21 May 2009

Sylvia Plath collections: Nathaniel Tarn papers, ca. 1939-2000

The papers of poet Nathaniel Tarn are held at Stanford University in California.

Tarn took notes based on conversations, experiences, and things heard with David Wevill and Assia Wevill which involved the beginning of the affair between Assia and Ted Hughes in July 1962, the demise of the Plath-Hughes marriage, Plath's suicide, and beyond.

Certain bits were quoted by Diane Middlebrook in Her Husband: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes-a marriage and by Eilat Negev and Yedhuda Koren in their 2006 biography of Assia Wevill, A Lover of Unreason. Tarn's handwriting is not easy to read, but it is a fascinating look at what was going on at the time.

The entry from the finding aid looks like this:

Series I. Books and Manuscripts
Subseries C. British Authors Single Correspondence Files
[ Box 29 ] [ Folder 3 ]
Wevill, David, and Wevill, Assia.
DW: 5 als, 11 tls, 1 handwritten postcard; 26 pages & 12 pp. of photocopied poems & several poems in cuttings, 1958-86;AW: 6 als, 8 tls, 1 handwritten postcard; 22 pages; plus 23 ms pp. of NT notes concerning the Sylvia Plath & Assia Wevill (& child of Ted Hughes) suicides, unpublished, plus photos & mementos, 1958-69.

Guide to the Nathaniel Tarn Papers , ca. 1939-2000 (M1132)


panther said...

Astute guy ;)

It's human nature, of course, but I do wonder whether it's totally ethical to hover around TAKING NOTES when one's friends are in turmoil.

Anonymous said...

Notes are never taken in the presence of anyone, in trouble or not.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying, Mr. Tarn I presume?

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