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Showing posts from October, 2016

Sylvia Plath and McLean Hospital

In August when I was in the final preparations for the tour of Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar sites, I found that I had long been mistaken about a couple of things. This is my coming clean. It was my intention in this blog post to discuss just McLean, but I found myself deeply immersed in other aspects of Plath's recovery. The other thing I was mistaken about will be discussed in a separate blog post. I suppose I need to state from the outset that I am drawing conclusions from Plath's actual experiences from what she wrote in The Bell Jar and vice versa, taking information from the novel that is presently unconfirmed or murky and applying it to Plath's biography. There is enough in The Bell Jar , I think, based on real life to make these decisions. At the same time, I like to think that I know enough to distinguish where things are authentic and where details were clearly made up, slightly fudged, or out of chronological order. McLean Hospital was Plath's third and last

Sylvia Plath Collections: Wellesley Police Department Records

In the past two months I have been doing a lot of research into Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt on 24 August 1953. Maybe this is a morbid topic over which to obsess? However, I feel that it is an very fascinating topic and fortunately, somehow, I am able to not get too emotional over it. As a part of this research, I put online scans of all the articles I have found that covered Plath's suicide attempt. There are more than 200! I hope that you all use this resource; that you enjoy it and benefit from it. In processing all those files, and re-reading them, I grew more and more intrigued with the finer-point details presented in the 1953 articles themselves, in the biographies, in articles, and, of course, in Plath's wonderful novel The Bell Jar . A lot of my querying was further encouraged by my recent tour of Plath's 26 Elmwood Road, Wellesley, house. This got me wondering if the Wellesley Police Department might have any archival record of their role in sea

A Sylvia Plath talk at University of Victoria, British Columbia

Although the announcement was made several days ago and nearly broke the internet... I am really pleased to post on the blog that Director of Special Collections and University Archivist Lara Wilson and Grants and Awards Librarian Christine Walde of the McPherson Library at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, have invited me to give a lecture on Sylvia Plath. That is the second longest sentence recorded in history (see Henry James). On 27 October 2016, at 4:30 pm, I will be giving a talk entitled: "'She wants to be everything': Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar , Letters, and Archives". Here is the brilliant, sleek looking poster they made up for the event, which is helping to celebrate 50 years of the University's Special Collections. This is Sylvia Plath on Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, from circa 17 July 1954. The photograph is from the Lameyer mss, Lilly Library, Indiana University at Bloomington. So, if you are in the Victori