04 April 2011

Proof of Plath

My article "Proof of Plath" on the proof of the Victoria Lucas edition of The Bell Jar is now available through Fine Books & Collections. You can find it on pages 11 and 12! Order your copy of the Spring 2011 issue here. Later on this week I'll have - for a change - a post about Sylvia Plath.

8 comments :

Melanie Smith said...

Yay! Thanks Peter, always a pleasure to find more Plath orientated reading material.

Peter K Steinberg said...

Thanks for your Melanie. This article was particularly fun to write because I got to work with photocopies of the proof of The Bell Jar from Dartmouth, a photocopy of the first edition I got a while ago, and the original typescripts, the majority of which are held by Smith College (pages are also held by Emory and the Lilly Library).

The research truly gave me an idea of how the book came together, from a drafting standpoint and also from a publication standpoint. It is remarkable to see in the drafts how conscientious Plath was in building the novel. All the bits that eventually got cut are fascinating insights, possibly, to some of the goings on Plath experienced during her recovering. Of course this sort of autobiographical reading is shunned by many - tut, tut - but I'm comfortable reading it the way I want to read it!

From a collectors point of view, this article represents the first time that the total number of copies in the first print run of the Heinemann edition is known, as when Tabor was compiling his Analytical Bibliography in the 1980s he was told they printed only a "token" amount. Before anyone reads the article: what do you think a token amount means?

pks

Kristina Zimbakova said...

Congratulations on the fine article! I had never known that in fact the heroine Esther Greenwood was originally named Victoria Lucas - same as the author.

Peter K Steinberg said...

Thanks Kristina! She also had a another name for a while: Frieda Lucas. Did you know too an early title for the novel was "Diary of a Suicide"?

pks

Kristina Zimbakova said...

Wow, what a revelation! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the email. I'm looking forward to reading your article!

~VC

P.S.: Thank God SP changed the novel's title! "The Bell Jar" is far more evocative than "Diary of a Suicide"...

Anonymous said...

Peter: I can't read the article at the moment. Do I have to have a subscription? I'd like to read it too. P.S. I'm happy to report that the Seattle Public Library is finally ordering the Spoken Word CD. I'm first in line. Woo Hoo. :)

Amy

Peter K Steinberg said...

Hi Amy, I hope that Seattle Public gets that CD in soon and that you enjoy it!

You do not need a subscription to read the article but it is not available online. The only way to get it right now is to buy the issue. I wish there was another way, but for the moment there is not.

pks

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