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Showing posts from August, 2011

Sylvia Plath on hurricanes...

As Hurricane Irene aims for Massachusetts and much of the east coast of the US, the New Yorker's Book Bench posted some good hurricane reads , including as you might hope, Sylvia Plath's "Ocean 1212-W." Unfortunately for the blogger, Macy Halford, she seems to have relied on the dating of "Ocean 1212-W" to what is printed in Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams ...she should have read through some of the articles I co-wrote with Gail Crowther (in particular, "These Ghostly Archives" | These Ghostly Archives, Redux" ) to get it correct that the prose piece was not written until late January 1963 (sent to the BBC on 28 January 1963). I wish she would have mentioned "The Disquieting Muses," too... "In the hurricane, when father's twelve Study windows bellied in Like bubbles about to break, you fed My brother and me cookies and Ovaltine And helped the two of us to choir: "Thor is angry: boom boom boom! Thor is an

Did you know...Tulips on display

Fifty years ago today, on August 22, 1961, Sylvia Plath sent her friend Jack Sweeney, then curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room, a letter and enclosed the worksheets/drafts of her poem "Tulips." Did you know that shortly thereafter - about two months - Sweeney put the poem on display at the Woodberry Poetry Room? The first notice of the exhibit appears in the "Metropolitan Boston Calendar: A Guide to This Week's Events" in the Boston Globe on October 29, 1961, on page 74. The notice reads, "A manuscript poem ("Tulips") on display at Lamont Library." Additional notices about the exhibit ran on November 5 (page 67); November 12 (page 65); and December 10 (page 83), of the editions I browsed via microfilm at the Boston Public Library. The worksheets and letter are now held by the Houghton Library (which oversees the Woodberry Poetry Room) and can be requested for research. It is one of only a few of the Ariel poems not held by Smith C

Representing Sylvia Plath Published

Cambridge University Press has published Representing Sylvia Plath , edited by Tracy Brain and Sally Bayley. The book is now available in the UK and will be available in the USA in September, though you may be able to order from CUP now... To order the book through Cambridge University Press, click here . The retail price is £50.00, which is substantial but I suspect work every penny or pence. Other metadata include: ISBN: 9781107006751 Publication date: August 2011 264 pages 22 b/w illus. Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm Weight: 0.56 kg The books contents include: Introduction: 'Purdah' and the enigma of representation by Sally Bayley and Tracy Brain Part I. Contexts: 1. 'Mailed into space': on Sylvia Plath's letters by Jonathan Ellis 2. 'The photographic chamber of the eye': Plath photography, and the post-confessional muse by Anita Helle 3. 'O the tangles of that old bed': fantasies of incest and the 'Daddy' narrative in Ariel

100 % Esther Greenwood

On Saturday, Gail Crowther, who is visiting from England, and I did a little tour of Winthrop, Nahant, and Swampscott to see Plath's North Shore. While on the beach at Nahant, we decided to conduct a bit of an archaeological dig to try to make and discover a bit of history... For those interested, please re-read the first bit of Chapter Thirteen of The Bell Jar , and then view the following... For more Sylvia Plath Info Videos, see the YouTube page .

Plath's Bell Jar at 40 in the US

Emily Gould over at the Poetry Foundation has recently published " The Bell Jar at 40 ." Of course this being 2011, it is the 40th anniversary of The Bell Jar 's publication in America, an anniversary which previously escaped my cognizance. Although you didn't ask, I do not care much for the article's subtitle: "Plath's YA novel reaches middle age." Perhaps for obvious reasons? YA (Young Adult) has a different meaning to me than perhaps Gould intended? Novel about a young adult, yes, but I feel the content and themes of The Bell Jar are adult. Maybe I don't give enough credit to its youngest readers...who I do recognize can be quite young. The article itself is good; though be wary of the handful, or more, of instances of careless biographic and/or bibliographic reporting. A couple of points below should maybe clarify some of these, just in case her readers want the truth or a fuller version/a different perspective represented by some of h

The secret (has been) out

Back in January I mentioned that Carmela Ciuraru's Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms (ISBN: 9780061735264) was to be published in June. It was and now suddenly it is August. Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms "includes a series of brief biographical explorations of the secretive writers behind some of history's most famous and enduring pseudonyms." The chapter on Plath covers pages 180-193. Each chapter features a quirky kind of teaser in a decorative font, Plath's being "She found sexual satisfaction in picking her nose" (180). What this has to do with her pseudonym is beyond me and kind of made me nervous to read the chapter! So too did the use of the familial "Sylvia" in the text and generalizing statements like "Plath's biography is familiar to just about every English literature student, reader of contemporary poetry, and suicidal teenager" (182). Adding to my apprehension was a sentence that k