Friday, March 02, 2012

Brontë News and Other Distractions

My beloved Charlotte

As of late, I've been keeping myself busy with numerous applications. Revising writing, whipping up CVs, filling out form after form: it's been quite the process. Throughout I've received good news and frustrating news, and there is much more of it to come. I tend to take the bad news to heart, so I'm trying to keep faith as I complete yet another application that all will turn out as it should. The down side to all of this is that it's kept me from writing the posts I was hoping to get up this week. I've read some fantastic literature lately, my thoughts on which I'm dying to share, not to mention that Dickensian literary pilgrimage I have yet to fully document. These will keep until my days become less hectic.

Perhaps the most exciting news this week for a Victorian geek like me is the revelation that a piece of lost writing by Charlotte Brontë has recently been discovered. 'L'Ingratitude' -- apparently filled with inconsistencies in French grammar -- is now the earliest instance we have on record of the homework assigned to her by Constantin Heger, the professor with whom Charlotte fell desperately in love. Although he was married, Charlotte sent him numerous love letters, much to the chagrin of his wife. This episode in Charlotte's life led some fellow MA students and I to coin the name of a new disease: Charlotte Brontë Syndrome. CBS, as it is commonly referred to, is a condition in which the patient suffers from an acute and unrealistic attachment to a tutor or mentor, usually of the academic variety. Symptoms include emotional outbursts and inappropriate revelations. And guys, it's totally a real disease. 

But I digress.

It thrills me to no end that lost manuscripts by beloved authors are still being discovered. Can you imagine stumbling upon one, hidden amongst that junk in the attic? I would love to find that lost novel Emily supposedly wrote or a forgotten novel by Jane Austen. At this point, such revelations are unlikely, but a reader can dream, right? Which author's work do you secretly hope we find more of? I would love to hear!


Jillian said...

I want another work by Margaret Mitchell. :D

Cassandra said...

Firstly: Three cheers for the Victorians! :D
I think Charlotte Brontë is about the best author in the world to discover another work of, she was so talented and wrote so little.
Unfortunately I can't share your excitement now; if I think of my French homework I'm not sure whether anyone should ever read that. But I'll be optimistic for the moment and just assume that Charlotte was a French whizz kid.
Oh, and speaking of being optimistic: Good luck with your applications!

Diana said...

Jillian: Fabulous choice! I'm sure I'll wholeheartedly agree once I read Gone With the Wind (I really need to get on that).

Diana said...

Cassandra: Thank you! I'm glad to hear you love Charlotte as much as I do. After your comment, I do wonder if she'd be a bit embarrassed that scholars were poring over her French homework. I think I would be!

I think it's really interesting to chart her progression and how she went from writing short exercises with grammatical inconsistencies to using the French language freely in her novels (particularly Villette). Does that make sense?

Danny said...

Margaret Mitchell is an interesting selection, Jillian. Personally, I would pick Proust or Woolf--two writers I cannot get enough of.

C. Bronte is a splendid writer, too, of course, though I rather prefer her sister Emily's Wuthering Heights. I would very much be interested in reading another novel of hers.

Danny said...
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Diana said...

Danny: It would be wonderful to discover another Woolf text! I can't comment on the Proust, because I haven't read any Proust. Admittedly, I'm not very good at reading non-British authors, so I'll have to remedy my lack of Proust knowledge this year! What would you recommend as a place to start?