15 September 2010

Hughes News from Cambridge

Ted Hughes is in the news again, this time for letters that his sister Olwyn recently sold to the British Library, the BBC reports.

While speaking at the Ted Hughes Conference at Pembroke College Cambridge, Helen Broderick, Curator of Modern Literary Manuscripts at the British Library, broke the news. The archive of 41 letters from Plath and Hughes compliments their existing Hughes acquisitions and holdings. They include some unpublished Hughes poems and a play; but from the BBC report it doesn't appear that any new Plath creative works are included (unless you count kindly sentiments for her sister-in-law).

Missing from the BBC report, however, but included in others floating around the internet, is the following, "The literary drafts in the archive highlight the creative development of both poets and many of the drafts were later published in Lupercal and The Colossus in 1960 by Hughes and Plath respectively. " If I'm reading this right, there are drafts of Plath's works included in this small archive. The British Library Press Release has the most complete summation.

Speaking of the Ted Hughes Conference, as you might imagine some papers feature Plath. The following appear from the titles to address Plathian issues:

•Heather Clark (New York University), ‘Hughes’s Plath’
•Janne Stigen Drangsholt (University of Stavanger) ‘Reciprocal Reflections: Katabasis in Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath’
•Sarah Rowan (University of Cape Town) ‘“The redress of poetry” in Birthday Letters

I've a couple of moles planted in the audience and hope to get feedback and/or reports during or shortly after the papers are given.


Anonymous said...

Excellent news about the letters! ~VC

Peter K Steinberg said...

Indeed. For those keeping track, I did add a paragraph, the one beginning "Missing from..." which is very important as the quote I quoted seems to indicate there is some Plath creative/draft material in there afterall.

Marion McCready said...

Wonderful, wish they'd give a bit more away about the content of the letters though.
I love that you have moles in the audience :)

Kristina Zimbakova said...

Thanks a lot for this existing piece of news, Peter. Thumbs up for the conference moles aka poetry UCAs (undercover agents) :-)!

Julia said...

Oh, so exciting!

This post also prompted me to learn the meaning of the word "katabasis." Ha.

The Plath Diaries said...

This is such excellent news!

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