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Showing posts from November, 2017

Art at Sylvia Plath Conference in Belfast

In each of the four Sylvia Plath conferences, art has been a major component of the events. Art, as in art inspired by Sylvia Plath. Several musical compositions have been featured as well. The Sylvia Plath Conference in Belfast, from 10-11 November, continued this tradition. Bella Biddle wowed us with her a choral composition of "Nick and the Candlestick" which I mentioned in my day one review of the conference. But unintentionally omitted from the previous recap-posts were a more detailed exploration of Christine Walde's exhibit, and, as well, artwork sent to the conference from Macedonia by Kristina Zimbakova. One the first day, in the first panel, speaker Christine Walde spoke on "<maniacs.>: Exploring marginalia and materiality in library copies of Sylvia Plath's catalogue" which was a fascinating discussion on how we are readers interact with Plath's texts. From Christine's abstract: For many years, I have been fascinated by the

Letter in November: A London Postscript to the Sylvia Plath Conference

[ This blog post was mostly written after/during too much to drink, at nearly "Midnight in the mid-Atlantic" on my flight back, back, back to Boston (not "On Deck", but far, far, back in coach...) ~pks ] I am so stupidly happy. After leaving Belfast, after such wonderful days at the Conference, after too many night of getting too little sleep, after meeting so many wonderful people and after having so many wonderful conversations, I had a long, six-hour layover in Heathrow airport before my connecting flight from Belfast to Boston. The idea of spending just about as much time in the airport as I would in the plane was unpalatable; so I decided it was worth the effort to zip into London for at least two hours; to make my way of course to Primrose Hill; to walk around and be beaten by wind, rain, air, sun: whatever the elements were offering that unknown day in the future when plans were made. After learning that someone whom I have wanted to meet for years was un

Sylvia Plath Conference Summary by Bella Biddle

There are two many things that Bella Biddle is to try to define her. Meeting her at the Sylvia Plath conference in Belfast, hearing her paper, and a choral composition of "Nick and the Candlestick" was a definite highlight. Bella kindly wrote up some summary thoughts of two panels on the second day that she attended and I cannot express how grateful I am for this as it provides a concrete review of talks I would have liked to have heard.  Without further ado: For the 11:30 panel, I opted for Panel A: 'Now there are these veils' which saw Cathleen Allyn Conway, Georg Nöffke and Dr Gary Leising discussing theoretical interpretations of Plath's poetry. Cathleen discussed the vampiric identity Plath builds for herself in poems such as 'Lady Lazarus', comparing them to vampires from Bram Stoker's Lucy to Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer . She discussed the issues of consent and empowerment vampirism provokes in literature, and described how she

Sylvia Plath: Letters Words and Fragments Conference, Ulster, Day 2

What is better than the first day of a Sylvia Plath Conference? Maybe the second day. However this time the second day was also the last day and as such this is both joyful and tearful. In theory with a later start to the day many could have slept in. I know for me this was not the case; and I know for some they stayed up late making revisions to their still-to-be-given papers. I was going to again rehearse my own, but decided against it. Day One was so spectacular in large part because all the panels ran in succession, or, because there was nothing concurrent from which to make choices. Day two featured those choices that had to be made and so I have only my own perspectives from the panels I sat in on to discuss here. If anyone out there wants to write a summary of the panels that heard -- even if it is one I mention here -- please sent me some text. The first panel of the day I heard as Panel A "Sylvia Plath and..." which is a great title. Chaired by Emily Van Duyne, t

Sylvia Plath: Letters Words and Fragments Conference, Ulster, Day 1

Being at a Sylvia Plath Conference often means you end up, quite quickly, in a stupor of over-stimulation from the talks. This conference is, thus, typical. Even the act of collecting my name tag and programme took on a kind of wonder as you meet people that you have emailed with or conversed with over social media. This is what happened when I met Eilish, who was on the desk helping out (and doing a wonderful job of it). The first panel of the day after some introductory remarks by Dr. Thomas Maguire was "Leaving Traces: Archives and Biographies" and featured several speakers. And I cannot fathom a better start to it. I wish I had the expertise and composure Danielle has when I was her age. Her exploration of the "I" in Plath's Journals  and problems of biography. Amanda revealed a never-before-seen photograph of Plath in Rome before turning tables to discuss a typographical error in "Blackberrying" that persists to this day. Gail Crowther wowed

Sylvia Plath: Letters Words and Fragments Conference

Today begins the Ulster University Conference: Sylvia Plath: Letters Words and Fragments. The conference was organized by Maeve O'Brien and a massive thank you is due to her for that. Last night there was a pre-conference meet-up a the Sunflower on Union Street. Though it was raining there were some 20 or so people there. New faces, familiar faces and lots of camaraderie.  Look for conference updates here throughout the two days of the event, I hope. But certainly by next week after everything is said and done and processed. 

General Sylvia Plath Info Blog Update

Well, things have been kind of crazy for the last six weeks or so. With the publication of The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956  in the UK and the US, and then participating in one event , following other events, looking for reviews, etc. it is not hard to imagine why! But I wanted to give a general update at this point in time on a few things. First up, those reviews: I have started to list review of the Letters on my website for Sylvia Plath,  A celebration, this is . in the " Reviews of works by Sylvia Plath " page. This will be updated as I learn of reviews. The good people at Faber and HarperCollins have sent several to me which is wonderful. If you know of any not list please do let me know about it. I do not read them all but it will be helpful I think to have them tracked. In August and September I did three posts on "The Education of Sylvia Plath", looking at her courses and writings for each academic year: 1950-1951 , 1951-1952 , and 195

Sylvia Plath short story at Bonhams Auction

Bonhams, London, is auctioning a seven page typescript copy of Sylvia Plath's 1949 short story "The Dark River" on 15 November 2017. Lot 239 is expected to reach £600-800/US$ 800-1,100. The Lilly Library holds two typescript copies of Plath's "The Dark River". The first copy is the top sheet; the auction copy here being its carbon. The Second copy at Lilly was typed later and reflects the changes suggested by the red pencil annotations on the auction copy. If anyone buys this for me I will be quite grateful. Thanks to Jonathan Bate for informing me about the auction. All links accessed 26 October and 2 November 2017.