04 January 2012

Articles on Sylvia Plath

A few articles to pass along today.

First the new one: In Issue 2 (Winter 2011) of the Ted Hughes Society Journal there is Amy Hildreth Chen's "The Perils of Literary Celebrity: The Archival Stories of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath." An excellent read and one that survey's the history of biographical approaches to Plath and Hughes as well as those who act as custodian to her papers - both the estate and later the archives. Chen's paper is on pages 20-31.

Two additional articles that are slightly older but worth your while are by the Jungian analyst Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D. You may also be familiar with Dr. Schwartz's paper, "Sylvia Plath: A Split in the Mirror," from Plath Profiles 4.

1. Little Girl Lost: Sylvia Plath and the Puella Aeternus (appears in the book, Perpetual Adolescence: Jungian analyses of American media, literature, and pop culture, Suny Press, 2009)

Abstract: Although the Puella character can form within the psyche in various ways, this perspective focuses on the effect of the absent father, the absorbing mother who is emotionally distant and Puella who is without sufficient connection to her ground of being, especially the feminine aspects.. Descriptions of Puella are particularly clear in the work of poet Sylvia Plath, who killed herself in the early 1960’s. Plath who herself went through analysis, is used here as an extreme example of Puella. Her poignant and violent psychological struggle illustrates the cultural and trans-generational shadows of the Puella archetype. Like many poets, her work reveals the shadow life within an individual and a culture, in both personal and archetypal dimensions.

2. Puella's Shadow (appears in the International Journal of Jungian studies, vol 1, no. 2, September, 2009)

Abstract: Puella is the eternal girl, an aspect of the psyche that has been virtually ignored in the Jungian literature. She appears in the Western attitudes to be ever younger and thinner, devalued and stuck in the shadow of the patriarchy. Living 'as if', she is bolstered by persona adaptation, masking the emptiness within, experiencing but not facing the narcissistic wounds. The attachment problems result in a distorted and split self-image, divorced from her body, and difficulty with intimacy and commitment. The dreams and writings from the American poetess Sylvia Plath illustrate parallels with the Puella figure.


Jess McCort said...

Can you only get copies by subscribing to the journal, Peter? I'm interested in the first essay, particularly for a course I'm teaching. Thanks! Jess

Peter K Steinberg said...


Yes the only way to gain access to the articles is by subscribing.


Jess McCort said...


Anonymous said...

Why is it that you have to pay for the Hughes journal but the Plath Profiles is free? I don't understand.

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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.