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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Paying Homage to the Brontes: Part 1

I tread the same cobblestones the Bronte sisters once trod.

The Bronte sisters represent something of a conundrum to me.  For while I have seen TV and movie adaptations of their work, I have never read their stories, novels, or poetry.  Yet watching an adaptation is not the same as reading the story that inspired it.  For even screenwriters and directors who endeavor to make their productions as true to the original works as possible cannot capture the magic that a writer creates when he or she puts pen to paper.  Viewing is not the same as reading: they are two entirely different ways of interacting with Fiction.  While I do not claim the superiority of one medium over the other, neither can I ignore how differently the two interact with my brain and resonate with my soul.

I find candy of more recent vintage.

I have also heard, from those closest to me, that for various reasons they have given up on reading the Bronte sisters’ novels.  While this seems a shame to me, it is only now, as the gray hair encroaches, that I feel truly prepared to read such classic works.  For decades, I have kept hardcover editions of the classics my father suggested I should read.  My family urged me, more than once, to get rid of them so I could make way for all the other books I’ve collected.  Yet, even if I knew I was not then ready to read them, I nonetheless yearned to do so.

A Final Resting Place.

Part of what drew me to Haworth was a desire to understand the magical spell these sisters have woven.  For their Fiction brings so many people here each year.  Walking through the city and surrounding countryside, I sought a foothold or handgrip: something that would help pull me into their worlds.  Perhaps this coming year will bring a concerted attempt to find the same truth and beauty in the Brontes’ works that I look for in all the stories I read. 

"Come in, come in, for the ultimate Bronte experience!"

Others are not so demanding as I.  In the Bronte Museum Gift Shop, I noticed numerous illustrated children’s editions of their stories, along with beautiful graphic novel adaptations.  While I smile at such offerings, and recognize that such items have their place, I held myself back.  For I want to experience Charlotte, Emily, and Anne's work first hand, to read their stories in their own words.

This blog entry will conclude with Paying Homage to the Brontes: Part 2.

Thanks for exploring with me,
Dragon Dave

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