~ }{ ~

~ }{ ~

Donnerstag, Januar 24, 2008

Here it comes

A slight sketch of Thornfield ruins and Jane

Jane, Jane, Jane!

Just finished it! And reading it was so rewarding an experience! True, I had some problems with its “seriousness” and ‘wordiness” at the beginning, as I put it before, but I liked it even then and further on I only liked it more and more! And having read up to the end I wouldn’t think it’s for a younger age anymore, it’s truly a classics, a book about ultimate values, about staying true to your high principles, a book with so psychological a narration that makes it engaging regardless of how many years ago it was written. And then, if it was written in the 19th c., the 19th c. atmosphere only adds to the charm.
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester should surely be one of the most romantic couples in literature. I absolutely love that they loved each other for their inner selves, it is so powerful a message!

On the whole, the book may go a bit slowly at the beginning, but it only improves and absolutely glows by the end! I think I may safely add it to the favourites list and will want to reread it some time later! And you can also say the book is good if you want to attempt a couple of illustrations to it afterwards! (I am sketching ruined Thornfield and Jane now)

Now I can watch the 1980s version to compare it with the book and the recent BBC Jane Eyre :-)

P.S. They still have the Penguin edition in bookshops, but the print is even smaller than in my "Sophia Kramskaya" edition!

Dienstag, Januar 22, 2008

On Becky Bloomwood and commercial translation

ATTN Mintie (as a Becky fan and fellow teacher), otherwise to whom it may concern ;-)

I hereby acknowledge the receipt of my long-waited copy of Shopaholic and Baby (shipped within a week since the date of the order by a separate parcel) and express my anticipation that it will provide for intertaining commutes if I am able to read in public transport considering the late hours I complete performing teaching obligations endowed on me by the department for language teaching. Please be informed that I have already had the pleasure of recommending the book mentioned herein to my students. The title and the author of the book have actually been put on the blackboard for their reference in class last Friday. I also plan to introduce certain letters from the Shopaholic novels to my students for translation practice, learning new vocabulary and a little fun combined, and sincerely hope fullfilling the task proposed will be to their substantial benefit.

Yours faithfully,

Lost in commercial translation &c.
Please find the image of the book cover enclosed into this message to the left of the present text.
No enclousure link has been added since the author of the present message cannot think of any link related to the subject.

Donnerstag, Januar 10, 2008

Inspired by Jane Eyre

Proves I'm impressed. Otherwise I wouldn't have tried sketching her likeness!

Prinzessin Rosenbluete, wach gekuesst!

I read it shortly before the new year and it as really a lot of fun and tastefully written, precisely a kind of books I like and would like to write myself one day. I picked it up in Vienna because I am fascinated with the sleeping beauty (Dornroeschen) story and kind of try collecting its different interpretations. This book turned out to be a sequel to Prinzessin Rosenbluete, but it does not matter because the previous story was clearly mentioned in this one. In this book Emma, a schoolgirl, it called through the loudspeaker into Swan Kingdom to help the Princess who fell asleep for hundred years. Kristen Boie gives unexpected but funny interpretations of the fairytales we all know since we were little, and I love the modern language, humour and attitude! For example, the Princess is nothing like a sweet girl, in fact she's very wilful and capricious. And Emma likes the lunch her mum gave her for the sport competiotion so much better than the food she and her schoolfriend Ludwig are provided with at the palace in Swan Kingdom. The frog prince does not want to be prince anymore as he hates his wife nagging so much and wants to become a frog again... The funniest probably was when the little man from the tale about a miller's daughter who became queen changes his peculiar name for Eberhard Schulze!

Looking forward to reading more Kristen Boie if I have chance. In fact, I am much looking forward to reading my German books in general, I only should finish Jane Eyre first, I think by the weekend!

Mittwoch, Januar 09, 2008

Jane Eyre, the book

I don't know what to think about this book. I know it's a classics and I see its merits but I cannot fully love it the way I love Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell or Anne Bronte! I think the story itself is good (even if it has some coincidinces there must be some inner logics in this) but each time I am picking the book up to read further I feel there's something about it that won't let me loving it. Sometimes I think I should have read it when younger, then I would have been more impressed by the heroine's spirit (and probably more troubled by the age difference, Rochester would have seemed ancient for me then, like Colonel Brandon did, when I was 17 and read Sense and Sensibility for the first time!). What I like most of all about the story now is the idea of people being equal. True, Jane was not humble and I love when she says to Rochester that night in the garden she addresses him as if her soul were addressing his soul as if they were standing together after passing the grave. I sympathise with Rochester for his past mistake and wish them happy (I'm now reading the chapter about their courtship time) though I know they will have to go through a lot before there may be some glimpse of earthly happiness for them but I still cannot say I am totally in love with the book, there's something that slightly irritates me. Maybe, it's a bit too melodramatic or a bit too serious. My sister read it several years ago (she must be about 13 then and when I asked her these days how she liked it she said it was "a tedious and moralistic novel with lots of improbable events in it". So maybe the idea of getting to know Jane Eyre when teenage won't always work, lol! At last, today's morning I approximately got what I did not like about it. Charlotte has a good story and good ideas put into the novel but she spoils it with being too wordy, too serious or too melodramatic so that the drawing which would have otherwise been exellent in shapes and contrast gets somewhat smudged, loses prominence and sharpness and becomes less expressive. Sometimes the narration seems too monotonous! (Now it's me who's becoming too wordy!).

Nevertheless, I am glad I am reading the original now (I meant it for ages!) and learning the minute particulars of it and I am sympathising with the characters. I just expected to be a little more involved with it maybe. I heard so many people admire and recommend the story I expected I would admire it wholly too. I am quite enjoying reading it and I respect it as a classic novel but I am not someone left breathless after I close the book. Even if I keep thinking about it.

Sometimes I even think that I maybe find the "modernized" interpretation in the 2006 miniseries a bit more compelling than the original story (though I don't approve of making the Lowood scenes so sinister and cutting out Jane's relationship with Bessie, Miss Temple and Helen).

It's curious that my copy has a Russian painting used on the cover (because it comes from a Russian publishing house who print some English texts), I belive it's Kramskoy's portrait of his wife reading! Or maybe she was his daughter. The lady's name is Sophia Kramskaya and the only copy of the portrait I found online is sadly not in full colour.

Samstag, Januar 05, 2008

Jane Eyre, part 2

Watched the second half of the series yesterday and ended up hoping they would release it on DVD soon since they already aired it on the Culture channel! I cannot compare the second half to the book in detail (yet) but I very much enjoyed watching the second half putting aside all the comparisons. My conclusion will be that the portrayal of the relationship was done wonderfully, but I can feel how they interpreted it towards the modern audience. I won't complain about that, however. Being a translator I would say that the most important thing is to consider the interest of those for whom you are interpreting, and that is what was done in the new adaptation and with an impressing result. These Jane and Rochester look so well together, you can see it from the moment Jane helps him on the horse and you start feeling for them and wanting they finally overcome all the obstacles and be happy together. You feel happy for Jane when she looks herself over in the mirror after Rochester proposed and your heart breaks when she's wondering in the moor after the truth about the mad wife is revealed. (The scenes with Bertha were hard for me to bear). You have to interpret the first person narration when adapting the novel to screen and Ruth Wilson's rendering Jane's state of mind was so moving and psychologically true. And there was something about Toby Stephen's Mr Rochester that made you believe he was Rochester and sympathize with him.

I was very happy for both when Jane returns to Thornfield and they are reunited, and the closing scene, though somewhat melodramatic, made sense. I can now see how they wanted to make contrast between the Reeds portrait where Jane was "not the family" and the family portrait with the cousins, Mrs Fairfax, Adele and the two children (and Pilot :-) ) where Jane is a happy wife and mother. The story has its dark and heartbreaking moments but this end does not leave a heavy feeling with you.

On the whole, I think I am rather glad they took a bit of a modernistic approach to it. It was moving to follow the development of the relationship, really romantic and impressive. Combined with realistic landscapes and scenery I really think it was made less gloomy and more perceptible for modern audience. It's just amazing how they made it more perceptible with actually not deviating much from what was in the novel.

Looking forward towards the DVD and also going to see the 1983 version after I finish the novel.

Jane Eyre, the book and the screen version with Ruth Wilson

It was aired here yesterday for the first time, so on new yer's day I picked up the book to become more familiar with the story than I had been before (I'd seen Zeferelli version about 6 years ago and read an abridged version of the novel around the same time). I've reached visitors at Thornfiels so far, but the 2nd episode of the new series went a little further than that.

First about the book. I am enjoying it but I somewhat find Charlotte's style too wordy and the story wanted more pace I think (now it goes faster, just as I would like!). I like the special atmosphere of the book and it leaves a special feel with me even when I put the book aside.

I expected more of the new series, but I wouldn't say I entirely disliked it. I did not like how they crumpled all the childhood period in only 5 minutes or so. They just showed the surface and Jane's character as a child remained undeveloped. But I think it was important in the book, it explains why Jane was what she was when she came to Thornfield.

I liked Ruth Wilson as Jane, she has somewhat irregular features which suits well to her remoteness and Rochester's perception of her as a "witch" and "elfish creature". But she seems too forward in my opinion compared to the Jane from the book, even though I find the personality as portraid in the series attractive too. Ruth Wilson also reminds me of Victoria hamilton (Queen Victoria in Victoria and Albert and also some parts in Jane Austen adaptations) and it confuses me a little.

I wasn't sure about Toby Stephens as Rochester judging from film stills I'd seen, but the moment I saw him rising from the ground in the fog, I felt there was something "Rochesterish" about him. I still cannot pinpoint exactly what it was, his moodiness maybe.

From the scene Jane helps Rochester on the horse it's very obvious how well they would suit together I think. And after the fire scene it looks very much obvious as if Rochester is going to kiss her, I think it was a bit too bold and early implied (thinking of the forst proposal in Keira Knightley P&P version here). After that scene Jane looks very happy as if he'd just proposed to her, I would expect a more thoughtful reaction from Jane in the book. And she puts on a small red scarf the next morning (see the picture above!), that is just too forward an implication I think ;-)

In general, Jane and Rochester seem to get on very well from very early on, and their inclination towards each other seems too obvious, not the way I would imagine it's in the book, but it looks quite romantic to me so I do not complain. But I do think it's different from the novel.

Adele looks a bit older than it the books, but she's nice. Mrs Fairfax is ok, but I liked the one in the Zeferelli version more. Pilot is cute!

I loved the Thornfield landscapes, they looked so very realistic and English with their lack of sunlight, and the scene of Jane and Rochester meeting was wrapped in a fog.

To wrap up, I'd say that this version does not exactly conform to the book, but it's enjoyable enough once you forget the crumpled and sinister-looking beginning (the Lowood scenes were so awfully scary!). I would describe it as a-too-forward-Jane version. It's somewhat reminiscent of what they did to Fanny in the Mansfield Park adaptation with Frances O'Connor, but I don't complian of that much, I had other issies with that film. I rather like the heroine's development in both Mansfield Park and this Jane Eyre though there was nothing like that in their character in the books!

Freitag, Januar 04, 2008


This is Leslie's portrait. I've had the pencil sketch about a year maybe, but I only coloured it today. Looks a bit clumsy but Oksana said she liikes it only she would Leslie wear her hair loose. Mediums: gel pen and watercolours

Some drawings and a card I made these days

They taught me to paint trees in this way in Velikiy Ustyug at Grandpa Frost's town residence, I am now going to make cards for family out of these little paintings!

(A drawing for Paula remains unveiled, I'm preparing a letter for you these days, Paula!)

Happy New Year from the new year!

It was very-very low key this year. The plus is we had an earlier dinner so that there were only snacks and champaigne left for midnight. Then we tasted different chocolates and Vanillekipferl - these are almond and vanilla bisquits I tried baking for the first time (a German recipe)! And then went to bed. The first new yer day was beautiful, clean and crisp and sunny and the year really felt new!

What have I been doing in the new year? Reading Jane Eyre (It's ages I meant to read it and finally got to in anticipating the new series that will be aired tomorrow. Frankly, the language is too wordy and I wish the story had more pace, but I have quite a pleasant feeling reading it. I still prefer Anne of all the brontes though!), drawing and making cards (we decided to do without New Year presents this year to to clutter the flat with stuff anymore, but I promised some crafts for Christmas to the family!) and typing a story on my laptop. I'll make my resolutions on Christmas eve as usual!

It's too cold even in the flat and I am lazy to go out. It's a pity since I wished I would spend more time in the open!

our new year table, my "unconventional" tree and yours truly, the more conventional tree in the living room and yours truly, again, reflected in the cupboard glass! I'm happy as to how my white tree looks this year, I've got new decorations (and sadly already broke one hardly had I hung it on the tree!), including some from Salzburg, and the Kaethe Wollfahrt birds are right there as usual too! Plus I have found place for all the old decorations too, including the red glass ball and the birdie we've had since I was for. The lights on the green tree keep being well 22 years already! Or 23, I'm not sure, I'm only about a year older then them :-))