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Showing posts with label bronteana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bronteana. Show all posts

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Oh How True!

The Guardian publishes today an interesting article about portraiture in the arts. Specically, how authors seems to give readers mere 'corner of the eye glances' when describing characters. Few authors go through the trouble of expending lengthy description on faces. There seems to be a practical reason behind this:

You can see why so few authors choose to make the attempt. Listing every feature will not only fatally hold up the narrative, but may antagonise the poor confused reader who can't remember what "aquiline" means and thinks that an "almond" eye must be brown and nutty. Besides, what purpose will it serve to expend 500 words on the tilt of this particular nose and the set of this particular jaw? No, indeed. Facial detail is rarely kept in mind at all by a reader. A devotee of Jane Eyre tends to remember that, say, Mr Rochester is a dark sort of man, and that Jane is a short sort of woman, and this is quite enough to go on - especially when one's attention keeps being caught by such things as cackles from the attic and beds catching fire.

This amuses me somewhat in light of how often I hear of how handsome Mr Rochester is. Oh, there are dozens of reasons why he is not ugly, believe me. Charlotte didn't really know that her character was handsome all along, or that she is just showing that Jane really didn't know what real love was until later and then he sort of prettifies. Or that she doesn't actually describe him as ugly at all ("He was rather an ugly man"), or... Nevermind the long sections of the novel concerned with how worthless is valuing people based on their appearance.

Mr Rochester is a darkish man, and Jane is kinda short. I can live with this.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bowling down the Drive

One of my dearest friends has allowed me to post her license plate, sans number. It is a tribute to Bronteism, is it not?


Monday, March 05, 2007

Day in the Life of a Bronte Scholar


I have received some mail asking for updates on how my thesis is progressing. A few weeks ago I submitted a proposal to the graduate committee at Dalhousie University, and received the approval letter and comments today. So far everything seems to be going well.

I am very nearly finished the coursework section of the master's degree, then I will spend the next few months writing the thesis, and probably watching Jane Eyre many many times.

In other news, my novel is very near completion. Using my rough plan, there ought to be five to six more chapters. It will not be following the plan. There could be another ten but we will see how the plot unfolds and go from there. I'm very excited because this is the section I have been looking forward to since I started. This would be my Jane Eyre experiment. A few of my readers will remember that I set out last year to explore a question about the novel by writing one of my own. I will soon have results. I hope that I have proved myself wrong!


I am also preparing a poetry manuscript, hopefully, for publication (if you are wondering when I sleep, the answer is that I don't. It's difficult to sleep when a hoard of drunken teenagers charge past your door at three in the morning so one might as well be productive. At the moment I am going on four hour's sleep!). I have been published before but only in anthologies. I hope this will be my first 'real' work.

I neglected to mention, last night I wrote two chapters of my novel which explains the four hours' sleep. I can't sleep when I am inspired. If I don't write, I will just lie there visualising or hearing it until it is all worked out anyway.

Lastly, my good friend Thisbeciel has again supplied me with an adaptation of Jane Eyre. It says something about the state of my collections when I could not tell if I had heard this one before. Hopefully I can provide a review this evening or tomorrow. She tells me that it is horrible but fun to listen to. I like that almost better than a work of art.