15 January 2010

Update from the Archive Day 5

Day five, hours 37-45, the last last full day - the last massive breakfast followed by a concentration-induced fast. I started this morning off with Plath's 1945 summer journal from Camp Helen Storrow. She spent from 1 July through 15 July near Cape Cod at Camp Helen Storrow. The journal captured her daily schedule, the menus of food she ate at mealtime, and the day-to-day "Dear Diary" entries, to name but a few. On my last trip to the Lilly in June 2008, I read through all the early letters she wrote basically everything pre-1950. So, I had a good foundation of knowledge of what her time at camp was like. You might be wondering, "Hey, guy who spends too much time on Plath, why so interested in her time at Camp Helen Storrow?" Well, two years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the campsite, which is now a private residence. Many of the cabins, though now a little derelict, are still standing. The main camp house is the families residence now - but the tennis court, softball field, beach area and lake are still there. As are the trading post and infirmary. One of these days I'll do a little illustrated essay.

After this, I moved on to their other newly acquired colled, the Thomas, T. mss, ca. 1976-1990. These are legal documents, clippings, correpsondence and other materials related to Trevor Thomas, the man who lived below Plath during the last few months of her life. The correspondence (non-legal) was interesting - notable letters to or from Linda Wagner-Martin, Olwyn Hughes, Clarissa Roche, and Elizabeth Sigmund. I daresay I may have learn a thing or two about Plath finals weeks today - but have to get home to brush up on other Thomasiana such as his self-published memoir Last Encounters. While the letters had some interesting stuff, the bibliography I'm compiling will be most improved by this foray as it'll be a half-dozen or so articles bigger. Doing a bibliography is frustrating because it will never be complete! After three years of building it I should know this - I do know this but I'm just at the point of wilfull denial.

The rest of the was spent reading through the uncollected poems - those listed (or not) in the Juvenilia section of Collected Poems, but not printed among those selected 50.

Tomorrow the Lilly is open for 4 hours only, so I have no idea really on what I'm going to spend my time. But I better make it count!

1 comment :

Joy said...

Great posts on your research. I hope you keep writing them.

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