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Showing posts from December, 2008

Sylvia Plath 2008: Year in review

Strides were made this year in continuing to shift the perception and reception of Sylvia Plath. Every few months, through a symposium, new book publications, or news worthy events, Sylvia Plath proved to remain fresh and vital. Two major events took place in 2008: the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Smith College in April and the publication of the online journal Plath Profiles in August. The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Oxford , held in October 2007, was reprodcued on a smaller scale for an American audience at Smith College on April 25 & 26, 2008. Organized in large part by Oxford participant and Smith student Aubrey Menard, the two day event highlighted Plath's continued prominence in academic scholarship, as well as her hold on the attention of the public. Julia Stiles and Tristine Skyler attended both days and proved dedicated to conducting research into their forthcoming film adaptation of The Bell Jar. The two-day event featured a communit

A Sylvia Plath Christmas miracle?

The server that " A celebration, this is " is hosted on crashed and needed to be rebuilt, which the host did quite quickly. I've been through the pages and all the content seems back online. If you notice any broken links or anything, please let me know. A Sylvia Plath year in review will be forthcoming, sometime next week. Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, I hope it's a nice, happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 20 December 2008

Still very little going on out there...The weather outside is frightful, but writing about Plath is so delightful... Rare Book Review , in their December/2008 January/2009 issue, reports on the British Library acquisition of archival papers of Ted Hughes. The three page story (pages 8-10) is beautifully illustrated with many high quality scans of these papers. This appears to be the last issue of Rare Book Review , too, which is quite disappointing. A first edition Ariel (Faber, 1965) has been found among other books donated to an Oxfam in Glasgow, Scotland, the BBC reports . The Times also reports , with a different angle on the book and reader. The Herald is reporting, too. From the pictures, it looks like a mighty fine copy of this influential collection of poetry.

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

Did you know that Sylvia Plath wrote her famous poem "Daddy" on the 22nd anniversary of the day her father had his leg amputated? In August 1940, Otto Plath stubbed a toe on his left foot. After some changes to his diet and medication with insulin, he developed pneumonia and spent about two weeks at the Winthrop Hospital. Eventually he developed gangrene and Otto Plath's left leg was amputated above the knee on 12 October 1940. Otto Plath died 24 days later on 5 November 1940. On 12 October 1962, twenty-two years later to the day, Plath placed a stake in his fat black heart when she wrote "Daddy". 24 days later, on 5 November 1962, Plath was in London. It was on this day that she applied for the lease on the house at 23 Fitzroy Road . Plath and Hughes visited San Francisco in the summer of 1959 while on a tour of the U.S. and Canada. It was here she likely saw the seals barking and basking in the sun off Pier 39. The image Plath uses in "Daddy" is

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 13 December 2008

Very little going on of late... Last week I posted about a live auction on eBay for a first edition The Colossus (Heinemann, 1960) by Sylvia Plath. The auction was on Thursday. The lucky high bidder won the book for a mere $508.40. Though the book shows evidence of soiling, if high bidder was a book store, chances are it'll reappear for sale shortly for double, and maybe triple the winning auction price. If you're shopping for Plath items to give a loved one for Christmas, I still have a few books for sale. See my post from 1 December for more information. Nothing says "I love you, I care about you, you complete me", etc. like a limited edition.

Review of The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath by Jo Gill

Since 2000, there have been a number of introductory books on Sylvia Plath. These come in two categories: biographies and critical overviews. The audience in each instance has been junior high (early teens) through high school and possibly early college. I've read each - including my own contribution to this genre - but most are written by a group of people whom I might term "serial" writers. Seemingly non-experts hired to write on Plath, or some other subject or person. The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath ( Cambridge University Press , 2008) by Jo Gill, Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Exeter, is one of the most recent of these. In it, Gill discusses Plath's life and works in succinct chapters that are so packed with value it makes even the thickest Plath criticism redundant. You may know Gill's name in association with Plath's from the 2006 Cambridge Companion to Sylvia Plath , a wonderful volume which sh

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 6 December 2008

Amazon.com began listing Sylvia Plath's Fiction: A Critical Study by Luke Ferretter ( University of Edinburgh Press ). Amazon.com lists the publication date to be on May 15, 2009. Edinburgh University Press lists publication date to be July 2009. Regardless, look for it. Based on what I know of Ferretter's work, and what I've read & heard, I think it is safe for me to give advanced, unseen praise for this book. The product description on Amazon.com reads: Sylvia Plath's poetry has generated tons of critical interest, yet there remains no full-length study of her fiction. In addition to her classic novel The Bell Jar , Plath wrote dozens of short stories, only about half of which have been published. Luke Ferretter launches the first comprehensive study of Plath as a writer of fiction. He encompasses both published and unpublished material, tracing Plath's influences, style, politics, and place in the history of postmodern fiction. Plath was ve

Plath's "Three Women" on stage in London

Sylvia Plath's "Three Women" to be performed in January & February 2009. Alison Flood at The Guardian writes about its revival . Tim Kendall and yours truly quoted in it, as well! Elisabeth Dahl, Tilly Fortune, and Lara Lemon appear in the first revival of Sylvia Plath's only play. Three women's monologues recount their experiences of childbirth, remember the different routes that brought them there, and consider what the future has in store. Don't miss your chance to see this powerful piece on stage at the Jermyn Street Theatre from January 5 2009. Directed by Robert Shaw. Where: Jermyn Street Theatre 16b Jermyn Street, London When: Monday 5 January - Saturday 7 February 2009 Mon-Sat 7:30pm Sat matinees 4:00pm How much: £18 (£12 concessions) More info: Box Office: 0207 287 2875