11 October 2013

Sylvia Plath Collections: Leonard Sanazaro mss

The Lilly Library at Indiana University holds the Sanazaro mss., ca. 1982-1989, which consists of correspondence and papers of poet and independent scholar Leonard R. Sanazaro, 1949-2004 (obituary), relating primarily to his interest in and work on Sylvia Plath. This is a great example of an archive that does not have Sylvia Plath-originated materials, but has materials about her. There is material in here that can help us understand how researchers conducted their queries before the "information age", which is so often now done sitting on the couch, wearing comfortable slippers, or something. They also hold items, such as audio files and transcripts of materials that otherwise might not ever see the light of day again. The 1980s perspective on Sylvia Plath is an interesting one to consider because it helped to guide us to where we are today.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Miscellaneous.

The majority of the letters in the collection are from Sylvia Plath's mother, Aurelia Schober Plath, 1906-1994, with copies of Sanazaro's letters to Mrs. Plath being predominantly from 1983. Other correspondents in the collection are friends, and colleagues of Sanazaro relating to his career as a writer and biographer of poet Sylvia Plath. Dating primarily from 1983, these files revolve around his work The Dark Repose, Sylvia Plath: A Radio Biography which aired October 27, 1983 on radio station KUNR-FM in Reno, Nevada.

The writings consist of a photocopy transcript of Sanazaro's Plath radio biography, edited by Aurelia Schober Plath, and a draft of his essay, The Paradox of Terrible Beauty: Unity in the Late Poems of Sylvia Plath. The miscellaneous files include receipts and memorabilia, lecture and reading announcements, and newspaper clippings.

Sanazaro was the author, also, of the following articles about Sylvia Plath taken from Stephen Tabor's Sylvia Plath: An Analytical Bibliography (1987) and other sources:

"Sylvia Plath and the Borestone Mountain Poetry Awards: 1955-1963." Notes on Contemporary Literature 11:4. September 1981: 2-3.

"James Joyce, T. S. Eliot, and Sylvia Plath." Notes on Contemporary Literature 11:5. November 1981: 8-10.

"On the Decline of the Oracle, 1955-57: William James and Sylvia Plath's Dryad Poems." Studia Mystica 5:1. Spring 1982: 59-70.

"A Note on Ted Hughes' 'An Icon' and Sylvia Plath's 'Medallion'." Notes on Contemporary Literature 12:3. May 1982: 9-10.

"Icons of the Apocalypse: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath and Edith Sitwell." Halcyon. 1983: 53-70.

"Plath's 'Lady Lazarus'." The Explicator 41:3. Spring 1983: 54-57.

"The Transfiguring Self: Sylvia Plath, a Reconsideration." Centennial Review 27:1. Winter 1983: 62-74. (Reprinted in Critical Essays on Sylvia Plath Edited by Linda W. Wagner[-Martin], 1984).

Diane Middlebrook used this collection for her excellent book Her Husband: Hughes and Plath, a Marriage (Viking, 2003). One letter to which Middlebrook refers is from Aurelia Plath to Leonard Sanazaro and is dated 14 May 1982. The reference to this letter appears in Her Husband on page 175 (citation on page 323). Does anyone out there have a transcription of this letter? It appears to be missing from the collection.

You can see more libraries that hold Plath materials on the Archival Materials page of my website for Sylvia Plath, A celebration, this is.

All links accessed 25 September 2013.


suki said...

What did someone just borrow the letter and forget to put it back.... Those were the '80s!
What a fabulous archive!!!

Peter K Steinberg said...

Ha ha. No, Diane M would have had access to it in the late 1990s or early 2000s if it was cited in her book.


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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.