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Showing posts from November, 2008

Sylvia Plath Collections: University of Liverpool

The Sydney Jones Library at the University of Liverpool holds several typescripts of poems by Sylvia Plath. Typescripts held are: "Three Women" [MS.26.1(64)], "The Moon and the Yew Tree" [MS.26.1(65)], "The Rabbit Catcher" [MS.26.1(66)], and "Among the Narcissi" [MS.26.1(67)]. The reference number is: GB 141 Plath. The typescript of "The Rabbit Catcher" is annotated; the word "CHEVREAU" is handwritten in next to the first line, "It was a place a force." The handwriting does appear to be Plath's. There are other small annotations (not in Plath's hand) and variations on the typescripts to those Ariel typescripts held at the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. The typescript of "Three Women" appears to be a reading copy - or something similar - for a 1968 broadcast of the verse poem. The Special Collections also holds a respectible collection of books by Plath. The Sydney Jones Library ( Specia

Pirated Plath

As mentioned in a previous post , there was one item at the 32nd annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair that I had never seen and did not know existed. This title, The Bell Jar , is familiar to us all as being a book written and published by Sylvia Plath. The true first edition was published in England under a pseudonym, and in 1966, under her own name. In 1971, the book made a huge splash when it was published in her birth country for the first time. The "hotness" of the book and the sensation it caused when it was published lead someone in Taipei, Taiwan to issue a pirated copy in that country. Obviously Plath's book wasn't the only book pirated in Taiwan, but it's the only one we care about here... Aside from the copy offered for sale at the Boston Book Fair, WorldCat lists five other copies of The Bell Jar with the issuing city of publication being Taipei, Taiwan. These are purportedly held in the following libraries: University of N

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 22 November 2008

Regina Marler of Truthdig reviews Letters of Ted Hughes . Thanks to Lucy Berbeo for the referral. Sheila Farr reviews Letters of Ted Hughes in the Seattle Times . Frieda Hughes 's most installment in the Daily Mail appeared this week. Read " The magpie who came to stay: Artist Frieda Hughes has an unexpected house guest to her dream garden ". Somehow I missed her 10 November contribution, " Rocky days, stormy nights: How Frieda Hughes transformed a desolate one-acre field into the garden of her dreams ". Published recently is a collection of poems by Jim Long of Honolulu, HI. Between Wings: Poems is available through . Many of the readers of this blog will be familiar with Jim through his masterful, eloquent, and thoughtful contributions to Elaine Connell's Sylvia Plath Forum . In addition to the preview available through, two of Jim's poems were posted on the Forum. Read "Edgelit" and &q

Plath at the Boston Book Fair

The 32nd annual Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair concluded Sunday, but sales figures and the success of the fair won't be known for some time. There were 139 dealers displaying their wonderful books: old, new, rare, signed, weird, etc. I kept my eye open for Plath titles, as you'd probably expect! Jett W. Whitehead , of Bay City, Michigan, who specializes in Modern Poetry, First Editions, Chapbooks, and Broadsides, has two extremely lovely Plath items for sale at the moment. The first, a copy of the first Faber edition of Ariel signed and inscribed by Ted Hughes to the Hungarian poet Janos Csokits, stained of thatch drippings from Court Green. At $12,995 it's available for only the most serious collector. The letter that accompanied this gift to Janos Csokits is reprinted in the Letters of Ted Hughes, see page . The actual letter is held in the Ted Hughes papers at Emory Univeristy. The other unique item he has, at $17,500, is a handwritten man

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 15 November 2008

A reminder that the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair is going on this weekend at the Hynes Convention Center. Fair hours today and tomorrow are 12-7 and 12-5 pm, respectively. Stimulate your economy! We have all searched for "Sylvia Plath" using Google. A search yields millions of results, and those results are a combination of webpages, documents, and other media files. And a lot of junk, too, unfortunately. There is a way to search for, for example, only PDF's where Plath's name is mention. Type "sylvia plath" filetype:pdf into your Google search box and you'll see these. Narrow your search by adding other terms like The Bell Jar, The Colossus, echoes, short stories, feminist, Mademoiselle, etc. to provide more context to your search. The results should please. There are some really wonderful documents out there, completely free. A search like this separates - if you will - some of the wheat from the chaff. David Orr at the The New York Time

The rest is posthumous - A review of The Letters of Ted Hughes, selected and edited by Christopher Reid

Just as Sylvia Plath's journals and letters home construct an autobiography of her, The Letters of Ted Hughes form a partial autobiography of him. The poems in Crow changed the way I viewed him as a poet; and Nick Gammage's The Epic Poise changed the way I viewed him as a man. These letters continue to evolve the image of Ted Hughes, which frankly had nowhere to go but up. Occasionally I asked myself, "Should I be reading these?", just as I ask myself that same question when I regularly read Plath's journals and letters. But the answer is always, "Yes." This book, the first of its kind for a man who was known to be a very private person, further opens Ted Hughes. Similarly, in some way, to those "raw and unguarded" Birthday Letters . When Hughes sold his archive to Atlanta, he allowed for the demolition of that private wall he had built up around him. His archives are open in Atlanta, and another will be in the coming year in London, allo

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 8 November 2008

In an interview, Ireland's Nick Laird , mentions Plath's "Tulips". Laird will be giving at reading at Boston University on 8 November 2008, at 5:30 p.m. at CGS's Jacob Sleeper Auditorium, Room 129, 871 Commonwealth Avenue. The October/November2008 issue of Rare Book Review features an article on Sebastian Carter of the Rampant Lions Press. The Rampant Lions Press - in conjunction with the Rainbow Press - printed a number of limited editions of Plath's work. These titles include Lyonnesse , Pursuit , and Dialogue Over a Ouija Board . Copies are fairly expensive , but very lovely too. If these are beyond your means, libraries throughout the world do hold these titles in their special collections. The Daily Mail ran the first article of a four-part series on Frieda Hughes on 5 November. Read it here! Michael Dirda reviews Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell in The Washington Post. There are bound to be s

68 & a maniacal "Did you know..."

Otto Plath died 68 years ago today. Did you know that Ted Hughes died aged 68, 2 months, and 11 days? Plath died on 2/11/63. Did you know that 63 days before Plath died, she moved to London? Did you know that in Diane Middlebrook's Her Husband: Hughes and Plath - a marriage , the pagination coincides so that on page 211, the author discusses Plath's death? Middlebrook, who passed away last December, was 68. This was 123 days before her next birthday. To recap some numbers, this is 68 x 2 - 11 -2.

Frieda Hughes at the Ted Hughes Festival

The following is a contribution to the blog by Gail Crowther, Research Student, Department of Sociology at Lancaster University. Gail attended the Freida Hughes reading during the Ted Hughes Festival on 24 October, 2008, in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, and was kind enough to write this review of the reading for Sylvia Plath Info Blog readers. Thank you, Gail! I’ll paint my life in abstracts now, These poems as the key To the incidents that shaped me, And celebrate my journey through The thickets and hedges, The maze of thorny edges Thrown up by family and circumstance From which I am now free. (Frieda Hughes, 2006: 96-97) In the dark and ragged valley of Calderdale on a winter’s evening, we gathered in a small theatre to hear Frieda Hughes read a selection of her published, and soon to be published work. Starting from a chronological point of view, Frieda began reading from her first book Wooroloo beginning with "Three Women", a poem about an unsavoury stay