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Showing posts from January, 2010

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 29 January 2009

Later on this year (26 May), look for Anna Jackson's Diary Poetics: Form and Style in Writers' Diaries, 1915-1962 . New York: Routledge, 2010. I mention this, as there is a chapter on Plath, as one might expect. It is in the series Routledge studies in twentieth-century literature. ISBN is 9780415998314. Also, later this year (31 May), see Neil Corcoran's Shakespeare and the Modern Poet . New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. I mention this, as there is a chapter on Plath, as one might expect, "Survivor of Cease: Shakespeare and Sylvia Plath in Ted Hughes's Poems." Luke Ferretter and Nephie Christodoulides have published articles in Woolf Editing/Editing Woolf: Selected Papers from the Eighteenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf: University of Denver, Denver, Colorado, 19-22 June, 2008 . Clemson, SC: Clemson University Digital Press, 2009, edited by Eleanor McNees and Sara Veglahn . See Nephie's essay "On Not Being Able to Paint: Writing

Links, reviews, etc. - week ending 23 January 2010

I recently learned of three new articles. Travis, Isabelle. "'I Have Always Been Scared of You': Sylvia Plath, Perpetrator Trauma and Threatening Victims." European Journal of American Culture Vol 28, No. 3. October 2009: 277-293. Tunstall, Lucy. "Aspects of Pastoral in Sylvia Plath's 'Child'." English Vol. 58, No. 222. Autumn 2009: 230-242. Wilcockson, Colin. "Ted Hughes' Undergraduate Years at Pembroke College, Cambridge: Some Myths Demystified." Agenda Vol. 44, No. 4/Vol. 45, No. 1. Winter 2009: 147-153. In the Wilcockson article, he was given permission to quote from Daniel Huws' forthcoming Memories of Ted Hughes, 1952-1963 , published on 1 April 2010 by Richard Hollis. Right now it only seems available through Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca . It's a good thing they invented airplanes. Also published by Richard Hollis on 1 April is Poems and Journals, 1960-1968 by Susan Alliston , Ted Hughes con

Cinderella/Twelfth Night

Today I visited briefly the Schlesinger Library in Cambridge, Mass., to browse through their holdings of the magazines Seventeen and Mademoiselle . I was looking for some information based on notes I took at Indiana last Tuesday on my "Clippings Day". The Lilly holds some letters Plath received from Seventeen about a poem entitled "Cinderella." Being somewhat familiar with Plath's publications, this struck me as strange. So I wanted to look through the years 1952-1954 just to see if something was missed by others (my thought was maybe it was printed late in 1953 when she was recovering at McLean from her nervous breakdown and suicide attempt). I pulled up "Cinderella" on the computer and then it hit me: I'm an idiot. "Cinderella" was published, but under the title "Twelfth Night" in the December 1952. I don't recall seeing any letters (in the places I looked) suggesting or requesting a title change. I hope this wasn'

Update from the Archive Day 5 and a half

Bleerb buhb Lilly gungdsr*#@ Plath a09jdnjh!!! Flidpo finger breaking slitherbeck! What a week! This morning I continued works through Box 7a, reading poems listed (or not) and uncollected in Collected Poems . Most of these works were written before 1955, some contain edit suggestions by professors, annotations by her mother, and so on. Her development from those poems in the 1940s to those written at Smith is so wonderful to see. As it stands if you read Collected Poems , you kind of just jump right into the middle - or even well past the middle. But, working through the poems alphabetically as one does in an archive, the years dissolve away and it's just Plath. Plath being Plath. A new collected poems that goes back to at least 1950 -to bring the poems more in line with the Journals, Stories, and Letters - would be great. However, as not all copies are dated sometimes it would be quite difficult to place some of them. But the right person or people I feel could

Update from the Archive Day 5

Day five, hours 37-45, the last last full day - the last massive breakfast followed by a concentration-induced fast. I started this morning off with Plath's 1945 summer journal from Camp Helen Storrow. She spent from 1 July through 15 July near Cape Cod at Camp Helen Storrow. The journal captured her daily schedule, the menus of food she ate at mealtime, and the day-to-day "Dear Diary" entries, to name but a few. On my last trip to the Lilly in June 2008, I read through all the early letters she wrote basically everything pre-1950. So, I had a good foundation of knowledge of what her time at camp was like. You might be wondering, "Hey, guy who spends too much time on Plath, why so interested in her time at Camp Helen Storrow?" Well, two years ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time at the campsite, which is now a private residence. Many of the cabins, though now a little derelict, are still standing. The main camp house is the families r

Update from the Archive Day 4

This is going to be a shorter post, I think, than the previous days. I concluded my examination of Plath's school notebooks and reading lists, all the way through Cambridge. I would have gone through her teaching notes from her time as instructor at Smith College (1957-1958), but ran out of time. Much of this information is already in LibraryThing, as a result - so I thought it would be best to move on to other parts of the archive. I think that might be my longest link ever. I do want to say that whilst I was perusing her Cambridge notes in Box 13, Folder 5, I found a couple of typed poems that had been used as scrap paper for note taking. The papers were ripped in half. The poems I found were "Firesong" (last stanza only), "Metamorphosis", which Plath retitled "Faun", and a poem entitled "Song", which Plath eventually renamed "Song for a Summer's Day". What struck me about "Song" first was the tit

Update from the Archive Day 3

Or, Sylvia Plath was smart. Today was one of those days where one just goes on autopilot. Somehow, I took more than 20 pages of notes; 17 of those pages - gulp - are books to add to her library on LibraryThing . And I'm not even done! I looked through her junior high, high school, and college notebooks, and mixed in there was her Modern Art course notes, which she audited during the Spring of 1958. While I got through much more today than I thought, I also found much more than I anticpated. Truly amazing stuff. Now the course notes for Religion, English, other subjects don't really interest me, one gem jumped out as unusual. Though labeled by Plath "Art", one notebook seems to be notes for subjects other than art. There were notes on child development, religion, and other topics. Possibly this one was used, also, as a notebook for her time as Press Board correspondent. But in addition, this one "Art" notebook seems to have been used, in August of 1951, a

Update from the Archive Day 2

Should I be alarmed that I had so much joy looking for clippings? Should I be alarmed that I found quite a few absent from my bibliography which now means I'll have to go trolling through microfilm back home? At one point today I had 7 different documents and one spreadsheet open on my computer as well as Google , A celebration, this is , and this blog . There is so much in the archive - there really is no way to know that what I've looking for - that what I'm looking at - hasn't already been published before. I think the bibliography could go a long way towards reducing some kind of redundancy, if there is redundancy, in published articles and books. But, on my website I have a list of known (or a few supposedly known) works by Plath. I found accidentally about a dozen new poems or story titles that will help to make the list more complete. Plath's early diaries are full of lovely, wonderful, charming and accomplished artworks. Each time I see th

Update from the Archive Day 1

Today was the first day of my research trip at the Lilly Library. I travelled from Boston through Washington DC to Indianapolis by air, and then to Bloomington on the shuttle bus. The total travel time from when I left the house was about 9 hours. It was a beautiful day to fly, the whole eastern seaboard was cloud free: Manhattan and Philadelphia were quite easily spotted. The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia gave way after a while to a flat, snow cover land. What I focused on today was the correpsondence between 1960 and 1963. Looking for needles in haystacks is never easy and not always rewarding. My reason for spending the day on them is because I am working of a project that must remain ill-defined for now. These letters were at first such a joy to read, but as always after spring 1962 the story takes a turn. Many of the letters are printed in Letters Home , but not all of them. And while the 1982's Journals are quite transparent about edits and omissions, the letters are no

Links, reviews, etc. - week ending 9 January 2010

A round-up of recent and relatively recent news, reviews, and stuff. David Trinidad, author of The Late Show , co-editor of Court Green , and teacher at Columbia College in Chicago, has recently published a beautiful elegy " For Nicholas Hughes " in The International Literary Quarterly 's November 2009 issue (9). Though I haven't yet read it, earlier this week Student Pulse published Sandra L. Meyer's " Examining Oppression Through the Lives and Stories of Sylvia Plath and Charlotte Perkins Gilman ." Harvard professor and poet Stephen Burt published " Smothered to Smithereens: The Poetics of Motherhood " in the current Boston Review . On a similar note, poet and novelist Nick Laird's " Poems for a Baby " appears in today's The Guardian . Though I missed it at first, on 30 December 2009, Paul Taylor at The Independent published " Writers' Archives: A Sad Estate of Affairs ." I suspect some of th

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

In Letters Home , Plath wrote to her mother on October 12, 1962, that "I am a famous here--mentioned this week in The Listener as one of the half-dozen women who will last--including Marianne Moore and the Brontës!." Did you know that the article to which she refers was by fellow poet Elizabeth Jennings. It was in Jennings review of Mrs. Browning by Alethea Hatyer? The article appeared in the September 13, 1962 issue of The Listener , on page 400. The paragraph in which Plath's name is mentioned reads, "Mrs Browning labours under the burden which all women poets have to carry - the fact of being a woman. Memorable English or American poets can be numbered on less than two hands; one thinks of Emily Brontë, Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, Edith Sitwell's early work, Anne Ridler, Kathkeen Raine, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and scarcely anyone else..." It must have tickled Plath, particularly, to be mentioned in the same breath as Mari

Additional book to look forward to in 2010

After the previous post, I found out about this forthcoming title by Lesley McDowell, Between the Sheets: Nine 20th Century Women Writers and Their Famous Literary Partnerships . Look for this book on March 4, 2010 ( Overlook Press ) in the US and May 20, 2010 ( Duckworth ) in the UK. In Saturday's Irish Times , in a preview of the years books, Between the Sheets is mentioned with this quote, concerning Plath, "Lesley McDowell looks at literary love affairs, asking why,for instance, Sylvia Plath stumbled into a marriage that drove her to suicide." Plath and Hughes even made the cover! About the book: "The list of tortured sexual relationships between female writers and their male literary partners is long, but each relationship provokes the same question: would these women have become the writers they did without the experience of their own particular literary relationship? "Focusing on the diaries, letters, and journals of each woman, Between the Sheets exp

Sylvia Plath - 2010 Anticipated Publications

Will 2010 bring some great new publications? Here are a few I've found out about so far: There is the eagerly anticipated Sylvia Plath's Fiction by Luke Ferretter , which on Amazon.co.uk is slated for release on 31 July 2010. In May, Faber is releasing a new hardback of Ariel . Look for Last Looks, Last Books: Stevens, Plath, Lowell, Bishop, Merrill by Helen Vendler in April. There are bound to be additional publications.