describes the Mason-Dixie in Absalom, Absalom! as “dead since 1865 and peopled with garrulous outraged baffled ghosts.” Compared with the European variety, our Gothic is earthy. While Emily Brontë has her lovers pace anxiously through the gloomy manor of Wuthering Heights, Flannery O’Connor just drowns people in the river during their attempt at baptism. (Richard Solomon)
Dawn (Pakistan) reviews the novel Of Smokeless Fire by  A.A. Jafri:
I do not wish to mar a reader’s experience of this engaging novel with spoilers; suffice to say that he ends up grappling with the machinations of a villain who is every bit as venal and low as Mansoor is noble-minded and pure of heart. The villain’s ugly murder of Mansoor’s beloved dog rivals that of Isabella’s hapless puppy at the hands of Wuthering Heights’s savage Heathcliff! (Nadya Chishty-Mujahid)
The long-forgotten days of student past in The Khaleej Times (India):
There was once a time when experiencing the unfamiliar was a priority rather than a reason to decline the invite; when different faces represented an opportunity to expand your network rather than obstacles to be avoided in the quest to find the crew squirreled away in some corner with whom you spend all your free moments. What changes? Why, in the space of ten years or so, do you go from the real-world equivalent of Van Wilder to Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff (minus the fierce visage)? (David Light)

Yesterday, on Radio24's Il Cacciatore di Libri (Italy) they discussed a Wuthering Heights audiobook, via Il Sole

Chick, Rogues and Scandals reviews John Eyre by Mimi Matthews.

From Robert Frost to Mary Wollstonecraft

Brontë scholars in India and Spain:
Prof. (Dr.) Chetan N. Trivedi and Mr. Rohal S. Raval
Towards Excellence, June, 2021. Vol.13. Issue No. 2

The present article argues that Robert Frost’s poem “For Once, Then, Something” (1923) anticipates, by virtue of its latent similarities to them, the theory of Deconstruction propounded by Jacques Derrida, and Reader-Response Criticism which developed through the work of a number of important theorists, one of them being Stanley Fish. The validity of the interpretation is tested by juxtaposing it, in brief, on Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre (1847) and Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), a postcolonial, Feminist re-reading or re-writing of Brontë’s work, especially one of literature’s great enigmatic figure – Bertha Antoinetta Rochester/Mason – and one of the novel’s central character – Edward Fairfax Rochester. Indeed, Bertha had been readily interpreted by many lay readers as an obstacle, if not an outright antagonist, in the union of Jane and Edward before the publication of Rhys’ insightful novel that is a prequel to or provides the backstory of crucial characters and events found in Brontë’s work. Moreover, the researchers also launch an enquiry that seeks to understand whether Rochester has been disproportionately or undeservedly demonized, at least since the publication of Rhys’ novel. This inquiry, which stems from both the insight provided by the reading of Frost’s poem and a position put forward by Fish, (re)reads Brontë’s text to see if it provides any clue, opening, or hint for an alternative response by which Rochester can be rescued from critical opprobrium he is often subjected to, whether before or after the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea
Ph.D. Universitat Jaume I, València, Spain (June 2021)

Feminism is often studied through a political lens, focusing on the different feminist theories and their influence on society. Nevertheless, literature can also be a way in which feminism is presented and studied. As Felski (2003) argues in her book Beyond Feminist Aesthetics: Feminist Literature and Social Change, feminism and politics, although not often connected in terms of content, they have social change in common. By examining feminist literature, it is possible to observe influential literature works that strive to cause a change in society and its views by criticising the subordination of women of the time. Consequently, this paper aims to highlight revolutionary feminist literary works from early feminist literature up to the 19thcentury. Moreover, it aims to focus on two authors and their most significant works, Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Studying both authors and works allows for a comparison between the two in terms of feminist traits, female representation, and education. Hence, a connection between a political text and a fictional text will be made, and the similarities of their feminist views will show how two works from different time periods can share common features.