Monday, 20 February 2017

Brussels Brontë Group, talks on "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights"

Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights were the subjects of a day of talks by members of the Brussels Brontë Group on 11 February. It was a tradi-tionally rainy Saturday in February, and members of the Brussels Brontё Group sought refuge in the rich world of complicated women and windswept landscapes to hear two more fascinating talks from the group members.

In the morning, Judith Collins walked us through Disguise, deception and concealment in Jane Eyre. Her inspiration for this topic were the two scenes when Rochester dresses up, first in the charades and then as the gypsy-woman. She says: “it occurred to me that although these were literal disguises, that is, he changed his clothes so that he wouldn’t be recognised, there were other sorts of disguises in the novel.”

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Translations of the Brontë Devoirs

When at the Pensionnat Heger in Brussels, Charlotte and Emily Brontë wrote quite a lot of essays, or devoirs, at the instruction of Monsieur Heger, in French. These compositions are not only an important part of the legacy of their time in Brussels, they are also “a crucial link between the juvenilia and the novels,” as Sue Lonoff put it in her The Belgian Essays, published in 1996 by Yale.
For the first time the texts of all the known manuscripts were published, also in English translations.
Previously, some could be found in Elizabeth Gaskell's Life of Charlotte Brontë; Fannie Ratchford's and Loraine White Nagel's Emily Brontë. Five Essays Written in French; Enid Duthie's The Foreign Vision of Charlotte Brontë, and several articles in Brontë Studies Transactions.

At the time, Lonoff gives the number of 30 devoirs known to have existed, written by at least one of the sisters, with two of them being lost. In 2012 Charlotte’s L’Amour filial devoir turned up, found in a private library. A devoir with that title written by Emily was already known. On top of that, Brian Bracken discovered Charlotte’s L’Ingratude in 2011. It was one of the two missing devoirs.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Villette and The Professor in Korean

The first Korean Villette was published in 1996, in a translation by Joel Lee. It was published by Ch'angjak kwa Pip'yŏngsa from Seoul. The title gives the sound of Villette, Pillett'ŭ in a transcription. The second translation’s title in transcription is Billette. This work was published in two volumes, of 270 and 218 pages. The covers were identical (apart from nrs. 1 and 2).

Cover of the 1996 Korean Villette
(Painting: Johannes Vermeer - Woman 
reading a letter  (ca 1663))