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Showing posts from July, 2010

It is all about the details

Plath Profiles 3 is still in production. We’re hopeful to have everything wrapped up shortly. But to feed your Plathetite (Plath + appetite)...I’ve posted a detail from the cover on Plath Profiles website. As you know, each issue features an image and on the website we have a detail. This time around, the cover image comes courtesy of the Lilly Library. It is a swatch (or section) of the wallpaper that Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes had in their bedroom. The swatch was sent by Plath to her mother in February 1960. For those who have worth with this letter and the swatch in Plath mss. II, it will be familiar. For those who haven’t, it’s just one small example of the wonders of Plath’s archives (and, all archives in general for that matter). To help contextualize, I’ve contributed a small “Note” on the wallpaper to the issue. But you have to wait a few days for that... So, what are you waiting for, go check out the detail swatch .

Books about Sylvia Plath: Update

Congratulations are in order to Luke Ferretter for the recent publication of his long-awaited Sylvia Plath’s Fiction: A Critical Study (University of Edinburgh Press). Copies are available from Amazon and other sellers. In addition to Heather Clark’s forthcoming The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in January 2011, we now have An Essential Self: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, a Memoir to look forward to shortly from Five Leaves Publications. Publication in the US and the UK is 7 January 2011 (ISBN: 978-1907869013) ( )

The Internet

It is well-known that Sylvia Plath died at the age of 31 (do the math: 63 - 32 = 31, right?). Her death came about, in part, because of unrealized feelings for her father, who was a member of the Nazi party and ardent supporter of Aldof Hilter. In fact, Otto Plath's "death" in 1940 was just simply a ruse to trick his children and family so that he could go train an army of bees for the Fuhrer back in his homeland. Wait a minute. Seriously, what am I smokin'? Reading the internet can be bad for your mind. (I can just imagine the Google searches now "Did Otto Plath train killer bees for Adolf Hilter?" NO! Wouldn't it be great if Google knew the answers to stupid questions and just came up with a page that said "No" or "As if"!) Doesn't it bother you when the facts are wrong? Ted Hughes argued that each of us owns the facts of our lives. But what about when you're gone? I certainly don't own the facts of Plat

... in July

"Little poppies, little hell flames, Do you do no harm? You flicker. I cannot touch you. I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns. And it exhausts me to watch you Flickering like that, wrinkly and clear red, like the skin of a mouth." - from "Poppies in July" by Sylvia Plath

W. S. Merwin and Sylvia Plath

Recently it was announced that poet W. S. Merwin was made Poet Laureate. While they met in Massachusetts, Merwin and his then wife Dido, of course, were influential in helping Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes get settled in London in 1960. And, Plath used their flat in 1961 to write poems, and more notably The Bell Jar. Merwin is a terrifically prolific poet, publishing poems, translations, plays and so much more. In 1961, he published his third book of translations, Some Spanish Ballads (London: Abelard). What’s so special about his title is that it is dedicated to Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Beside Hughes’ The Hawk in the Rain and Lupercal , this is the only other book I know of dedicated to Plath during her lifetime.

Huws & Ariel

I received recently and read even more recently a copy of Daniel Huws' Memories of Ted Hughes, 1952-1963 . In length it is Beckeresque. In content, it is a wholly unremarkable - substanceless. Sylvia Plath figures very minorly as one might expect, although the dates associated with the book in the title are quite inclusive of the years in which Plath was very much a part of the picture. The book is in two parts, with an afterword. I've no doubt his memories, and the memories of Hughes' other friends, is and are far different from the Ted Hughes portrayed in Plath's biographies and in articles about the pair. The book basically says, "He was my friend and you [i.e. Plathies] got him all wrong." Well, we are all many different people to many different people. Thanks. Huws suggests that they had a lot of fun at Plath's expense in 1956, and likely beyond. Huws did seem to feel friendly and kindlier to Plath after 1960, after she brought Ted back to London as i

Three Women & Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath & more

A few links to pass on this Wednesday... Kate Taylor of the New York Times announced on Monday 5 July that the fall 2010 production of Sylvia Plath’s “Three Women” by Robert Shaw’s Inside Intelligence will be paired with Edward Anthony’s “Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath” this fall at 59E59. A version of Taylor’s article appeared in print on July 6, 2010, on page C2 of the New York edition. , , and also report. Elisabeth Gray is interviewed here by Wendy Loomis at . Look for Tony Mann’s “From Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar to the Bad Sex Award: A Partial Account of the Uses of Mathematics in Fiction” in BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History# of Mathematics , Volume 25, Issue 2, 01 July 2010, Pages 58 - 66. Someone’s created a Plath mural in Portland, Oregon .

The 501st

The back of Sylvia Plath's headstone. What, can't I have a little fun? And, did you really think I wouldn't have a photograph of the back of Plath's grave? Ok, seriously, if you want to see a couple of photographs that you might not have seen before, head over to A celebration, this is to see some pictures contributed by Gail Crowther of Berck-Plage. There are three pictures that should be readily recognizable based on Plath's descriptions from this wonderful poem. And, 501 thanks to Gail for sharing them with us! And, to hear Plath reading "Berck-Plage" buy the British Library's recent CD The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath . Plath recorded the poem for the BBC on 29 October 1962.

Plathtona 500

This is the 500th post on the Sylvia Plath Info blog. It is hard to believe that: 1) I have this much to say, and 2) so many keep visiting and - as a consequence - encouraging. So thank you! I hope going forward that this blog can continue to present relevant, interesting Plath related content. As always I appreicate those who follow and those who contribute via comments and guest posts. This blog loves archives. Over the last three plus years I have tried to highlight many institutions which hold Plath archival materials. I find very few things in life so enjoyable as being in an archive. This post will highlight an online archive. Sotheby's Sold Lot Archive Sylvia Plath books, and even her personal papers, appear from time to time at Auction. Sotheby's, which has held a number of auctions with Plath materials over the years, has online a sold lot archive, and if you click here , you can see their auctions of Plath items. By clicking on any auction with an image you are able