Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Reader, I married him"

I'm re-reading Jane Eyre for Literature and falling in love with it again. It's my 'it had to be you' book (for all your faults/I love you still) because it is in fact flawed, yet it still retains something special. Jane Eyre, with all her plainness and quietness, is an intriguing character. She's observant and acutely aware of things that nobody else cares to see. Rochester (move over Cullen, this is the real Edward) is incredibly questionable in his morals and his treatment of Jane, yet she gets him--even if a lot of readers don't--and he happens to be just as observant as she, however immersed in his troubles he may be. And for the record, it never detracted from the book that Bronte's main characters happen to be 'ugly'. Maybe because I always reached the conclusion that:
a) they're not that 'ugly', they're unconventional
b) whatever the case, they have attractive qualities that speak louder than exterior appearances

Anyway, I just wanted to put on this blog a powerful passage (courtesy of Charlotte Bronte's moments of inspired poetry) about Jane 'getting' Rochester, while simultaneously revealing the hidden, profound love she fosters for him.

I saw Rochester smile - his stern features softened; his eye grew both brilliant and gentle, its ray both searching and sweet. He was talking, at the moment, to Louisa and Amy Eshton. I wondered to see them receive with calm that look which seemed to me so penetrating; I expected their eyes to fall, their colour to rise under it; yet I was glad when I found they were in no sense moved. 'He is not to them what he is to me,' I thought: 'he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine - I am sure he is - I feel akin to him - I understand the language of his counteance and movements: though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and in my heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him.


[I'm still waiting for the perfect film companion to the book, though the 2006 BBC version was pretty good. I think Rochester is not too difficult to capture on screen, he's naturally a fascinating and engaging character. What's harder is to capture Jane Eyre without making her dull or submissive, and also not to increase her age--she never quite looks eighteen in the film versions. But Ruth Wilson in the aforementioned BBC version was pretty good...gosh I gotta watch that again...]

In other news, I found out via email that one of the dvds I requested of the city library to purchase has come through and it's ready for me to borrow. I say, Christmas has come early. Why? Because this is not any film, it's Martin Scorsese's sole musical feature (as far as I know), called none other than 'New York, New York' (with that famous theme song). Liza Minelli and Robert De Niro? It's sure going to be one of the most intriguing pairings I've seen.

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