13 April 2009

Barstow on the Plath-Hughes Legacy

On Sunday, David Barstow of The New York Times published "A New Chapter of Grief in the Plath-Hughes Legacy" on the death of Nicholas Hughes. This is a very good article on the subject, certainly one of the finest published in the last three weeks. Thanks to Amanda for pointing this out.


Anonymous said...

Going for a walk and hanging by rafter are reminiscent of scenes from The Bell Jar.

Very sad ending to Nicholas Hughes' story.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. Thanks Peter (& Amanda)!

Laurie said...

Just yesterday, I finished listening to an unabridged reading of The Bell Jar and it struck me about that hanging, as Anonymous mentions, when I heard that part. It is just coincidence, but noteworthy.

I wish the article hadn't been so explicit. Did I want to know that Nick described it as a Good Day? I supposed it speaks to the relief of knowing an end to suffering has been formed and that conclusion must seem Good in a warped, circular inevitability. Who told the writer this!? It should have remained private.

Karen Kukil is right. Those of us in the Plath/Hughes camp are really upset about Nick's death. What we feel is chump change to what Frieda must be going through. So, I don't see how that article with its, 'Nick loved his privacy' mantra but still exposed him and his sister without regard is a good thing. I'm not even sure why I find it so upsetting. I suppose it must be mostly about the disregard.

There was "something" about Nicholas living here in my state. I didn't dwell on it, but it was something I'd consider from time to time that he was safe up there in Fairbanks away from prying eyes. I know the few university English courses I took here in Juneau, it was never mentioned. He was vicariously a literary superstar, yet his privacy was honored. I don't think anywhere but Alaska could have pulled that off.

I appreciate the finding and sharing of the article. But, think the writer went way too far. Just because you 'can' do something, doesn't mean you should.

I'm done.

panther said...

Going for a walk is, oddly, exactly what people in Greenland used to do (do they still ?) when they felt they had had enough. They would walk right into the interior, away from human community, until they died of hypothermia.

I`m glad Nick Hughes had his privacy respected. That he was allowed to be himself. Surely we should all be allowed that ?

Anonymous said...

The private details of Nicholas Hughes' suicide were bound to be made known at some point - and I'd rather read about it in The New York Times than in some other paper (i.e. a tabloid).

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.