28 July 2009

New article published on Sylvia Plath

Plath Profiles 2 is just around the corner, but in the meantime, Plath is receiving attention in other scholarly journals.

Scott Knickerbocker recently published "'Bodied Forth in Words': Sylvia Plath's Ecopoetics". This paper is in College Literature 36:3, Summer 2009, pages 1-27.

Here is Knickerbocker's abstract:

"Plath demonstrates a combined interest in the texture of the natural world and the texture of language, which in her poems enacts and does not merely represent that world. Her unfortunate categorization as a 'confessional' poet as well as critics’ obsession with her biography have resulted in, on one hand, an underestimation of Plath’s engagement with the “real world” beyond her subjectivity, and on the other hand, an insufficient consideration of the craft and formal properties of her poems. She was, from an early age, drawn to the natural world, although she was equally fascinated by the sounds of language. Plath’s sense of irony and linguistic awareness, that is, puts her in a different category from that of a mere nature lover. Her poetry derives its power from the generative friction between speakers and a nonhuman world that resists figurative appropriation. For Plath, this resistance is itself to be figured forth, creating the formal reverberations with which her poems still startle us."

Thanks to Amanda for pointing out Knickerbocker's paper. If anyone else out there finds a new article on (or has written one), please let me know.

P.S. As of this morning the summer 2009 issue was not listed as the "current" issue on College Literature's website. It is available through Project Muse if you have access to this database.

4 comments :

Jinghua FAN 得一忘二 said...

It is fascinating that Plath uses so many plant and animal images in her poetry. I have been thinking about writing on the topic for quite some time.

Melanie Smith said...

Thank you for this Peter, will try and hunt down a copy.

BridgetAnna said...

"Her unfortunate categorization as a 'confessional' poet" - ? Why is that considered 'unfortunate'? I guess I just don't see it that way.

Peter K Steinberg said...

Hi BridgetAnna,

I suspect many scholars find Plath's inclusion with the Confessionals to be detrimental to her reputation and reception. Their writing (Sexton and Lowell's, etc.) being so much more nakedly in that vein than Plath's. I think the Confessionals, many of whom outlived Plath, necessarily developed in a way Plath could not have - having died. And thus while Plath was early lumped in with them, she has posthumously tried to crawl out of the confessional bottle in which she lived for a time.

pks

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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.

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