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Showing posts from January, 2014

Sylvia Plath Collections: Letters to Father Michael Carey

The Emmanuel d'Alzon Library at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, holds the letters Sylvia Plath wrote to Father Michael Carey between October 1962 and February 1963. Gail Crowther and I wrote about these letters a bit in our most recent "These Ghostly Archives" paper: " These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past ". Some of the below was stated in this paper but this post should fill out the content of the letters... The letters are not "new". They were first published as an Appendix to Toni Saldívar's 1992 book Sylvia Plath: Confessing the Fictive Self (Peter Lang) on pages 201-206. However, at the time of the books publication Carey still held the letters, and not all of the letters were printed. To protect his interests, for example, Father Michael's name was redacted, and some of Plath's handwritten additions/postscripts were not included. Although the letters were published, I will give a brief paraphrase of each

Sylvia Plath on

Anyone interested in books by and/or about Sylvia Plath would be doing themselves a favor by shopping for them online via . They have a lot to choose from, be it a reading copy from a mom & pop shop to replace one that got damaged in a sudden rain storm or a collectible book from a high end dealer that you are buying with your disposable income for me (haha), a sweetheart, for yourself or some other reasons…Remember, books are something that can be enjoyed in nearly any conceivable place, and they can also be a sound investment. Sylvia Plath's works have frequently been mentioned on ABE's site, due in part both to her popularity as well as her collectibility. Who knows, they may even have a Plathophile on staff! I have been working slowly (sad, I know) on this post since 2011 and it seems to be the right time to finally post it. Scott Laming over on, did a write up on “ Bleak Books: The Top 10 Most Depressing Books ”. Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Ja

Sylvia Plath's Heavenly Sponge Cake

Kate Moses in 2003 ,  P.H. Davies in 2012 , Elizabeth Street , and  Graywolf Press , among others, have made Sylvia Plath's "Tomato Soup Cake." I am with Graywolf here on this, finding the concept "simultaneously repulsive and appealing". I will try it one day, I am sure... However, this blog post is about another Sylvia Plath recipe. In a letter Sylvia Plath wrote to her sister-in-law Olwyn Hughes from May 1959, she included a recipe for her heavenly sponge cake. Plath recommends making the cake in a funneled high cake pan, which my wife tells me is like a angel food cake pan (also known as a tube pan. If you are a fan of a certain Plath scholar you can use a bundt pan and achieve ... wait for it ... Bundt-zen! Sorry.). Plath even includes a drawing of the pan in the left margin of her typed letter. Being wholly culinarily uncoordinated, I begged (it was not pretty) my wife to try the recipe out. The ingredients you will need are: 6 separated eggs; 1½ c

Sylvia Plath Collections: Arts in Society

The Library at University of Wisconsin at Madison has the archive of the journal  Arts in Society . Sylvia Plath published three poems in an early issue of the serial (Volume 1, Number 2) in the  Fall of 1959 . The three poems were "Aftermath," "The Goring," and "Sculptor." And, brilliantly, they have made the back issues available digitally . Though it appears here (to the left), here is a link directly to the cover  in the context of the digital collection. And see images of the pages in which the poems appeared: Page 66  ("Aftermath" and "The Goring") &  Page 67  ("Sculptor"). All pages are downloadable as good quality PDF's, which is sweet. Does seeing these three poems here, together as a unit, give them a different context to their order --each appears in a different year, 1956; 1958; and 1959 respectively-- in Plath's Collected Poems ? Plath left "The Goring" out of The Colossus , is it weak

Sylvia Plath Collections: Sheet Music at Newnham College, Cambridge

Smith College holds photocopies of sheet music (covers only) formerly owned by Sylvia Plath. A note with these documents reads "Original sheet music in Newnham College, Cambridge Archives. Sheet music was left by Plath in her rooms at Newnham College, 1956 (?)." Four of the covers have Plath's signature; three have notes by Aurelia Plath. The original sheet music is now held by the Newnham College Archives, Cambridge, England. The titles of the sheet music that she owned and left at Newhnam are: 1) Apex Edition of Graded Albums for Piano ( WorldCat ) 2) Beethoven Moonlight Sonata ( WorldCat ) 3) C Bohm Favorite Compositions for the Piano * 4) Classic and Romantic Pianoforte Pieces ( WorldCat ) 5) Copland Scherzo Humoristique * ( WorldCat ) 6) Debussy La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin * ( WorldCat ) 7) Grieg Poetic Tone Pictures ( WorldCat ) 8) Oklahoma! ( WorldCat ) 9) Poulenc Mouvements Perpetuels * ( WorldCat ) 10) Progressive Pieces for Pianoforte ( World

Sylvia Plath in the Wellesleyan Yearbook

Carl Rollyson ( website ; Twitter ), author of  American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath , graciously gave me original copies of The Wellesleyan for 1949 and 1950.  The Wellesleyan  was the yearbook of Gamaliel Bradford High School, from where Sylvia Plath graduated in June 1950. Included with the yearbooks was a small cache of articles about Sylvia Plath publications spanning nearly half a century: Heller, Zoë. "Ariel's Appetite." The New Republic 223. December 18, 2000: 30-33. Howard, Maureen, "The Girl Who Tried to be Good." The New York Times Book Review . December 14, 1975: 1-2. Jefferson, Margo. "Who Was Sylvia?" Newsweek . December 22, 1975: 83. "The Blood Jet is Poetry." Time 87. June 10, 1966: 118-120. While the articles are fascinating, the yearbooks are the focus of this blog post. I have gone through them carefully and have scanned all of Plath's appearances that I found, plus one instance where Plath might

Articles published on Sylvia Plath in 2013

First of all, Happy New Year. In 2013, I kept track of many of the articles published about Sylvia Plath on a special page of this blog. I never intended to see it last the whole year, but it did and proved to be one of the more popularly hit pages. However, the 50th anniversaries of so much ( The Bell Jar  & Plath's death) are now over. I did not want to just delete the data, so here it is in full in its own blog post! All links were accessed and valid on the date of the article published. This page is temporary, but will compile online articles and links that appear surrounding the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, as well as articles about the 50th anniversary of her death.  Additional articles that appear on publications such as Carl Rollyson's biography American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath (St. Martin's Press), Andrew Wilson's Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted (Simon & Schuster),