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Showing posts from January, 2012

Limited Edition Sylvia Plath Books For Sale - 1 Week Left

The Mayor Gallery in London , recently the host of the exhibition "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" has copies of limited edition Sylvia Plath publications. They are on sale through the gallery for one more week, ending 3 February. The titles and details are: Pursuit £ 1,000 By Sylvia Plath Rainbow Press, London, 1973 With an etching & drawings by Leonard Baskin Limited edition 22/100 (only 1 available) Dialogue over a Ouija Board £ 350 Sylvia Plath with a drawing by Leonard Baskin Rainbow Press, 1984 Limited edition of 140 (only 3 available) Lyonnesse £ 250 By Sylvia Plath Rainbow Press, London, 1971 Limited edition of 300 (only 6 available) Crystal Gazer and Other Poems £ 250 By Sylvia Plath Rainbow Press, London, 1971 Limited edition of 400 (only 11 available) There is a reproduction of the 'Study of a Figurine' by Sylvia Plath Please contact the Mayor Gallery if interested. Provenance is a very important aspect to book collecting, an

Sylvia Plath Interdisciplinary Master Class at Oxford

This summer, Dr. Sally Bayley and Linda Gates will teach a Sylvia Plath Interdisciplinary Master Class entitled "Finding a Voice: Sylvia Plath's Poetic Landscapes" at Oxford University in England from 2-6 July 2012. From the course description (accessed 23 January 2012): "This class will take a selection of Sylvia Plath's poetic manuscripts as a starting point for exploring the process of Plath's poetic composing. The particular focus will be on Plath's mature landscape poems, Winter Trees, Crossing the Water, Little Fugue, The Moon and the Yew Tree and Elm in which the speaker devises and revises a poetic identity through several drafted stages. The quotient points of her identity shift between inner and outer worlds as the poems come into focus and her personae begin to speak. "At the heart of the class will be the subject of voice and the ways in which Plath’s poetic voices are developed and tuned through the process of drafting. "Le

Sylvia Plath links and an article

The following is a newer article on Sylvia Plath: Rogers, Janine and Charlotte Sleigh. "'Here is my Honey-Machine': Sylvia Plath and the Mereology of the Beehive." The Review of English Studies . November 21, 2011: 1-18. Vote for Plath! Plath is listed among Beacon Hill's most famous/notable residents (see the 18th image; would've been better if she was the 59th). You can vote here ! Plath also made the Wellesley page (see page 13). Nevermind the few errors (the suicide attempt was at age 20; Plath did not live in Concord)... And, please do not miss Plathery's birthday cake . It is not a "cake of soap," though there is a dish detergent called Ariel in England. Can't we just picture Plathery "Measuring the flour, cutting off the surplus"??

Did you know... Sylvia Plath's Fractured Fibula

Sylvia Plath visited Richard Norton at Ray Brook near Saranac Lake in New York in late December 1952, she broke her leg skiing on Mount Pisgah : her fibula to be exact. In a letter to Myron "Mike" Lotz, she recounts rather vividly the event which took place on 28 December. She tells him that as she cartwheeled down the mountain a song was playing on the loudspeaker. Did you know... that the song playing was "You Belong To Me." There were a couple of versions of this song out in 1952; the above by Sue Thompson appears to have been the first, but a cover version by Jo Stafford was also near the "tops in pops," as Lenny Shepherd would say.

Update from the Archive Day 5

The last day of an archival research trip is always a day I do not look forward to at all. The time seems to go neither too fast nor too slow, but inevitably there is not enough of it. This morning I again called for the boxes of Plath's poems, particularly those of October 1962, but also of January 1963. Specifically "Ariel," "Lady Lazarus," "The Munich Mannequins," and "Totem." As I type this, from the Mortimer Rare Book Room, draft 1, page 1 of "Ariel" stands right beside me. An inspiration on its rosy pink paper, the false start quickly corrected: the trot turns into a gallop. Three days after creating "Ariel," Plath did her famous interview with Peter Orr of the British Council. She was right when she said, "Poetry, I feel, is a tyrannical discipline, you've got to go so far, so fast, in such a small space that you've just got to burn away all the peripherals. And I miss them! I'm a woman, I like my l

Update from the Archive Day 4

The archive today was fun. Karen Kukil had Plath's Royal typewriter out for someone else to photograph, so she and I started typing on it. We were comparing the way it typed against some of the documents Plath created on it, circa 1953 when she obtained it. Plath was quite proficient and efficient on the typewriter...I am not. In the process of working with it, I typed the first sentence from Plath's 19 June 1953 journal fragment, which was typed in New York City during her guest editorship at Mademoiselle . It is probable that Plath typed that fragment while at the offices of Mademoiselle, but it could be that it was typed in her hotel room (room 1511) at the Barbizon Hotel. This line I typed was "All right, so the headlines blare that the two of them..." (see Appendix 4, page 541 of The Unabridged Journals ). Click here for the url . There are some outtakes and false starts, so those might be posted online shortly... For the rest of the morning I worked with

Update from the Archive Day 3

In the archive this morning, I revisited some of Sylvia Plath's papers which I have studied before.  I find that revisiting certain series of documents benefits my understanding of how it all fits together - her life, her creative productivity, etc. - and the perspective of time and continued research and learning can be quite beneficial to seeing how the individual, disparate "things" add up to a connected life. This morning began with a browse through Plath's short stories and reviews. And most of it I had seen before, but there was one folder that was completely new to me. It is possible I missed it in a previous research trip; it is possible that it was added after the last time I looked it. Who knows; a wonderful aspect to the Sylvia Plath Collection at the Mortimer Rare Book Room - and likely other archives as well - is that it is still growing. Those little pieces, those traces, of Plath's life continue to be located and in some instances they are reunited

Update from the Archive Day 2

The morning begin with a browse through the drafts of Sylvia Plath's poems. I started with the box with poems beginning "A-Be". I wanted to look a bit through some of the early October 1962 poems, and so looked at drafts of "The Bee Meeting" and "The Arrival of the Bee Box". As might be expected, this led me to jump the alpahbet so as to review "Stings," "The Swarm," and "Wintering. When you work with the original manuscripts, it is like reading them for the first time; you see them new and fresh. And when you work through the drafts of the poems, you are on a journey. I wanted to look at these early October 1962 poems to see if an idea I have for a paper to write and present at the Plath Symposium in October might spring to life. I'm happy to say I have an idea, I'm not very pleased to say I'm not sharing at this time. In the process of reviewing the poems I stumbled upon, in the next box "Bi-De," a fol

Update from the Archive Day 1

This morning was beneficial to the paper I am writing on The Bell Jar as I was able to verify some information against Sylvia Plath's typescripts. The Sylvia Plath Collection has a few early, partial drafts, and then a complete set of "later drafts" which maybe could be considered final drafts as one of them was used by Heinemann when they set the type for the book. One of the things I looked at sadly revealed that Plath submitted the typescript with a typographical error. This does not change my opinion of Plath; but it confirms her humanness. And, when it comes to the word she spelled wrong, one can hardly blame her. The word is "bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronnruonnthu-nntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk!" And it appears on page one of Finnegan's Wake . Plath's copy is held by the Mortimer so I was also able to work with the "thick book," which Esther tells us "made an unpleasant dent in my stomach" (130


View Haven House (Yellow House in background) and Paradise Pond On 29 September 1950, Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother, "I'M A SMITH GIRL NOW" ( Letters Home 48). Well, I'm a Smith girl now too. Um...err... Karen Kukil is teaching an interterm course at Smith College this week entitled "Editing Sylvia Plath's Correspondence." The course description is... "This course will teach students how to edit correspondence. Focusing on the Sylvia Plath Collection in the Mortimer Rare Book Room, students will read and edit Plath's unpublished letters. Technical aspects related to the editing of a text will be discussed, including transcription and emendation. Plath's poetry and prose manuscripts, journals, annotated library, and other biographical material will also be considered during the course, as well as her papers in the Smith College Archives. Each student will be required to transcribe and edit one letter from the Sylvia Plath C

Now Available: Poetic Memory by Uta Gosmann

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press has recently published Poetic Memory: The Forgotten Self in Plath, Howe, Hinsey, and Glück by Uta Gosmann . Congratulations Uta! The Plath chapter, chapter one, is called "Sylvia Plath: Re-membering the Colossus." A review will be forthcoming.

Articles on Sylvia Plath

A few articles to pass along today. First the new one: In Issue 2 (Winter 2011) of the Ted Hughes Society Journal there is Amy Hildreth Chen's "The Perils of Literary Celebrity: The Archival Stories of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath." An excellent read and one that survey's the history of biographical approaches to Plath and Hughes as well as those who act as custodian to her papers - both the estate and later the archives. Chen's paper is on pages 20-31. Two additional articles that are slightly older but worth your while are by the Jungian analyst Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D. You may also be familiar with Dr. Schwartz's paper, " Sylvia Plath: A Split in the Mirror ," from Plath Profiles 4. 1. Little Girl Lost: Sylvia Plath and the Puella Aeternus (appears in the book, Perpetual Adolescence: Jungian analyses of American media, literature, and pop culture , Suny Press, 2009 ) Abstract: Although the Puella character can form within the psyche

Announcement of 2012 Sylvia Plath Symposium

Some of you have asked me in the past about another Plath Symposium. There is good news on that front... In late October 2012, Indiana University Bloomington's Department of English will host the Sylvia Plath Symposium 2012 commemorating "50 Years of Ariel" -- notably, the October poems of 1962. The focus will be on "Inspiration and the Creative Imagination" and featured speakers and artists now in place will present on "Daddy" and "Lady Lazarus" in relation to German language, WWII and their controversial uses of the Holocaust; the Bee sequence poems; biographical references in the October Poems; the new Plath biographies; 21st century Plath literary criticism and creative responses; "memoirs" of Plath readers on how she changed their lives; critical thinking and the contemplative tradition in Ariel; and the Plath Lilly Library archives and the creative process. The Call for Papers will be out in January 2012, and a website with