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 They include some unpublished Hughes poems and a play; but from the BBC report it doesn't appear that any new Plath creative works are included (unless you count kindly sentiments for her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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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.