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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Publications & Acknowledgements