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Showing posts from November, 2011

Review of Representing Sylvia Plath

The majority of the eleven essays in Representing Sylvia Plath (249 pages, ISBN: 978-1-107-00675-1, Cambridge University Press, 2011, also available in two digital editions via the publisher: Mobipocket eBook and Adobe eBook Reader) draw from papers given at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium held at Oxford in 2007. The book is divided into three sections: Contexts, Poetics and Composition, and Representation. The focus of the essays is on the poetry, with somewhat token attention given to Plath's letters and short fiction. Though referenced nine times, The Bell Jar is largely not discussed. With some exceptions, Representing Sylvia Plath seems to consciously avoid an explicit consideration of Plath's biographical representations - of how Plath directly represents her self/life in her creative works- and this omission is a disservice to a writer who was, according to a close contemporary -Ted Hughes- her own best subject. In his "Introduction" to Johnny Pani

Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings - Installation Photographs

The Mayor Gallery has posted their installation photographs from the Sylvia Plath exhibit, which closes in just under a months time. Over on the TLS blog, Thea Lenarduzzi posted, on 10 November, " Sylvia Plath, the doodler. " The majority of these are not doodles, and the majority of the article is not on the drawings...

Sylvia Plath at the Boston Book Fair

Before we look at Plath at the Boston Book Fair, I have recently learned that several limited edition books of Plath's published by the Rainbow Press are for sale through the Mayor Gallery in London. These books are being sold by both Frieda Hughes and her aunt, Olwyn Hughes. It appears that there is almost a complete liquidation of Plath by her daughter. That appalling thought notwithstanding, I have seen these books in libraries and they are nice books and the second two, Dialogue Over a Ouija Board and Lyonnesse , at that price point, are quite reasonable given their rarity. Lyonnesse is particularly nice as the endpapers contain a facsimile of Plath's poem "Lyonnesse," though under its original title "Amnesiac: The Man With Amnesia." Crystal Gazer and Other Poems £250 Rainbow Press, London, 1971 Limited edition of 400 (only 25 available) There is a reproduction of the 'Study of a Figurine' in this book. Dialogue over a Ouija Board £

Images from Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

The following images of the Sylvia Plath exhibit on at the Mayor Gallery were sent to me from Sarsaparilla Esperanza Gomez. Thank you Ms. Gomez. The pictures are shown in the L-shaped part at the back of the gallery and are displayed quite crowded with little space between them. Reminds me of Plath's description of her father's headstone in her Journals , "headstones together, as if the dead were sleeping head to head in a poorhouse." You can get an idea of the frames from the photos: thin mahogony ones. I am aware that the gallery itself had installation photographs taken last week, so we can expect to see more of what the exhibit looks like then.

More on Sylvia Plath's Drawings

Earlier this year we were pleased with a Plath doodle .  Then came the exhibit in London at the Mayor Gallery of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings". This led me to "the Google" and I found the following drawing made by a very young Plath. This comes from an article called "Some Relics of Childhood" by Rodney Phillips , which appeared in issue 9 of Cabinet Magazine and was published in Winter 2002/3. The book Plath traced the cat and the dog from, Manners Can Be Fun , sounds like a great read and one that certainly could help me in life (though I'm not sure the book advocated eating all of Dido Merwin’s food in France in 1961 but we can hardly blame Plath for that).  The dog, too, came from this book. I found a cover online of a revised edition (1958), which features a very similar looking dog in the bottom left. For those that don't or won't see the interest in this kind of thing, remember that Plath's learning to trace drawi

Boston Book Fair & Sylvia Plath on Kindle

This weekend (11-13 November 2011) is the 35th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair to be held as usual at the Hynes Convention Center. As usual I will walk around and obsess and drool over all things Plath and report back back books, prices and what not. Hopefully will score some photographs, too, to share with you. Read about the fair in 2010 here . And I did two posts in 2008: the first and the second ... The blog over at the valuable Fine Books & Collections also has a preview and Plath made the list of neat items to see. Unrelated to the Boston Book Fair...US readers will finally have a new Kindle option of a Sylvia Plath book. The Colossus will be released in Kindle format on 23 November. Let’s hope this is the first step is allowing electronic access to Plath’s works to this market. The book will be published via Random House Digital, Inc. Again, if you are interested in helping to make Plath's books available through Kindle, you can have your say. Please

Sylvia Plath: Double Jeopardy

Sylvia Plath was the $800 answer today on Jeopardy's category "Verse Case Scenario". The best part is, the guy that got it right's first name was Buddy! Sorry about the flash glare. For those concerned, the line is "Dying is an art..."  This is Plath's second recent appearance on Jeopardy .

More Reviews of Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Two new reviews to mention today on the exhibit of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings." Sam Leith at The Observer reviews quite favorably the exhibit in " These drawings give us a whole new Sylvia Plath – sprightly, witty and fun " which appeared on 6 November 2011. B.K. at The Economist lightly reviews in " Sylvia Plath’s Drawings: An Unbearable Lightness " on 7 November 2011.  It is clear that many prefer Plath's poetry; however, it seems these people are trying to compare apples to oranges. This is why Plath wanted to publish The Bell Jar under a pseudonym, isn't it? Because she did not want -among other reasons- for her novel to be judged as the work of a poet. Same goes for the drawings...

Catalogue Review: Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings. (London: The Mayor Gallery, 2011) , 63 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9558367-8-7. Illustrated. Hardcover, no dust wrapper, as issued. The catalogue for the exhibit of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" is a gem. The bold red cover is of a quintessential Plathian nature, and is reminiscent of the exhibition catalogue for Karen V. Kukil and Stephen Enniss' "No Other Appetite": Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry (Grolier Club, 2005). Published in a limited edition to 1,000 copies, the full color scans throughout are bound to delight Plath's readers (scholars, fans: we are all in this together). The introduction by Frieda Hughes was largely published in a slightly different format in both her Vogue UK ("Drawings from the Past," November 2011, pp 103-104) and Observer ( "Lines of Beauty," 22 October 2011, p 22) articles.  It is a cool, factual, point-to-point introduction that lacks an emotio

A Review of Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Michael Glover at The Independent coolly reviews the exhibition "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" which is now on at the Mayor Gallery in London. The subtitle to the review, "Plath the tortured poet's pictures are too polite to be a big draw" says all you'll need to read... But he just does not get it. Or, at least he does not get Plath. Glover asks, "What we really want to know about this exhibition is this: how does it connect with the rest of her tragic life? Are these drawings pent, febrile and tortured in the way that many of the greatest of the poems are pent, febrile and tortured? Have the things that she is drawing – flowers, animals, bottles, trees – been turned into terrible symbols of themselves?" Several of the drawings in the exhibit show a duplicitous or two-sided curiosity in objects, which directly relates to a large theme in Plath's writings. There are two drawings of the "Pleasures of Odds and Ends"; two of horse ches

Sylvia Plath Exhibit Opens in London

The Mayor Gallery exhibit of "Sylvia Plath's Drawings" opens today at their space at 22A Cork Street in London. Containing 44 drawings, this is the first British exhibition of Plath's artwork.  In the "Current" section of their website, it is possible to view all 44 drawings . Bravo! In 2002 at the Sylvia Plath 70th Year Symposium held at Indiana University, many of Plath's creations were exhibited from the collections of both Smith College and Indiana University. Yesterday, Matilda Battersby of the Indpendent wrote " Unseen Sylvia Plath Drawings Go on Show ." The page containing the article has been loading painfully slowly, so your patience is I'm sure appreciated.

The Black Car by Christine Walde

Recently published by Baseline Press , The Black Car by Christine Walde features poems inspired by Sylvia Plath. In these poems we join Walde on an journey into Plath's brief sojourn to Canada in the summer of 1959. Subtitled Reflections on Lethe , The Black Car also finds its poetry sourced from H.D., Charles Baudelaire, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The poems are completely original and in Walde's own unmistakable voice.  In the "Afterword," we learn a bit about the books genesis; the prose and the story are inspiring. Exquisitely produced in a limited edition that is sure not to last, The Black Car is a book worth owning and cherishing. 36 pp., ISBN 978-0-9869570-1-7, $10. The cover is of St. Armand Canal, and the flyleaf of Tibetan Cloud. The book is available for on-line purchase through the link above. Christine Walde (London, Ontario) is the author of the novel, The Candy Darlings (Penguin Canada and Houghton Mifflin). A second novel, Burning Down