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Showing posts from December, 2010

2010 Sylvia Plath Info Year In Review

Like just about any other year, 2010 for Sylvia Plath was interesting and occasionally controversial. The year saw just one major publication by Plath, and that was the British Library’s Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath CD in April . I was fortunate enough to be asked to write the introduction, which was both a great honor and fun to do. If you have not yet purchased the CD or borrowed it from a library I would highly recommend you do (and not for the intro, mind you, but for the audio tracks). By ordering through the link on the sidebar of this blog you can save 10%. The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath CD wins, hands down, for my favorite cover award of the year. The only book by Plath published this year was by Faber who published a new, hardback edition of Ariel in May , but this was of the originally published Ariel edited by Ted Hughes. Books about Plath were a little skimpy this year too; but those new books that did appear in print are considerably important and extremely valuable co

A Comparison

In England currently the cold weather is big news and is drawing comparisons to the cold, brutal winter of 1962-1963, which is relevant to this blog in so many ways. In fact, in the Daily Mail article " Will it be even colder than the winter of 1962-3? Big freeze returns tomorrow... and it's going to last for a MONTH " by Paul Bentley, Becky Barrow and Sophie Freeman (how many Britons does it take to write about the weather?), the boxed off text "The Great Freeze of 1962/63" seems a paraphrase of Sylvia Plath's prose piece "Snow Blitz." One of my favorite things to do is review the Times and Guardian microfilm from Boxing Day through early February to try to get a sense of what he media coverage was saying about the weather conditions. That the winter is still memorable speaks to its severity. Unfortunately we do not know the date "Snow Blitz" was written, but in all likelihood it was written before she completed what would be called &q

On Sylvia Plath's "Last Letter" by Ted Hughes

Even after all this time, I'm still digesting "Last Letter" but finding it easier to read now that the hoopla has died down a bit. The news stories on its publications were just atrocious and sometimes it is hard to shake initial feeds, impressions, reports, and rushed judgments. As a result, though, what was reported has to be discredited largely, and ignored & forgotten. Looking back to those long gone halcyon days of early-to-mid October 2010 and those news stories ... I can't read them anymore. They, in fact, they quite privately bore me...(in those days I regarded forgetfulness as an essential part of survival). I'd like to see the manuscripts of the poems, all of them. Hughes's handwriting is difficult at best, but a little time with them and I think much more could be known about the poem. That being said, this post isn't looking at the whole poem, but just a little bit of it. First, though, with this archive of material now available, this te

Sylvia Plath: NFL Prognosticator

& the uses of Sylvia Plath's Journals continues to grow and astound... As we saw in the Plath Profiles 3 Supplement published in October, ten different writers worked with the Unabridged Journals and presented their findings in very different ways... Now, over at readandreact.net , the geniuses have used Plath's Journals to describe the very possible outcomes and scenarios of the fourteenth week of the NFL...

More on Last Letter

These are some online articles that discuss Ted Hughes' recently published poem "Last Letter", which as you know make a big splash and dominated our lives in October. Some of them are older but in the wake of the hullabaloo they got a bit buried... Kay Loftus of the Boston University Quad wrote "'The Last Letter' of Ted Hughes" which appeared on November 7. The New Statesman 's Lucian Robinson posted "Ted Hughes's 'Last letter': the response" on November 22, 2010. From November 28, 2010, there is Peter Steinfels Commonweal piece "Is light the new dark?" which may be one of the first times Harry Potter and Sylvia Plath were mentioned in the same breath? If anyone is at all interested, I am working as and when I can on my own reaction to "Last Letter" and hope to have it posted here shortly...

Sylvia Plath, David Trinidad and Black Telephone

Our friend in Plath - David Trinidad - has a poem entitled "Black Telephone" published in this year's Best American Poetry (edited by David Lehman and Amy Gerstler) . David sent the following "Process Note" to me about his "Black Telephone," which originally appeared in Tin House . "The actual telephone that inspired this poem is in an unwatchable Natalie Wood film from the early sixties, Cash McCall . There's a closeup of it at the beginning of the movie. But I had telephones on the brain; that’s why it captivated me. I was in the middle of writing an essay about the telephone incident that precipitated the end of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes's marriage (Plath pulled the phone cord out of the wall when she intercepted a call from Assia Wevill, with whom Hughes was having an affair), and the way that incident reverberates in such poems as Plath’s "Words heard, by accident, over the phone" and "The Fearful" (and even