07 February 2012

Researching Sylvia Plath in England

Carl Rollyson, who is working on a new biography of Sylvia Plath, has recently published a "London Diary" over on BiblioBuffet. In this piece, he discusses a bit about researching Sylvia Plath in the British Library and in person with two of Sylvia Plath's friends, A. Alvarez and Elizabeth Sigmund. Certainly gives a brilliant teaser when he writes: "I imagine Sylvia found it restful to be in Alvarez's company. He was such a receptive listener and an astute critic. I can't tell the whole story here, but by the end of my three hours with him, he was reading to me from his diary, which recounted a shocking event that will have its place in the last chapter of my Plath biography."

5 comments :

Melanie Smith said...

What a tease, oh that is not fair (but understandable)

Anonymous said...

Is he talking about his suicidal attempt?

Lizzy

magiciansgirl said...

You and Carl are just big teases!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine that Alvarez was really saying anything new after all these years - he's had plenty of opportunity to tell & recall in his books, Guardian articles, slots at the Oxford SP symposium and literary festivals, etc.

Thanks as always for the links & Plathian updates, Peter!

~VC

Peter K Steinberg said...

Lizzy - thank you for the comment. I'm not sure what Alvarez is talking about but hopefully we'll find out in about a year.

Melanie & Kim - I've been called worse! In the meantime I'll do what I can to justify the adjective!

~VC - Time will tell what Alvarez has to say. I think historically in Plath scholarship - especially when it comes to memoir and other personal recollections of knowing Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes at that time - there has been a general hush-hush (by intimidation, court order, bullying, etc.) around a lot of what when on, especially after May 1962 when we have a lot "documented" in poems and recounted in letters, but no journals and really very little personal, first hand recollection. Hopefully in time we'll have a more accurate account of these things. I think I got carried away, sorry! You're most welcome for the links and updates! I'll do my best to keep on keepin' on!

pks

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