The Conversation discusses the rape accusations against Harvey Weinstein and argues that, 'Rape is a plot device in western literature, sold back to us by Hollywood'. We mostly agree even though we do think that the quote from Jane Eyre is taken out of context:
Even where authors have seemingly set out to create positive representations of female sexual desire, the results can be uncanny. “I decidedly preferred these fierce favours to anything more tender,” says the eponymous heroine of Jane Eyre, whose paramour often seems to totter on the brink of actual physical attack. Yes, Rochester gets maimed in the end, and Jane scores a fortune, and this makes them more equal. But the fact that the hero is a man who locks his mad wife in the attic needs to be questioned.The quote comes from chapter XXIV:
Then there’s Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights. He hangs Isabella’s dog. Need I say more? (Camilla Nelson)
In other people's presence I was, as formerly, deferential and quiet; any other line of conduct being uncalled for: it was only in the evening conferences I thus thwarted and afflicted him. He continued to send for me punctually the moment the clock struck seven; though when I appeared before him now, he had no such honeyed terms as "love" and "darling" on his lips: the best words at my service were "provoking puppet," "malicious elf," "sprite," "changeling," &c. For caresses, too, I now got grimaces; for a pressure of the hand, a pinch on the arm; for a kiss on the cheek, a severe tweak of the ear. It was all right: at present I decidedly preferred these fierce favours to anything more tender. Mrs. Fairfax, I saw, approved me: her anxiety on my account vanished; therefore I was certain I did well. Meantime, Mr. Rochester affirmed I was wearing him to skin and bone, and threatened awful vengeance for my present conduct at some period fast coming. I laughed in my sleeve at his menaces. "I can keep you in reasonable check now," I reflected; "and I don't doubt to be able to do it hereafter: if one expedient loses its virtue, another must be devised."We have always read it as a bit of tongue-in-cheek passage, as Jane is clearly enjoying teasing and being teased by Rochester.
The Guardian reviews the book Nature and Necessity by Tariq Goddard.
Goddard can do tenderness as well as humour. The best scenes are moments of thwarted intimacy, such as when Evita comes home strung out on heroin and her mother looks after her in the attic – the Jane Eyre parallels are made explicit. There is no reconciliation: “doing things had always been preferable to forming emotional connections” for Petula. (Henry Jeffreys)An alert for later today at Rawdon Community Library, as seen in The Telegraph and Argus.
Charlotte Brontë will be the subject of a lecture at Rawdon Community Library this month.The Haworth public toilets affair continues and The Telegraph and Argus has an article about it (isn't it a sad sign of the times when people are fighting to get a public toilet?). Los Angeles Public Library looks at 'The Many Faces of Jane Eyre'.
The lecture will explore how 'modern' a woman Charlotte was.Was the author of one of the most powerful novels in the history of English literature a feminist? Is that a term she would have recognised?
In her talk Diane Fare, audience development officer at Brontë Parsonage Museum, will examine Charlotte's own experience of romance, and the depiction of romance in her fiction.
The Parsonage is in the midst of a five-year bicentenary programme, celebrating the 200th anniversaries of the births of Charlotte in 2016, Branwell in 2017, Emily in 2018 and Anne in 2020. In 2019, the museum will focus attention on the father of the famous siblings, Patrick, and explore his role in the Bronte story.
Charlotte Bronte: A Modern Woman? will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 19. Tickets cost £4 and are available in the library or on the door. (Annette McIntyre)