20 April 2011

Do You Plath in a Land Down Under?

Readers of Sylvia Plath, be on the lookout for Eavan Boland’s A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet (published April 11, 2011, by W. W. Norton & Company). In addition to "The Other Sylvia Plath," Boland writes on herself, Adrienne Rich, Charlotte Mew, Elizabeth Bishop, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Denise Levertov, Anne Bradstreet, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Paula Meehan.

Thanks to Melanie in Australia for bringing this to our attention. Most of the chapter on Plath can be read if you do not mind toggling between Amazon.com and Google Books.

Additionally, S. A Jones has a piece entitled "A Peanut-Cruncher’s Defence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes" in Kill Your Darlings (issue 5, pages 51-64). The article is very well written and argued. It gives a brief review of the history of why we should probably hate Ted Hughes, centering on the who owns the facts of ones (SP's) life; but it evens out I feel and gives ample evidence as to why we should probably not hate Ted Hughes. In the article, Jones is at her best when she points out:

"But what precisely did Hughes mean by 'owning the facts'? That others have no right to speculate on what is uniquely ours? Perhaps. But if that is what Hughes meant, he snookered himself by appropriating so many of the 'facts' of Plath's life, thereby inviting and possibly demanding the very contestation he decried."

I feel this was and is the crux of what could be called Hughes' Hypocrisy. While I do kind of feel his 1989 comments are almost hackneyed at this point, it is something that pops up from time to time. It is similar to, say, the insanity of including the image of the 20-year-old Guest Editor Plath smiling and holding a rose on the back of the 1971 edition of The Bell Jar by Harper & Row. If you did not want or do not want that novel to be read autobiographically, then why include a photograph of Plath which is a pictorial representation of a scene in the novel, which is excerpted just above the image? Did they have the word "Duh" in 1971? You're asking for conflation!

Anyway, I enjoyed Jones' article immensely.

Moving away from Australia for a second... keep an eye out for "The Role of Second-Person Narration in Representing Mental States in Sylvia Plath's Smith Journal" by Zsâoâofia Demjâeâen. This essay appears in Journal of Literary Semantics. 40, no 1, 2011: 1-21.

And back to Australia. Thanks to Suki for the following head’s up about a Plath reference on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) show "Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo." The show is set between 1972- 1975, and in Monday night’s episode, lines from Plath's "Lady Lazarus" were part of the soundtrack. After they'd been spoken, someone said to Ita Buttrose (the editor and heroine played by Asher Keddie), "She was a magazine Editor too you know. Which Magazine? Mademoiselle?"


Melanie Smith said...

As always, thank you muchly for the updates!

Peter K Steinberg said...

And thank you muchly for the head's up on Boland's book.


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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 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, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • 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: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • 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.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (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, Volume 1, 1940-1956. 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. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • 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. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • 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. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • 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. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.