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Saturday, July 29, 2006

In Which the Brontesque Returns with a Vengence

In the course of keeping this blog I have come across a huge number of films, books and and 'other' which are branded 'Bronte' or rather 'Bronte-like.' Things have been quiet for some time, but now Brontesque has broken out again. I am a little confused about this pair of Bronte references in a book review for Kept: A Comedy of Sex and Manners by Y. Euny Hong. The book is described thus:

The trouble with the aristocracy these days is that they just don't sell as well as celebrities. With only middling beauty and brains, staggering debt, and a marked disdain for reputable employment, Judith "Jude" Lee—a descendent of Korean royalty with an utterly bourgeois fixation on class—is finally forced to turn herself over to a madam so upscale she makes Heidi Fleiss look untouchable.

And now, the Bronte references:

The secret, it turns out, to surviving in a city full of beauties and brains but few graces is a surfeit of sitcom-ready charm. This, for Jude, comes second nature, if not from her royal ancestors then from the ones she name-drops with far greater frequency—Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, and Jane Eyre, and all the rest of those proto-capitalist players. With a flawless ear for hyperliterate one-liners ("Jung's unchecked early years had made her untamed and feral, like a female Heathcliff") and a sharp eye for a good deal (the adorable Kasporov double she chooses), Jude overcomes at least two dozen plot-breakers, easy as starving a peasant.

I am just trying to imagine someone who is at once like Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre and Heathcliff... The Amazon.com summary is far more comprehensible.


mysticgypsy said...

"Becky Sharpe, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre and Heathcliff

haha! It is amusing thinking of a combination like Jane Eyre and Heathcliff :P

Brontëana said...

There is a play about Charlotte Bronte in which the Duke of Zamorna climbs into a trunk or a closet, I can't remember which, and emerges as Jane Eyre. I thought THAT was bizarre enough!

...I can't get my mind about a Heathcliffy Jane. Although Virginia Bruce's Jane Eyre was fearsome sometimes. She really clobbers John Reed (she is also taller than he is, I think, and just pounds him with over-hand punches).

Would that make St.John Rivers Isabella Linton?

mandyjoy said...

Hmmm....would that character creature be known as Janecliff, of Heatheyre?

Brontëana said...

to mandyjoy:

I rather like the sound of 'janecliff' if we make it three syllables: Jane-e-cliff. Reminds me of manticore. The dreaded Janecliff! Terrifying!

While we're on thse silly abbreviations, would we call Jane and Edward's relationship 'Janeward?'

mandyjoy said...

hmmm...that would make Lucy and M.Paul 'Pucy'!...and Graham and Polly would be 'Golly'! he he.