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Showing posts from November, 2014

Jeffrey Meyers on Sylvia Plath's Heritage

Jeffrey Meyers'  "The German Plath" published in the November 2014 issue (volume 33, number 3, pages 77-80) of the New Criterion is his second publication on Sylvia Plath this year. The first "Plath's Rapist" was published by London Magazine in their June-July number. It was discussed at length on this blog here . It is clear that Meyers has a high regard and interest in Sylvia Plath, he is exploring topics that in some cases are under emphasized ( some of his articles are listed in this 2010 blog post ), but as with "Plath's Rapist", in "The German Plath" Meyers tips the scales, or, falls overboard, and has written largely a piece of drivel. The premise of the article is: "Sylvia Plath was born into German culture … Plath had all the quintessential German qualities: she was clean, orderly, punctual, meticulous, disciplined, industrious, conformist, and obedient ... Her father’s virtual suicide, which she referred to obsessiv

Did you know... Sylvia Plath at Yaddo

Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were guests at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, from 9 September-19 November 1959. They were recommended for invitation by Newton Arvin and Richard Eberhart. In the admission process, they were graded by their peers. Plath received grades of B (Richard Eberhart), A (J[ohn] C[heever]?), and a Strong B or B plus (Morton D Zabel). Hughes received grades of A (J[ohn] C[heever]?), B (Richard Eberhart), and Good B (Morton D Zabel). Did you know who the other guests and residents were at Yaddo at the same time as Plath and Hughes were there? There was a director's meeting from 25-27 September, which meant that the following people were there for a few short days under different conditions and expectations. In the list, following their names are their occupation, whether they were a director or a member, and which room(s) they were assigned: Newton Arvin (writer; Director, Dew); Robert Coates (writer; Member, Mt. View); Malcolm Cowley (writer; Dir

Major Sylvia Plath Archive Auction at Sotheby's on 2 December 2014

Sotheby's is auctioning a major archive of Sylvia Plath materials including stories, poems, a letter, photographs, lecture notes and other items in New York City on 2 December 2014. It's all I can do not to pass out. Sylvia Plath: AN ARCHIVE OF PLATH'S EARLY POETRY AND SHORT STORIES (BOTH MANUSCRIPT AND TYPESCRIPT), COLLEGE LECTURE NOTES, A TYPED LETTER, AND TWO SELF-PORTRAITS IN INK AND CRAYON. WELLESLEY AND NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS, C. 1946–1954 The archive comprises: Short stories. Autograph manuscripts and typescripts, 1946–1953 where dated, as follows: 1) "On the Penthouse Roof," autograph manuscript in pencil, 3 1/2 pp., 18 May 1946. 2) "The Mummy's Tomb," autograph manuscript in pencil, 4 pp., 17 May 1946. 3) "Gramercy Park," typescript with a few corrections, 6 pp. [1948]. 4) "The Green Rock," two typescripts, one corrected, 11 and 12 pp. 5) "The International Flavor," two typescripts, one corre

"We Shall Never Enter There": Sylvia Plath and The Burnt-out Spa

On Sunday 8 November 1959, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes were in the last days of their 11 week stay at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York. Plath's journal entry from a few days later says, "I wrote a good poem this week on our walk Sunday to the burnt-out spa. A second book poem. How it consoles me, the idea of a second book with these new poems: The Manor Garden, The Colossus, The Burnt-out Spa, the seven Birthday poems, and perhaps Medallion …" (526). The burnt-out spa has for a while be something of an enigma to me. I visited Yaddo for a day in 2001, but did not think to seek out the "burnt-out spa" at the time. It has been on my mind for a while to revisit the town, and over the weekend of 20-21 September did just that, as part of a trip that included a rare tour of the buildings and grounds of so venerable a place . In preparation for the visit, I contacted the city's library to inquire if anyone knew anything about the place that inspired this Plath

Collecting Sylvia Plath

In advance of the 38th Annual Boston Antiquarian Book Fair in two weeks, and inspired by David Trinidad's compelling and fascinating June blog post, Collecting Sylvia Plath , on the Poetry Foundation's website , I am left induced to share some of my own assembled ephemera relating to Sylvia Plath. It would be foolish to try to replicate the enthusiasm and sincerity in David's blog post; however, I can unequivocally state that in collecting these bits and pieces of Plathiana, I do feel sometimes to gain a better perspective on her biographically and bibliographically: for both those publications she saw during her lifetime, as well as the ones that appeared after she died. Two of the most recent acquisitions came together from The Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye. When collecting anything, it is fun and informative to know the provenance of the item. This is not always possible, but in this instance, the items formerly belonged to long-time BBC producer Fred Hunter ( obit ;