05 June 2010

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 5 June 2010

This blog post kind of got away from me. If it's as nasty outside where you live as it is where I live, then maybe that's ok...

  • Val Hennessey at the Daily Mail reviews Lesley McDowell's Between the Sheets in "Clever Girls with Terrible Taste in Men." I read the book over the winter and found it lacking. Plath didn't belong in with the rest of the women for one reason: she didn't put up with Ted Hughes's infidelity. All the other relationships in the book were sadly portrayed and I kept screaming at the book "Leave the bastard!" These men, whether they or I knew it or not, taught me everything I need to know about relationships. The stories were repetitive and far too similar, and did not do much to make me interested in the lives or the writings of those featured. It was too the point that I dreaded reading the Plath chapter, which is the last chapter. But it read far better than I expected. This disappointment with the book in general warranted no big, critical because-you-might-have-messed-up-the-facts review.


  • Some of you may be looking forward to Plath Profiles 3. Well, we are in production. Just waiting for final revisions from accepted papers and a few other administrative things. It's shaping up nicely. The table of contents are set. The cover will knock your sandles off (it is summer, who wears socks in summer?)... Having seen everything, I can safely say the essays, poetry, artwork, and review are spectacular, transformative. At the risk of not fulfilling a promise, I cannot not say now when it is going online. But I hope it will be in July, rather than August.

    I don't feel comfortable writing about other peoples publications in Plath Profiles in advance (though I would be happy, if any of this blogs readers want to post an abstract, to do just that), but I would like to mention one of my two here. And here's why. I check the statistics on this blog and the website religiously. It helps to fix stale content or develop new content if I keep noticing people hitting the site with keywords and search words that may not be fully respresented. Over the last few weeks I've noticed a lot of traffic hitting the website with people looking for information on Plath's first suicide attempt in August 1953. I cannot confess that my paper "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath" will answer all your questions, but it is on that very subject: Plath's first suicide attempt, the newspaper articles, and Plath's re-use of some of the experience in The Bell Jar.


  • Things seem to be on schedule for a July publication of Luke Ferretter's eagerly anticipated Sylvia Plath's Fiction: A Critical Study. This is, like Heather Clark's forthcoming OUP title, a very expensive book but one that is long overdue. Ferretter is perfectly equiped to examine this aspect of Plath's work and I lose sleep waiting for it to be released.


  • In today's Boston Globe, Mark Feeney writes on "'Union Dead' reckoning." The article only mentions Plath as a writer in residence in Boston along with many others. However, that it is the golden anniversary of Lowell's reading this famous poem got me thinking that over the next three years it will be many golden anniversaries for Plath. Some of the bigger ones: This year was the birth of a daughter. Next year will be the writing of The Bell Jar. 2012 of the Ariel poems. And 2013, well...


  • This blog, just over three years old, is rapidly approaching its 500th post. Later on this month I expect to reach that milestone and I've got something up my sleeve for you to celebrate.

1 comment :

Melanie Smith said...

Thank you so much for all the updates Peter, so looking forward to Ferretter's book

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