19 January 2011

Two New Books to Look Forward to in 2011

I recently found two additional publications we can look forward to this year.

1.) Badia, Janet. Sylvia Plath and the Mythology of Women Readers. Amherst: Univ Of Massachusetts Pr, 2011.

from the UMass Press New Books Spring/Summer 2011 catalog:

Depicted in popular films, television series, novels, poems, and countless media reports, Sylvia Plath’s women readers have become nearly as legendary as Plath herself, in large part because the depictions are seldom kind. If one is to believe the narrative told by literary and popular culture, Plath’s primary audience is a body of young, misguided women who uncritically —even pathologically— consume Plath’s writing with no awareness of how they harm the author’s reputation in the process.

Janet Badia investigates the evolution of this narrative, tracing its origins, exposing the gaps an delisions that have defined it, and identifying it as a bullying mythology whose roots lie in a long history of ungenerous, if not outright misogynistic, rhetoric about women readers that has gathered new energy from the backlash against contemporary feminism.

More than just an exposé of our cultural biases against women readers, Badia’s research also reveals how this mythology has shaped the production, reception, and evaluation of Plath’s body of writing, affecting everything from the Hughes family’s management of Plath’s writings to the direction of Plath scholarship today. Badia discusses a wide range of texts and issues whose signifcance has gone largely unnoticed, including the many book reviews that have been written about Plath’s publications; films and television shows that depict young Plath readers; editorials and fan tributes written about Plath; and Ted and (daughter) Frieda Hughes’s writings about Plath’s estate and audience. An insightful argument about Sylvia Plath, feminism, and the marginalization of women readers.

Literary Studies / Women’s Studies 216 pp., 5 illus. $24.95 paper, ISBN 978-1-55849-896-9
$80.00 unjacketed cloth, ISBN 978-1-55849-895-2
August 2011

2.) Ciuraru, Carmela. Nom De Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms. New York: Harper, 2011.

Nom de Plume “includes a series of brief biographical explorations of the secretive writers behind some of history’s most famous and enduring pseudonyms.” Naturally this has to do with Plath’s pseudonym Victoria Lucas.

On Sale: 6/14/2011
Biography/Literary Criticism
Tr 9780061735264 $24.99 ($26.99)
288 pages; 5 1/2 x 8 1/4


panther said...

Badia's book sounds interesting. . .Yep,there is this cliche about Plath admirers. It dismays me especially that Frieda Hughes, herself a poet on the British poetry circuit, who meets with other poets, shares platforms with them, should perpetuate this view. . .I have met various admirers of Plath over the years, and the admiration is in some cases sentimental and (in my opinion) ill-judged. But I can't think of many admirers I've met whom I would describe as hysterical.

FH clearly seems to be parroting Ted Hughes' views. His views were formed in a particularly painful crucible ; as a result, he tended to generalize about female admirers of Plath. I can understand Frieda as a child and a young woman buying into his views (because that's what she had grown up with) but really, she is now 50 !

Kris Underwood said...

The first book takes on an interesting track, something that hasn't previously been addressed.
Might have to pick that one up.ac

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