20 January 2010

Cinderella/Twelfth Night

Today I visited briefly the Schlesinger Library in Cambridge, Mass., to browse through their holdings of the magazines Seventeen and Mademoiselle. I was looking for some information based on notes I took at Indiana last Tuesday on my "Clippings Day". The Lilly holds some letters Plath received from Seventeen about a poem entitled "Cinderella." Being somewhat familiar with Plath's publications, this struck me as strange. So I wanted to look through the years 1952-1954 just to see if something was missed by others (my thought was maybe it was printed late in 1953 when she was recovering at McLean from her nervous breakdown and suicide attempt).

I pulled up "Cinderella" on the computer and then it hit me: I'm an idiot. "Cinderella" was published, but under the title "Twelth Night" in the October 1952. I don't recall seeing any letters (in the places I looked) suggesting or requesting a title change. I hope this wasn't just news to me... Anyway, "Twelfth Night" does not appear in Collected Poems, though "Cinderella" does.

Anyway, in the process I found this advert...




I wonder how she really felt about the photographer?

5 comments :

sarah said...

Interesting!
I've always wanted to get my hands on the Mademoiselle issue which Sylvia guest edited. Do you happen to know of anyone who has scanned it?

By the way, I love this blog! Thanks for providing a fellow Plathophile with her daily fix!

Sorlil said...

Lol, not exactly subtle either!

Peter K Steinberg said...

Sarah, thanks for reading the blog & posting a comment.

Are you interested, specifically, in the pages in which Plath's image and work apprears in the August 1953 Mademoiselle?

I'm not sure, but this might be the earliest instance of Plath agreeing to a title change to her work to assist in getting her work published.

The gesture really is in your face!

BridgetAnna said...

Haha, very nice.

Anonymous said...

Sarah-- The August '53 issue of Mademoiselle is a couple of hundred pages long (for 35cents!) -- 80% of which is advertising. The amount of actual text that needed "editing" is really very small. Sylvia's image or work appears in 3 or 4 places throughout the issue (including her poem "Mad Girl's Love Song"). So there isn't really a whole lot to see, but it's interesting to see pictures of all the other girls that were in NY as guest editors along with Sylvia, and to see their backgrounds. Some of them had impressive resumes by the time they did their stint at M. It's easy to see how Sylvia might have felt somewhat overmatched and diminished in her own eyes in comparison. She goes into that a bit in The Bell Jar, but it's even more striking when you see the details in black and white.
--Jim Long

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