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Jane Austen News – Issue 124

The Jane Austen News for Newcastle

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Instagram, But For Books Only

A new app the Jane Austen News came across this week is Litsy, which we thought was so nice we had to share it with you.

Litsy is a cross between Instagram and Goodreads. You “follow” different readers and publishers who then share photos of what they’re reading or have read recently. Users can also share quotes from the books they’re reading, or, if so inclined, whole reviews, although the app is more aimed at quick snapshots rather then in-depth analysis.

It has all of the normal social network features, like commenting on and sharing posts, but one of the best bits of Litsy is its easy “To Read” list feature. When you see the cover of a book you want to read appear in your feed, you can add it to your “To Read” list and refer back to it next time you visit your local bookshop.

Anyway, if you like looking at book covers (like we do!) we think you’ll like this.


An Alternative Nobel Prize in Literature

The Swedish Academy is not awarding a Nobel Prize in Literature this year following the scandals which emerged in May surrounding the judging panel. Allegations of sexual assault were made against Jean-Claude Arnault, husband of Katarina Frostenson – author and member of the prize’s jury. These allegations sparked debate about the academy’s patriarchal nature and led to a swathe of resignations, which in turn led to the postponement of the prize “in view of the currently diminished academy and the reduced public confidence”.

However, in its place, more then 100 Swedish writers, journalists, actors, and other cultural figures have banded together to form the New Academy, which will give out its own prize this autumn.

We have founded the New Academy to remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege, bias, arrogance or sexism. The New Academy regards this as so important that the world’s greatest literature prize should still be awarded in 2018.

The New Academy are asking Sweden’s librarians to nominate authors for the prize. Nominees can come from anywhere in the world, but must have written at least two books, one of them having been published in the last ten years. They are looking for an author who has told the story of “humans in the world”. The four most popular authors following a public vote will be put before the New Academy jury.

This is a one-year only award, however. The day after the winner is presented with their award at a formal celebration the New Academy will be disbanded.

In awarding this prize, we are staging a protest. We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse


Pride and Prejudice in Newcastle

Coleman’s Field at Jesmond Dene (a park in the east of Newcastle upon Tyne, England) is set to have a season of open-air theatre this summer starting with, we’re pleased to say, Pride and Prejudice, which will be performed on July 5th and July 6th.

The production will be performed by Heartbreak Productions, and will be one of four shows by the company whose run at Jesmond Dene will also include the shows Much Ado About Nothing, The Railway Children and The Midnight Gang. Pride and Prejudice will only be performed on the 5th and 6th of July at 7:30pm. Gates to the venue open at 6:30pm.

If you live near Newcastle and fancy a last-minute evening of Austen theatre then the recommendation is to turn up a bit early as seating space (bring your own rug/low chair) is first-come, first-served. If you are bringing a picnic, people “are advised that Champagne and cucumber sandwiches are permitted – as long as proper use of a napkin is observed of course.”

More information on the performances can be found here.


The Jane Austen Dancers Out And About

This weekend we had the pleasure of seeing Bath based dance troupe the Jane Austen Dancers, performing at a local music festival.

Keynsham, which is about 15 minutes from Bath and gets a brief mention in Jane’s Northanger Abbey, had its annual music festival on Sunday the 1st of July, and despite the incredible heat a team of dancers from the Jane Austen Dancers came to perform some traditional dances for the crowds.

Here are a few snaps from their performance. (Please excuse the tent pole, it was impossible to get a shot without one…)

   

In case you were wondering, that’s our very own Martin (aka Mr Bennet), from the Jane Austen Centre dancing in the middle set.


Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world. If you’d like to include your story, please contact us with a press release or summary, along with a link. You can also submit unique articles for publication in our Online Magazine.

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