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Showing posts from January, 2009

Links reviews, etc. - week ending 31 January 2009

Catherine Bowman's long awaited book of poems, The Plath Cabinet , will be published on 1 April 2009 by Four Way Books. Bowman's "Plath" poems have appeared in print in various journals, and she's read them at readings, perhaps most notably at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Oxford. Come 1 April, we'll be able to see them all. The marketing blurb for this title reads, "Part homage, part exploration, The Plath Cabinet offers a new window onto Sylvia Plath's world, from her hand-made dolls and her passport to a preserved lock of her hair. The Plath Cabinet is not simply an unparalleled biography: it is a memoir in poems, telling the story of Bowman's relationship to Plath and to poetry. The Plath Cabinet is a must-read for Plath-lovers, for anyone interested in memoir and biography, and for all readers of contemporary poetry." I'd like the thank Jim Long, author of Between Wings: Poems , for letting me know about the publication dat

Links, etc. - Week ending 24 January 2009

From Sweden comes Lady Lazarus . This is a website designed and created by Sonja and Florian Flur. Theirs is quite a unique relationship and situation; one that upon reading their webpages will lead many to have questions. The website looks at two living people who identify with Sylvia Plath and Otto Plath. They explore "the possibility of reincarnation and how a person possibly goes from one life to another." The Flur's have several separate webpages and two movies that detail the stories of their lives and some of the interesting connections with the lives of Sylvia Plath, Otto Plath, and Ted Hughes. Having read the pages now a couple of times, I'm still trying to process their story and the possibility of reincarnation. The Flur's are kind enough to include a link for leaving comments, should you have any. The site is beautiful designed, the movies wonderfully shot and edited, and easy to navigate. From Italy comes " Raccontando Sylvia " ("Abo

Robert Shaw on Three Women

In today's Guardian , Robert Shaw strikes back at his critics . Defending his production of Sylvia Plath's Three Women, Shaw picks apart Lyn Gardner's 9 January review . Not having seen the production leaves this blogger at a loss to comment further. Also on the Guardian's website, Shaw discusses his production in a video feed .

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

Did you know that a letter from Sylvia Plath to Stevie Smith from November 19, 1962, is reprinted in Smith's Me, Again: Uncollected Writings of Stevie Smith (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1982). The letter appears on page 6. Also on November 19, 1962, Plath was at work on "Mary's Song", the first poem written after her Ariel period concluded.* *"Death & Co", written five days earlier, was the last poem she included in her original manuscript of Ariel .

Another review of Three Women

Rhoda Koenig at The Independent somewhat coldly reviews Three Women by Sylvia Plath. Koenig picks up on the poetry of Three Women, and some of the consistenices of language and imagery. She like the stage design and Tilly Fortune, and I think the work itself, but little else. Simon Collings at The Oxford Times also reviews Three Women today. (added subsequently to the Koenig review and link) Collings points out Plath's mastery as a writer, and compliments the director who ensure that "Each [voice/speaker] is in a self-contained world." Anyone in England who has seen Three Women, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I'd love to read more opinions on this from people not necessarily being paid to criticize. Thank you in advance. Three Women publicity photo. L-R Elisabeth Dahl, Tilly Fortune, Lara Lemon. Credit Marilyn Kingwill

The Telegraph on Three Women

Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph reviews Sylvia Plath's Three Women. Cavendish gives a coolish reception to Three Women. He is more critical of the price of admission than just about anything else... At least he seemed moved by the words Plath penned (or typed), and contributes "[Robert] Shaw's lucid, uncluttered staging" which allows for "the work's spellbinding qualities."

Additional review of Three Women by Sylvia Plath

One more review to post... Claudia Pritchard at The Independent reviews Sylvia Plath's Three Women today. Pritchard acknowledges Plath's distinctive voice, but is somewhat critical of Lara Lemon's "Third Voice", saying it is "possibly the most sketchily drawn role." This might be because Plath did not actually experience giving a baby up for adoption, so she could not draw from the storehouse of emotions necessary to pull this voice off. She does compliment director Robert Shaw and Lucy Read's set, which allows for the color of Plath's writing to emerge and be the focus.

Reviews of Three Women by Sylvia Plath

Reviews started pouring in on 8 January for Robert Shaw's production of Three Women. The reviews continued into the next day. Here are a list of links... Lyn Gardner at The Guardian (9 January) A mixed review: while Gardner recognizes the power of Plath's poetry, it's translation from a radio drama to stage doesn't work for her. Benedict Nightingale at the Times (9 January) A more enthusiastic review, though Nightingale wishes there was more acting. Ian Shuttleworth at the Financial Times (8 January) Shuttleworth's title says it all, "The words do all the work." His review concludes, "Three Women resonates soul-deep, regardless of one’s experiences or one’s sex. But the power is all Plath’s, and nothing to do with the staging." Fiona Mountford of The Evening Standard at This is London (8 January) Mountford also seems more optimistic about the text of the poem, versus its being performed. She says, "there can be no getting around the fac

Review of Three Women by Sylvia Plath

Viv Groskop at The Guardian reviews the Robert Shaw production of Sylvia Plath's "Three Women" here ! The review is as good as I was hoping it would be. While I am envious of those who are in attendance, at least the text is available for reading and consideration at any time.

Robert Shaw, Director, on Sylvia Plath's "Three Women"

I received the following letter from Robert Shaw, Director of the revival of Sylvia Plath's "Three Women". "Three Women" commences a five week run at London' s Jermyn Street Theatre this Monday, 5 January 2009. I am posting it on the blog with his permission. The letter, which was attached in an email from Clare Butler, Press Officer for Inside Intelligence, was titled "Why Three Women". Dear Peter, I first came upon the text of Sylvia Plath's verse play Three Women in summer 2006, while I was on holiday in Croatia. I didn't know she'd written a play, so for a theatre director always on the lookout for projects, the best ones that give you that heady buzz of excitement when you think of them, it was like a gift. As soon as I read it, I realised that this was a text to uplift and inspire readers and audiences. I had what Peter Brook calls that instinctive knowledge that this is the play that has to be done and it has to be done NOW. Th