15 May 2013

Plath Profiles 6 Sneak Peek: These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past

Now that Plath Profiles 6 is in production, I thought I might give a sneak peek at the paper Gail Crowther and I wrote: "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past". As you may know, Gail and I read a part of this paper in March at Plymouth University, England, where those in attendance heard some previously unknown Plath letter's read, as well as saw newly found photographs of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes that Gail found. We generally try to keep our findings under wraps but feel like now would be an appropriate time to possibly drum up some interest in the paper.

The paper begins with this brilliant quote taken from Anita Helle's The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath: "Archival histories consist of tales we tell about the archive, and of tales the archive tells" (5). This quote was a guiding force in this installment of the "These Ghostly Archives" series. We visited or corresponded with eleven archival collections at nine different repositories, in three countries!  Among them include:

Cheltenham Festival prize poems. British Library, London, England.
Eric Walter White, Second Accrual. Mills Memorial Library, McMastery University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
Letters to Michael Carey. Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Plath Mss II. Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana.
Sylvia Plath Collection. Mortimer Rare Boom Room, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts.
Harper's Magazine records. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Edward James Hughes papers. British Library, London, England.
Ann Skea Notebooks. British Library, London, England.

In addition to these traditional archives, we "hit the road" as it were and visit places Plath herself visited or in which she lived, places we call "the living archive." In the process we weave together an intertextual reading of Plath's journals, poems, etc. with images of these places.

We are excited for you to read the essay and hope that it continues nicely from the previous four that we have published. We had so much material we actually had to withhold discussing a decent chunk of stuff, so we are hopeful that the series will continue. We are also hot on the trail of new archival finds.

Still not exactly sure when the issue will be live but hopefully the wait will not be too long. But I might be lying, too... I might know exactly when Plath Profiles 6 will be published...


Anonymous said...

Already so excited! Can't wait.

xx Alessandra

Peter K Steinberg said...

Very glad and relieved that there is some interest in our work! You'll see Sylvia Plath in a completely NEW way.


Nick Smart said...

Can't wait!

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