Thursday 20 February 2020

Exploring Anne Brontë’s Poetry

Emelie Sannen helped the Brussels Brontë Group continue the celebration of Anne Brontë’s bicentenary with a very evocative analysis of three of Anne’s poems. As one of the youngest members of our group, Emelie is in a good position to help us appreciate the poetry of the youngest of the Brontë sisters.

Emelie, who is a student at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), spoke during our Member Presentations day on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. Using ``word clouds’’ to help her examine some of her favorite poems by Anne, Emelie started with ``Home,’’ saying the work made her think of a time she was wandering in the big city away from her own home.

Emelie and a 'word cloud' of Anne's poem `Home'

The next poem, ``Memory,’’ also begins with an image of the sun, but then focuses on various flowers instead of the ``barren hills’’ and ``colder breezes’’ of the poem ``Home.’’ Both works are about memories, but of different kinds.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Mind-Mapping the Brontës

Mark Cropper has used mind-mapping to create memorable images of a couple of the talks we have enjoyed at the Brussels Brontë Group. On Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, he shared his insights on how this note-taking technique helps him to create these colorful images.

Mark with his mind map of John Sutherland's talk.

Starting with a brief explanation of how mind-mapping developed, Mark gave a little seminar on how he uses the technique to show graphically the most important elements of a presentation. Along the way, he mind-mapped his own presentation.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

The Brontës and Fanfiction

Ana Gauthier managed to connect the Brontës with Star Trek and Harry Potter in an entertaining presentation on the Brontës and fanfiction to the Brussels Brontës Group on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020.

While the Star Trek television series could be credited by many with sparking the first ``fandom’’ around fictional characters, Ana showed how the tiny magazines that the Brontë children created for their imaginary worlds could be considered early versions of fanfiction. Just like modern-day fanfiction, the young siblings could use their fictional worlds of Angria and Gondal as an experimental playground to give their imaginations free rein, allowing them to ask what-if questions about real-world characters and development totally new characters, too.

But she also suggested that fanfiction is much older even than the Brontës. Lots of Shakespeare takes characters and plot elements from earlier works and reworks them. Milton’s Paradise Lost is a derivative work of the Bible where he repaints Satan as a tragic hero. Dante’s Inferno is a mash-up of the Bible, The Aeneid, and Greek mythology. The Aeneid itself is a spinoff of The Iliad, she explained.