Saturday, 10 October 2020

Brontë talk: The view from Dublin

One of the things I’ve missed most about Brussels, since leaving the city more than five years ago, has been the wonderful company of fellow Brontë enthusiasts in the Brussels Brontë Group.  

How terrific it was, then, to join you again on Oct. 7 for the talk by Karen Hewitt on Charlotte Brontë’s Quarrel With The English Gentleman in Villette, via Zoom technology, from my own living room in Dublin, Ireland!  

What a strange irony it is that the pandemic restrictions have taken away so many of our freedoms, while allowing technology to open up all sorts of new possibilities – at once shrinking the world and expanding it! 

I’ve hated doing business in the virtual world during the last few months, but I’m delighted with technology when it becomes the platform for transcending distances, borders and the horrors of air travel.  


Besides the very interesting talk from Karen, I loved seeing everyone in their own living rooms, offices, kitchens and other more intriguing, mysterious spaces – it somehow made the event seem much more informal and welcoming.

It was also great to be able to carry on little private chats in the Chat Room with some old friends … although I’m guessing those of you who didn’t reply to my greetings have simply not discovered that function on Zoom yet? 

I’m still learning about Zoom too – I forgot to use the “Insert Background” function to present the illusion that I’m actually sitting out the pandemic on a deserted Caribbean island.  I’ll try that when I join the next book-club discussion on The Last Man by Mary Shelley also via Zoom.  

I’m really looking forward to joining some of you again for that.  I’ll bring my own Duvel, thanks.

Monica Wallace

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