06 May 2010

Lorna Bradbury on The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath

Lorna Bradbury of The Telegraph reviews the Spoken Word Sylvia Plath CD in her review, "From the Archive: The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath."

Not perfect (Assia Wevill and Ted Hughes were not married... how many times have we been over this?) and not a complete review (its focus, like many others, is on "Two of a Kind"), but another positive opinion on the British Library publication. What I think is best about all that's been written so far is that the focus has shifted so far away from the perpetual doom & gloom opinion of Plath. The recordings show her as so lively & personable & professional. And critical, such as, in "Two of a Kind", when she turns the tables on Owen Leeming and leaves him a stumbling-bumbling mess. A true step forward.


panther said...

It strikes me as odd, this "Ted and Assia were married" misunderstanding-almost Puritan, as if they couldn't possibly have just been having an affair or co-habiting.It was the Sixties, not the Middle Ages !

Is it all caused , do you think ? by Ted's oft-quoted letter to Assia's sister in which he writes "Assia was my true wife" ? He's talking there of an emotional truth, not a literal one- it's not that difficult to understand.

This kind of mistake could be ironed out if the journalists in question did the most basic googling.

Still, the review had some good points and goes some way to humanizing Plath rather than buying into the one-dimensional image of her reinforced by the SYLVIA film with Gwyneth Paltrow. Which could have been a good film, it really could have been.Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Never got my CD from Chicago. Why bother?

Peter K Steinberg said...


University of Chicago had a delay, for some reason but I'm not sure of the reason, in obtaining and distributing the CD. Right now it looks like it won't be distributed until July.

Best way to get it before that time would be to order via the British Library website (or Amazon.co.uk).


Anonymous said...

There's another review here at Emma Lee's blog that actually focuses on the poetry and Sylvia Plath's readings.

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