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Friday, January 27, 2006

Brontë Answered by the Deep South

From a Blogcritics review of the DVD 'Other Voices, Other Rooms.'

There's something about certain depictions of the American South of the 1920s and 30s that reminds me of 19th century gothic/romance novels. I don't know if Brontesque is a word; as in reminding one of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, but the air of mystery and gloom that seems to surround old decrepit plantations certainly can give the moors a run for their money.

The South may lack the fogs and crags for people to get lost in or fall down, but it has its own share of dangers. Mysterious swamps filled with ghosts and spirits ready to steal your soul. Not to mention more down to earth dangers like rattlesnakes whose bite can kill you or bogs that could swallow you whole.

Heat and humidity are every bit as oppressive as cold rains and mists, and poor dissipated Southern gentry can have just as many secrets as their brooding English counterparts. Change the mysterious old faithful servants from white to black, and the brick manor house with drafts to a disintegrating pre-civil war plantation house and the transition is complete.

In the face of overwhelming evidence, 'Brontë' (adj.) along with its variants: 'Brontëan' and 'Brontësque' should be added to the OED.

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