Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

March 11, 2006

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Filed under: Random Acts of Bronte,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 7:54 pm

Random Acts of Bronte- a brief guide.

Still recovering from this very hectic week! Not only has there been an unusual amount of work to complete for my classes, but Bronteana readers have given me so many options for new posts that I hardly know where to begin- not that I'm complaining! So, I'm diving in with more Random Acts of Bronte because, really, it would be nice if this took off. And it is something everyone can participate in- and besides, it's fun!

Bronteana reader, 'Carol' offers us this brief guide to helpful allusions for common situations! Here are a few exerpts:

Quotable Bronte:
It's a cold rainy day on campus, so how can I help declaring: "There was no chance of taking a walk that day" ? Ironically, I have to walk to class nonetheless because I don't have a car.
"You eat like a bird!" says my friend while surveying my P&J sandwich and Capri Sun. Of course, I reply, "I am no bird! And no net ensnares me!" You can imagine the stares I get at the lunch table.

St. Patrick's Day is fast approaching as my roommate and I observe in Target while looking at T-shirts that read "Kiss me. I'm Irish" and "Ireland" in big, flashy letters. What better time than this to burst into song?

Ireland! I really must Object!
Jane, this is best
I disagree, sir
Jane, when your gone
I will miss our walks, our little talks, the look of sunlight on your face
soon to be a memory…

Okay, so Charlotte Bronte didn't actually put it that way, but I still brought awareness to fellow Target customers. My roommate is used to my Bronte moments by now.

Creative Applications and Experiments:
I am fascinated by the way Bronte depicts restraint in her characters, especially in Rochester. Several times throughout Jane Eyre, Rochester seems to be struggling intensely from a wish to profess his love for Jane all at once, but he always manages to control himself. I always wondered what would happen if his feelings had overpowered him in the gypsy scene. I imagined the result would be quite comical. So, I talked my sister and cousins into participating in a mock talk show addressing this alternative event: that Rochester, overcome with emotion while reading into the significance of Jane's forehead, finally gives in to his impulses, grabs Jane, and kisses her heartily (all the while, still disquised as a gypsy woman). I was the host of the show, and the guests–played by my sister and cousins–were Jane, Rochester (still dressed like a gypsy), Blanch Ingram, and I think some other characters. Jane is so shocked and confused, she can hardly answer the interview questions. Blanch, appalled by Rochester's strange behavior, decides that insanity and cross-dressing trumps riches and social status; she quickly turns her affections elsewhere. Rochester sits absently, looking very pleased with himself in his wide-brimmed hat and tattered cloak. I don't remember most of the dialogue, but I recall that it was a bit disturbing–but incredibly hilarious.

So far my Random Acts have been limited to spontaneously quoting Anne Bronte's poetry, or such. You have inspired me to be more creative. Perhaps I could use the finger puppets…

An off-topic conclusion to this post is that yesterday I recieved an acceptance from one of the master's programs I applied to. If all goes well, and as it may, I will be an assistant to a Bronte professor next year. I literally just got in from my first conference as well! It was a success, and a lot of fun.

March 9, 2006

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Filed under: Anecdotes,Bronteana,Random Acts of Bronte,Shirley,Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 1:37 am

A Very Random Act of Brontë

I am half-way through my week of trails. There's still the in-class essay and the conference to prepare for. This afternoon I met with several colleagues also presenting at the Classics conference. They were drafting a letter accepting invitations to the conference's luncheon. The three of us are in some way students of English and Classics. We amused ourselves with writing the most grandeloquent prose humanly possible, describing our professors as "most sapient", and beginning with terms such as "Lord Admiral Nelson (Ph.D)," and "*professor's name here*, Duchess of Lambton Tower," and ending with something like "your most obliguing and obedient servants." I think 'conference' was consistently replaced with 'confabulation.' When it came to how I would be mentioned in this letter, the first option proposed was to make me an esquire. But then I explained how ladies can't be esquires…

"Unless you are Shirley, from the novel of the same name by Charlotte Brontë- She is the only one allowed to break this rule!"

And a hush falls, since no one knows what I'm talking about. But it's a start! I just have to keep mentioning it and eventually someone will ask me to explain. I do not remember how they resolved my title. It was troublesome:

"You're not married to a baronet, are you?"

"…Not to my knowledge."

Click here if you do not remember Random Acts of Brontë.

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