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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bronte News.

It is time to catch up on a few more items I have indexed. Firstly, it is now possible to order tickets online for the BFI September 16th screening of the BBC's new mini-series of Jane Eyre in London.

WOWIO, a new online audiobook 'store' launched this month. It is not quite a store. Users download audiobooks free of charge but these books include 'dynamic advertisements' to 'compensate publishers.' Considering how much publishers make on each book, seems like a good plan. But how will we care for adverts in the middle of Wuthering Heights? Read more about it here.

The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life,By Edward Mendelson features chapters on what Wuthering Heights can teach us about childhood, and Jane Eyre about growing up. The book is reviewed here.

Each of his chapters is devoted to how these novels help us understand the phenomena of birth ("Frankenstein"), childhood ("Wuthering Heights"), growth ("Jane Eyre"), parenthood ("To the Lighthouse") and so on. The brooding "Wuthering Heights," for example, subverts the values of adulthood; Catherine and Heathcliff, hankering after the intense, visionary bond they formed as children, want nothing to do with the values of grown-ups: "Childhood, in this novel, is a state of titanic intensity," Mendelson writes, "adulthood a state of trivial weakness." (Though Mendelson doesn't make the parallel, this is similar to what J.D. Salinger gets at in "The Catcher in the Rye.")

Jane Eyre in the park. If I understand correctly, Penguin Books will be placing shelves of classics in London parks as part of a celebration of the 60th anniversary of their 'sub-brand' 'Penguin Classics.' Their slogan? 'The Best Book Ever Written.' Their selection of 'the best book(s)' includes our very own Jane Eyre.

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