31 July 2007

Sylvia Plath event TONIGHT

For those Plath and Hughes readers in the Murfreesboro/Nashville area:

Linebaugh Public Library’s Summer Lecture Series continues tonight with the goal of providing an in-depth exploration of contemporary literature for book discussion groups.

Tonight’s set of books up for discussion will be “Birthday Letters” by Ted Hughes and “Ariel” by Sylvia Plath, presented by Deborah Gentry.

Linebaugh Library is located at 105 W. Vine St., Murfreesboro. For more information, call (615) 893-4131.

30 July 2007

Ingmar Bergman & Sylvia Plath

The passing of Ingmar Bergman is a giant loss to the film industry.
Plath based her poem "Three Women" on Bergman's filmd Brink of Life (1958). She saw the film in London in 1961 or 1962, where it was probably called So Close to Life. Here is a film synopsis:

"The film takes place in a maternity ward, within the space of twenty-four hours. Cecilia, married and by profession a secretary of the board of education, is three months pregnant when she is brought to the hospital. She has a miscarriage. A later talk with her husband, Anders, confirms her suspicion that he never wanted the child. He is an intellectual who has built up an armour against the world and against emotion. Cecilia, meanwhile, becomes moody and introspective.Also in the ward is Stina, a very happily married and healthy woman, looking forward to the experience of having a child. She is visited by her simple but kind husband, who gives her flowers as a gesture of his love. Only once does she feel fear—in the midst of a joyful conversation with the comforting Sister Brita—when she quotes from the Bible, "Yea, a sword shall pierce thy soul..."The third woman in the ward is Hjördis, who is young and unmarried. Realizing that the father of the baby is indifferent to her fate, Hjördis tells a friend that she really wants an abortion. Only after a talk with a welfare director, who is herself sterile, does Hjördis decide to have the child."

"Three Women" was written in the spring of 1962 while Plath was still in Devon, living with Hughes. She had given birth to her second child a couple of months prior. "Three Women" was broadcast by Douglas Cleverdon and the BBC in 1962. Turret Books published a handsome limited edition with an introduction by Cleverdon in 1968. "Three Women" later appeared as the final poem in Winter Trees, published in 1971/2.

29 July 2007

Book review: Your own, Sylvia: A verse portrait of Sylvia Plath

This review appeared online at the web site of the Toledo Blade (http://www.toledoblade.com/).

"YOUR OWN, SYLVIA: A VERSE PORTRAIT OF SYLVIA PLATH. By Stephanie Hemphill. Knopf. $15.99. Ages 16 and up.Sylvia Plath is remembered for a dark, passionate life and for poetry that opens the human heart. Poet Hemphill recounts that life in original poems that illuminate Plath’s journey through the stages of childhood, young woman, wife, and young mother. Each poem is written as a letter from someone close to Sylvia or in the style of a Plath poem. Included are biographical footnotes in a non-intrusive style. An absorbing life story to savor. "

I have not heard much about this book, published by Knopf in March 2007. Has anyone out there read it?

26 July 2007

Sylvia Plath's thesis and Plath as subject

Sylvia Plath wrote her senior thesis on Dostoyevsky called The magic mirror: A study of the double in two of Dostoevsky's novels. It was printed in a limited edition of 226 numbered copies by Embers Handpress, Rhiwargor, Llanwddyn, Powys, in 1989.

Smith College holds the original as part of their Sylvia Plath Collection. Indiana University also holds some related materials including notes and note cards for the work.

Sylvia Plath has also been the subject of well over a hundred theses and dissertations. I have been working on compiling a bibliography of these, mostly dissertations through a source I have via my graduate program. I will post it to this blog in the next few days I hope.

Some of these works have gone on to be published, for example Judith Kroll's brilliant Chapters in a mythology: The poetry of Sylvia Plath. The disseration was titled Chapters in a mythology: The poetic vision of Sylvia Plath. The book was published in 1976 by Harper & Row with the slightly revised title.

UNC Chapel Hill holds the typescripts, instructions to printer, and galley proofs for the Harper and Row edition of 1976

25 July 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: Sylvia Plath Collection, Smith College

The Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College holds the impressive, important Sylvia Plath Collection, 1940-1981.

From the abstract,

"The collection contains approximately 4,000 pages of Plath's manuscripts and typescripts. This includes a group of 67 poems in successive draft that are part of the Ariel poems. Also drafts of early poems, some with notes by Alfred Young Fisher. There are typescripts of The Bell Jar. Also drafts of articles, broadcasts, reviews and short stories. There are her journals, drawings and correspondence.

Correspondence includes letters to and/or from Al Alvarez, Dorothy Schober Benotti, Ruth Barnhouse, Ruth Fainlight, Ann Davidow Goodman Hayes, Elinor Friedman Klein, Philip Emerald McCurdy, Enid Epstein Mark, James Michie, Marianne Moore, Howard Moss, Hans-Joachim Neupert, Aurelia Schober Plath, Otto Emil Plath, Olive Higgins Prouty, G. Jon Rosenthal, Stevie Smith, Marcia Brown Stern, and other friends, publishers and editors.

Also memorabilia from childhood, school and adult life. Included in the realia is her English elm writing board, furniture she painted and her typewriter."

More information:
General information about the collection: Access is unrestricted, unless otherwise noted.

Organization: Organized in 15 series:
1. Writings
2. Correspondence
3. Personal papers
4. School papers
5. Artwork
6. Ted Hughes
7. Olwyn Hughes
8. Aurelia Plath
9. Otto Plath
10. Articles about Sylvia Plath
11. Reviews of Sylvia Plath's work
12. Audio visual materials
13. Photographs
14. Realia
15. Oversize

I have had the priviledge to use this collection many times in the last nine years. It is an extraordinary repository, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable.

Book Reivew: Sylvia Plath, Updated Edition (ed. Harold Bloom)

The eleven essays in Sylvia Plath, Updated Edition (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) are all reprints from monographs or journals. Each is an excellent contribution to Plath scholarship.

Bloom's continued hypocrisy is unforgivable, however. In fact, he re-prints his "Introduction" to his first edition, and in an author's note adds that his revulsion to Plath is ever-growing. I appreciate the fact that Bloom edited the series which featured my book about Plath, but he really should not put his name on a book if he cannot stomach the subject.

The advantage of a book like this is in the wide range of perspective each author gives and, I suppose, in the selection of the pieces by the series editor. Absent are strong essays by Tracy Brain and Lynda K. Bundzten, to name just two of the many Plath scholars I both respect and admire.

Below are the chapters and the work where they previously appeared.

1. "The Bell Jar" by Caroline King Barnard Hall
(Previously published in Hall's Sylvia Plath, revised. NY: Twayne, 1998.)

2. "Sylvia Plath and the Poetry of Confession" by Bruce Bawer
(Previously published in the journal The New Criterion 9, no. 6 (February, 1991): 18-27.)

3. "Daddy" by Jacqueline Rose
(Previously published in Rose's The Haunting of Sylvia Plath. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1993.)

4. "The Poems of 1957" by Nancy D. Hargrove
(Previously published in Hargrove's excellent The Journey towards Ariel: Sylvia Plath’s Poetry of 1956-1959. Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press, 1994.)

5. "A Long Hiss of Distress: Plath's Elegy on the Beach at Berck" by Sandra M. Gilbert(Previously published in the journal Field: Contemporary poetry and poetics, 59, Fall 1998, 30-38.)

6. "Transitional Poetry" by Caroline King Barnard Hall
(Previously published in Hall's Sylvia Plath, revised. NY: Twayne, 1998.)

7. "Gothic Subjectivity" by Christina Britzolakis
(Previously published in Britzolakis' Sylvia Plath and the theatre of mourning. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.)

8. "From the Bottom of the Pool: Sylvia Plath's Last Poems" by Tim Kendall
(Previously published in the journal English, vol.49, no.193, Spring 2000, pp23-38.)

9. "Prosopopoeia and Holocaust Poetry in English: Sylvia Plath and Her Contemporaries" by Susan Gubar
(Previously published in The Yale Journal of Criticism. Volume 14, Number 1, Spring 2001, pp. 191-215.)

10. "Plath's Triumphant Women Poems" by Linda Wagner-Martin
(Previously published in Wagner-Martin's Sylvia Plath: A literary life. 2nd ed. New York : Palgrave, 2003.)

11. "Poetry and Survival" by Susan Bassnett
(Previously published in Bassnett's Sylvia Plath: An introduction to the poetry, New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.)

24 July 2007

Julia Stiles and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

The following article appeared today on www.mtv.com...

"The Bell Jar" tolls for Julia Stiles
by Shawn Adler

She’s trapsed the globe with super-spy Jason Bourne, but Julia Stiles’ greatest journey is the one she’ll soon be making inside her own head, the 26-year-old told MTV News, as she gears up to play Esther Greenwood in the film adaptation of the classic Slyvia Plath novel “The Bell Jar.”

Sometimes described by readers as a “female ‘Catcher in the Rye,’” “The Bell Jar” follows Greenwood as she experiences massive, clinical melancholia, through commitment to a mental hospital, electroshock therapy, and several suicide attempts. Ask most casual students of English literature and they’ll tell you “The Bell Jar” is one thing above all – effing depressing.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s depressing at all. It is ABOUT depression,” Stiles argued. “But I think that Sylvia Plath writes with such awesome, beautiful, vivid imagery that is so perfect for film, that it’s kind of a joy. I wouldn’t have spent this much time trying to set up the movie if I didn’t love it.”

Part of what makes people think of “The Bell Jar” as depressing, Stiles insists, actually has nothing to do with the book at all – but with the author, who committed suicide one month after the novel’s initial publication.

“I think that a lot of people think Sylvia Plath as being this dark, brooding soul because of her history, her biography overshadows her writing,” Stiles contended. “Actually, her writing was different than that. I think that the vibrant images that she describes in ‘The Bell Jar’ are perfect for a film, maybe even more-so than a novel.”

What makes those images “perfect for film,” Stiles added, was that they take place inside Greenwood’s head – and are therefore limited only by one’s imagination. Which means Stiles is already thinking outside the box about how to introduce them into the movie.

“There should be animation in the film, I think,” she said. “[For instance] There are images where the main character is imagining a fig tree growing. And it grows, and grows, and grows, and she sees all the options in her life of what she can do, what profession she could have as the fruit on the tree. It’s a challenge to be able to realize that, [but] if you imagine a Tim Burton movie like ‘Big Fish.’ If [they] can realize that…”

At one point Greenwood describes her depression as like being stuck under a bell jar, unable to draw breath or escape. What does the “The Bell Jar” ultimately mean to Stiles?

“That sort of artistic spirit, if it doesn’t find it’s way, it doesn’t find it’s channel, if you don’t find an outlet for that,” she said. “It can crush a person.”

23 July 2007

Sylvia Plath's audited poetry course

The Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University is has impressive holdings.

Sylvia Plath audited Robert Lowell’s poetry course in the winter/spring semester of 1959 and it was there that she met Anne Sexton. Sexton, Plath and others spent time at the bar at the Ritz (pictured to the right and now called The Taj) on Arlington Street in Boston after class and discussed poetry, suicide, and other tantalizing subjects I am sure.
One day in 2005, I had the occasion to visit the archives and looking for any information on this course. They produced for me the General Catalogue, 1958-1959, Volume XLVII, Number 23.

On page 140, in the section on the College of Liberal Arts (at 725 Commonwealth Avenue), is the description for course EN 305,306 “Writing of Poetry” taught by Robert Lowell. The course description reads, “Versification. Analysis of contemporary poetic techniques. Manuscripts read and discussed in class.”

The College of Liberal Arts had classrooms at 705 and 725 Commonwealth Avenue. As far as my research shows, it is not known.

The Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center is online here.

20 July 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: Olwyn Hughes papers, 1951-1997

Emory University holds the Olwyn Hughes papers, 1951-1997. The call number is Manuscript Collection No. 980 and is contained in two boxes. The second box contains photocopies of everything held in the first box.

The abstract for the collection reads, "Letters from Ted Hughes to his sister, Olwyn Hughes, from 1951 to 1997, and to his parents from 1954 to 1960. The topics include discussions of his activities during his undergraduate years, his life with Sylvia Plath and their children Frieda and Nicholas, and his career including teaching and writing."

Letters from Plath can be found in Box 1, Folders 9, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 23. A photograph of Plath can be found in Box 1, Folder 39.

An interesting item is in folder 42; which is a confirmation for passage on the Cunard Steamship Queen Elizabeth.

In all, the collection looks very interesting. If any readers out there have worked with these materials, please share your experience.

The finding aid to the Olwyn Hughes papers is online here.

Sylvia Plath and Google Books/Google Scholar

Google Books and Google Scholar are both powerful resources for finding information on anything. Using both, readers may find references to Sylvia Plath in books and articles that may help them with their own research. It can also be a way to obtain full or partial-text quotations from your favorite Plath books.

18 July 2007

Sylvia Plath lecture event, 31 July, 2007

Dr. Deborah Gentry will give a lecture entitled "The Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes and Ariel by Sylvia Plath" on 31 July, 2007, at the Linebaugh Public Library at 105 W. Vine St., Murfreesboro. The library telephone number is (615) 893-4131, should anyone require more information.

Dr. Gentry is Associate Professor at Middle Tennessee State University and will have her book, The Art of Dying: Suicide in the Works of Kate Chopin and Sylvia Plath, published next year.

17 July 2007

Sylvia Plath's "Stone Boy With Dolphin"

Sylvia Plath's long short story "Stone Boy With Dolphin", written around 1957/58, is considered to be a novel-fragment. The Lilly Library, Mortimer Rare Book Room, and Emory University each hold manuscript versions of this story. Indiana also holds a short story called "The Bronze Boy" (mss. II, Box 7, f.8; Plath mss. II, in SP to ASP, Oct. 8, 1951) but I am unsure if this is a related story. The story, set in Cambridge, fictionalizes her meeting with Ted Hughes and draws heavily on real events. Additionally, Plath captured some scenes directly from her journals. The following is from her journal, dated 19 February, 1956,

"I went to the bronze boy whom I love, partly because no one really cares for him, and brushed a clot of snow from his delicate smiling face. He stoodthere in the moonlight, dark, with snow etching his limbs in white, in the semicircle

Below is the text from the story:

"Ever since the start of Lent term she had taken to brushing snow from the face of the winged, dolphin-carrying boy centered in the snow-filled college garden. In the vacant college garden, dark-needled pines made their sharp assaults of scent on her nostrils and the stone boy poised on one foot, wings of stone balancing like feathered fans on the wind, holding his waterless dolphin through the rude, clamorous weathers of an alien climate. Nightly after snows, with bare fingers, Dody scraped the caked snow from his stone-lidded eyes, and from his plump stone cherub foot. If not I, who then?"

The actual statue is a copy of Andrea del Verrocchio's Putto with Dolphin. It was given to Newnham College as a gift in 1930 by an ex-student, whom Karen Kukil identifies as a Miss Farmer in a note in the Journals of Sylvia Plath (Faber 2000). The "original" copy was stolen a few years ago, but has been replaced and placed in an enclosed herb garden, according to an email I recently received from Anne Thomson, Archivist at Newnham College.

Verrocchio's original Putto with Dolphin is held at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. There is yet another copy in the courtyard upon entrace, but the original is inside the building and can be seen only after paying the admission fee.

13 July 2007

UPDATE: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium schedule

This schedule is no longer valid.

Sylvia Plath collections: Artwork, 1941-1951, at the Lilly Library

The Lilly Library at Indiana University holds a large collection of Sylvia Plath papers. Included in this collection are 139 items of artwork by Plath. This collection "consists of drawings, paintings, pastel works and college art projects by poet Sylvia Plath." They are arranged by size and by medium. The artwork was a gift of Dorothy Young Burns in 1988.

Many of these items, in addition to some materials from the Mortimer Rare Book Room, were on display in the Eye Rhymes: Visual Art and Manuscripts of Sylvia Plath exhibit during the 2002 Sylvia Plath 70th Year Symposium held at Indiana University.

12 July 2007

Sylvia Plath's addresses

Sylvia Plath lived in a number of places throughout her short life. Below is a fairly comprehensive list of seventeen residences that Plath lived, with approximate dates in parentheses. Seventeen different addresses, in only 30 plus years!
Some addresses are not listed here; for example Plath attended summer camps throughout the 1940s in New Hampshire (Camp Weetamoe), Massachusetts (Camp Helen Storrow), and a sailing camp on Martha's Vineyard.
  • 24 Prince Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 (1932-1935)
  • 92 Johnson Avenue, Winthrop, MA 02152 (1935-1942)
  • 892 Shirley Street, Winthrop, MA 02152 (1940 - primarily during Otto Plath's illness)
  • 26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481 (1942-1950)
  • Haven House, Elm Street, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 (1950-1952)
  • Lawrence House, Green Street, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 (1952-1953; 1954-1955)
  • Room 1511, The Barbizon Hotel, 140 East 63rd Street, New York City, NY 10021 (June 1953)
  • North Belknap at McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, MA 02478 (August 1953-January 1954)
  • Whitstead, 4 Barton Road, Cambridge CB3 9JZ, England (1955-1956)
  • 55 Eltisley Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9JQ, England (1956-1957)
  • 59 Tomas Ortunio, Benidorm, Provincia de Alicante, Spain (Summer 1956)

  • Hidden Acres, McKoy Road, Eastham, MA 02642 (Summer 1957)
  • 337 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060 (1957-1958)
  • 9 Willow Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 (1958-1959)
  • The Beacon, Heptonstall, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7ET, England (September 1956; Winter 1960)
  • 3 Chalcot Square, London NW1 8YB, England (1960-1961)
  • Court Green, North Tawton EX20 2EX, England (1961-1962)
  • 23 Fitzroy Road, London NW1 8TP, England (1962-1963)

UPDATE: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium schedule

This schedule is valid no longer.

Play about Sylvia Plath, "Edge," gets a revival

I saw this during it's original run in New York and was not impressed. It's Alexander's Rough Magic overdosed on steroids.

Theater News Jul 12, 2007, New York

By: Brian Scott Lipton

Angelica Torn in "Edge"

Angelica Torn will reprise her acclaimed performance as poet Sylvia Plath in Paul Alexander's solo play Edge, September 4-October 8 at the ArcLight Theater. The show will open officially on September 9.

The play covers Plath's life from her early years in Boston to her infamous suicide attempt in 1953 to her troubled marriage to the poet Ted Hughes. Plath is best known as the author of The Bell Jar.

The show was previously seen in New York in 2003 at the DR2 Theatre. Torn will tour with the play, including stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New Zealand, and Australia in 2008.

Torn is the daughter of Rip Torn and the late Geraldine Page. She starred on Broadway in Side Man and her many other stage credits include Vivat Vivat Regina, Death and the Maiden, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and From Riverdale to Riverhead.

06 July 2007

Sylvia Plath's rejected 'Ariel' titles

Sylvia Plath is known for her 'Ariel' poems, poems written mostly throughout the spring and fall of 1962. When she died, she left a more or less completed manuscript under the title of Ariel. I say more or less as Plath was a notorious reviser and re-arranger of her manuscripts.

The Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College holds the Ariel poems. Each poem and its drafts is housed in maroon clamshell boxes, custom-made for the archive. They are a must see for any research visitor to the special collection. Many of the poems are written on the verso of manuscript pages of The Bell Jar. In some instances, it is as though the poems are in conversation with the prose.

Occasionally rejected titles reappear later in Plath's work; for example, the poem "Words heard, by accident, over the phone", written on 11 July 1962, has the rejected title of "Words". In the winter of 1963, just days from her suicide, Plath titled another poem "Words". The same goes for "By Candlelight", written on 24 October, 1962, whose original rejected title became one of Plath's most tender, "Nick and the Candlestick" on 29 October 1962.

Lynda K. Bundtzen's The Other Ariel discusses Plath's original order of the poems in wonderful detail. Robin Peel, in Writing Back: Sylvia Plath and Cold War Politics, also gives some of these poems and their rejected titles some attention.

The actual poems appear below in alphabetical order. The rejected title, where a title was rejected, follows in parentheses.

Amnesiac (Amnesiac: The Man with Amnesia)
Among the Narcissi (Octogenarian & Narcissi in a high wind), (Percy Among the Narcissi), and (The Sea at the Door)
The Applicant
An Appearance (The Methodical Woman) and (Song)
Apprehensions (Walls)
Ariel (Lioness of God)
The Arrival of the Bee Box (The Beekeepers Daybook)
Barren Woman
The Bee Meeting (The Beekeeper) and (The Meeting)
A Birthday Present
Burning the Letters
By Candlelight (Nick and the Candlestick) and (Winter by Candlelight)
Child (Paralytic Trap)
Childless Woman
The Courage of Shutting-Up (The Courage of Quietness)
The Couriers
Crossing the Water (Night Country) and (Rock Lake at Night)
Death & Co.
The Detective (The Millstones)
Edge (Nuns in Snow)
Elm (Catching Nothing but an Old Stocking in Winthrop Bay), (A Sea at the Door), (A Wind in the Great Elm), and (The Elm Speaks (published under this title in The New Yorker))
Event (Quarrel)
The Fearful
Fever 103°
For A Fatherless Son (To an Abandoned One)
Getting There
Gulliver (Gulliver in Lilliput)
The Hanging Man
The Jailer
Lady Lazarus
Letter in November
Little Fugue (Fugue: Yew Tree and Clouds), (On Listening to Laura Riding), (Yew Alone), and (Yew Tree in March)
Mary's Song (Song of Mary) and (Sunday)
Medusa (Mum: Medusa)
The Moon and the Yew Tree
The Munich Mannequins (The Bald Mannequins)
Nick and the Candlestick
The Night Dances
The Other (The Other One) and (Mannequin)
Pheasant (The Pheasant)
Poppies in July
Poppies in October
The Rabbit Catcher (Snares)
A Secret
Sheep in Fog (Fog Sheep)
Stings (early version)
Stopped Dead
The Swarm (The Bees)
Thalidomide (Half-Moon)
The Tour
Winter Trees (Trees) and (Trees in Winter)
Words heard, by accident, over the phone (Words)

05 July 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: The St. Martin's Press Archives, 1952-1996, Brown University

The Brown University Library holds the St. Martin’s Press Archive, 1952-1996. The St. Martin's Press archives includes correspondence and related materials from a wide variety of 20th century authors, including Edward Abbey, Isaac Asimov, James Herriot, Robert Travers, Randy Shilts, Sean O'Casey, R. Buckminster Fuller, M. M. Kaye, Jerzy Kozinski, Henry Roth, and James Baldwin. In addition, papers regarding the entire spectrum of St. Martin's catalog of biographies, histories, science, literary essays, and fiction, published throughout the press's various divisions - trade, mass market, scholarly and reference, and college textbooks - are available.

In the collection are some materials related to Linda Wagner-Martin’s biography of Plath. The papers cover the period from 1983-1991. These materials are currently restricted until October 2007.

St. Martin’s Press began sending their records to Brown in 1997. Materials older than 10 years are unrestricted, unless otherwise noted.

St. Martin’s recent Plath-related publications include Wintering by Kate Moses (2003) and Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath by Gillian Becker (2003).

The Brown University Library web site is here.

04 July 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: The Pierpont Morgan Library (New York City)

The Literary and Historical Manuscripts department at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City has an impressive collection of Sylvia Plath books. Tucked in this collection is a true Plath gem.

The title of the collection is “Autograph transcript of 40 juvenile poems”. Purchased in 1982, the call number is Bound American Literature, the accession number is MA 3775. The record ID is 127550. Plath wrote these poems from 1940-1946, and transcribed about 1945-46. From the description, there appear to be two volumes, one of 24 p. and another of 17 p. The Morgan houses the poems in a blue cloth box.

A note on the collection reads, “In a notebook with brown paper covers and with margins decorated with drawings in color in ink and crayon. Together with early transcripts of 29 poems, mostly in pencil and mostly notebook duplicates. Presumably 27 of the poems are available in no other text than the notebook transcripts.”

I would like to thank Janet McCann at the Texas A & M University for writing me and asking if I knew where this collection was located. It was a challenge, and I am glad that I found it!

The Library is online here.

The online catalog is here.

03 July 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: Alfred A Knopf Inc Records, 1873-1996

The impressive Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC) at the University of Texas at Austin holds the Alfred A. Knopf Inc Records, 1873-1996. (You may remember from an earlier posting that the HRHRC also holds Anne Sexton's papers.)

Knopf published The Colossus and other poems in 1962, so when it came time for Plath to try to get The Bell Jar published in the United States, she sent the manuscript along to Knopf. Knopf rejected it, unfortunately.

In "Series I. General / Historical Correspondence, 1922-71, bulk 1946-66", they hold in box 362, folder 2, correspondence with Plath from 1961-1962, approximately the time period for both the publication of The Colossus, as well as her attempt to secure them as publisher for her novel. The collection does hold their rejection letter to Plath.

In "Series VII. Other Department Files, 1916-96, bulk 1943-68, A. Publicity Department, 1916-96, bulk 1943-96, 1. Publicity Files, 1916-67, bulk 1943-58", they hold in box 1253, folders 17 and 18 "Plath, Sylvia - THE COLOSSUS, Bio., 1961-62" and "Perm., 1961".

In "Series VI. Editorial Department Files, 1930-84, bulk 1948-78, D. Reject Files, 1933-68, bulk 1953-68", they hold in box 1093, folder 4, "Plath, Sylvia, 1961-65".

Additionally, the index to the collection lists that materials relating to Sylvia Plath can be found in the following boxes and folders: 113.1 (Correspondence 1952) , 328.5 (Correspondence 1961), 472.1 (Correspondence 1966), 489.4 (Correspondence 1967), and 962.1 (Series VI. Editorial Department Files, 1930-84, bulk 1948-78, Subseries C. Manuscript Records, 1930-79, bulk 1941-68, boxes 957-963). To understand the listings, 113.1 means box 113, folder 1.

02 July 2007

UPDATED: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium Schedule

This schedule is valid no longer.

UPDATED: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

This schedule is valid no longer.

There have been some updates to the schedule for the Symposium. Please see below for the most recent schedule.

Please note: The organizers apologize for the changes. They were made due to delegates' concerns about having featured talks coincide with panels, and they decided to keep their original intentions of having Monday morning panels.

Also, due to large number of delegates, they had to schedule panels on Thursday afternoon during the first featured talks (Larschan and Helle).

Additionally, Monday panels will be free and open to the public, so registration procedures remain only Thursday through Sunday.
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