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.


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?


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"?


Kristina Zimbakova said...

Wow, what a revelation! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter,

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


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. :)


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.


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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.