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Showing posts from January, 2017

Sylvia Plath's "Gramercy Park" Typescript at Auction

A six-page typescript story, "Gramercy Park" (1948), with holograph corrections in Sylvia Plath's hand  is up for auction via RR Auctions . "Gramercy Park" originally sold in the  1982 Sotheby's auction , then reappeared in their  failed December 2014 auction . It did  sell last June via Bonhams  as part of a two-story lot along with 1949's "The Green Rock". Indiana University at Bloomington holds, in Plath mss II, two typescript copies of "Gramercy Park". One of them has, on the back of a cover page, a small reproduction of George Wesley Bellow's 1920 painting Gramercy Park , pictured below. The copy at auction appears to be the draft Plath edited to reach the final version as the edits are reflected in one of the copies at Lilly. It also features some comments in another hand, likely one of her teachers at the Bradford High School. My thanks to Jett W. Whitehead of Jett W Whitehead Rare Books , THE specialist in p

Elizabeth Sigmund (1928-2017)

As a result of Alison Flood's article "Sylvia Plath's Three Women to be staged in London" in The Guardian , I met Elizabeth Sigmund, who passed away peacefully at her home in Cornwall on Friday, 6 January 2017. Shortly after the article ran my mobile phone rang with an English phone number showing up on the caller-ID. It was Elizabeth, calling to discuss my quotes in the piece and to discuss Plath. We became fast friends. Elizabeth was like that -- instantly likable. We spoke on the phone periodically after that -- it was always a fulfilling thrill to speak to her: especially in July when I'd call her on her birthday and sing to her, and the next day she'd call me on mine and sing back to me. She possessed a beautiful and inviting speaking voice, a vibrant and contagious laugh, and had the amazing ability to make any day we spoke both brighter and happier. In March 2013, when Gail Crowther and I gave a preview talk for our paper "These Ghostly Arc

Did you know... Sylvia Plath's Slow Insects and African Pygmies

It has been quite some time since a "Sylvia Plath: Did you know…" appeared on this blog so I thought I should remedy this unintended gap. Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar (1963) is a fun book to read for its hidden messages and allusions. Plath carefully and consciously manipulated time and people to construct a work based off of many experiences in her own life, but undoubtedly also added fictional color. One scene in the novel in particular that always makes me chuckle is Esther's motivation for wanting to spend her summer writing a novel. She writes: Then I decided I would spend the summer writing a novel. That would fix a lot of people. (1963:126) After this, Esther drafts a first paragraph, Elaine sat on the breezeway in an old yellow nightgown of her mother's waiting for something to happen. It was a sweltering morning in July, and drops of sweat crawled down her back one by one, like slow insects. I leaned back and read what I had written. I

Sylvia Plath Article Transcriptions

Happy Sylvia Plath Info Blog New Year! In the autumn of 2016, I spent a lot of time during my lunch hour at work going to the Boston Public Library to re-examine all the microfilmed newspapers that they hold re-searching for articles on Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt. I did this because at the same time I was transcribing all the articles, for you, I felt it was important to re-check everything. Also, I made new scans of some of the articles that originally were of lesser quality because of the great advances made in microfilm readers since circa 2005-2012. In the end, I found a number of articles that I missed in my previous researches. It is important to admit that I missed them. Some of the articles were from other editions of a particular newspaper issue and I can only think that when I first started looking for these articles in the first place that I did not place as much bibliographic emphasis/attention on these. And some of them I found because they were not at fi