|1963 Heinemann edition |
with dedication present
The interviews were part of The Guardian's Reading Group which is featuring and focusing on The Bell Jar this month, moderated by Sam Jordison. Olwyn Hughes fairly goes off on her late sister-in-law while also making incendiary comments about Elizabeth Sigmund. In the past, Olwyn Hughes has commented that Plath and Hughes had met - at most - a half dozen times. This might be hyperbole. But one thing to also consider is the number of times that Olwyn, herself, was in Plath's presence, which can't have been much more.
What it comes down to is the fact that Olwyn Hughes was tasked by her brother to be the keep of Plath's literary fame. However, in her role as literary executor she failed miserably to conduct herself professionally, dispassionately, and objectively. What it further boils down to is that as her friend, Elizabeth Sigmund has behaved respectfully and with much admiration. This goes beyond to which camp you belong. Indeed, the camp boundaries have been blurring in recent years which is wonderful. These articles/interviews serve primarily to get web hits, sell newspapers, and pick open the healing scabs of old wounds and steps away from what should be a celebration of Sylvia Plath's novel that leads to a celebration of her life. I perhaps now fear what is coming down the pike as we approach 11 February.
Something else to consider this weekend...
Are you, too, chomping and desperate to get your hands on Andrew Wilson's biography Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted? Well, we will get a bit of a taster this weekend as part of a two-week serialization in London's Mail on Sunday. Starting Sunday! And, I am told, at some point also The Observer will feature the book. Read on.
More on Wilson's book on Sunday...