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Showing posts from October, 2018

Sylvia Plath Collections: Middlebury College

Back in June of 2008, Bloomsbury Auctions offered for sale an illustrated short story by Sylvia Plath entitled "Aunt Rennie and the Elves." Off and on since then I have made half-hearted attempts at finding it. Well, the other day I put a little more effort into it and found its hiding place. (In the end was not very hard to locate.) The Special Collections department of Middlebury College in Vermont is now the proud owner of the typed short story  which is signed at the end in pencil "By Sylvia." The catalog entry at Middlebury summarizes the story thus: "The story follows a young boy who comes to live with Aunt Rennie and the elves after being sent into the forest by his cruel stepfather". The story features two clipped illustrations from a product called Junket Rennet Powder by Vernon Grant. The advert, entered into US copyright on 29 January 1943, reads, "I go all over the world turning tears into happy smiles"... says Aunt Rennie. The

Sylvia Plath Event in London Tomorrow 10/23

Tomorrow at 19.00, the British Library will host the event " Triple-threat woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath ". I will be speaking with the co-editor Karen V. Kukil; and we are joined by Heather Clark and Mark Ford. We have, each, fifteen minutes each to discuss various aspects of Plath's letters selected from those included in Volume II. It was difficult to find a few examples from the 575 letters in the book. I have titled my piece "The Reception of Sylvia Plath". Here's my title slide. I am looking forward to the event; to see old friends and make new ones. All links accessed 18 October 2018.

Sylvia Plath: Film Buff

One cannot read and work with Sylvia Plath's letters, diaries, scrapbooks, or pocket calendars without noticing a trend. She loved movies, plays, and late in her life, the opera. She took in a film whenever and wherever she could in Wellesley, Boston, the Cape, Northampton, Cambridge (US and UK), London, and New York, to name several cities she cultivated in her quest for culture. When I was working on the Letters of Sylvia Plath , I included the cinema or theater name for the films, plays, etc. that she attended. I did this for a couple of reasons, one of which was this kind of information interested me and so I felt compelled to record it in case there are other like minded Plath readers out there. I wrote a little about this recently on Gail Crowther's website in a piece called " The Archival Stretch ". After a while of repeatedly seeing reference to these events, I decided to compile a list of all the films, plays, and what not that Plath took in using all th

Sylvia Plath Collections: Treasures at the Pierpont Morgan Library

October is American Archives Month in the US, so let us look at the first of a few Sylvia Plath Collections I have been sitting on for years! As with much else at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City, their Sylvia Plath holdings are remarkable. As of 14 March 2017, the catalog returns more than 100 records when searching all collections. Certain collections are not applicable, such as Medieval Images Only and Music Manuscripts and Books. But, of those  records there are treasures lurking any reasonable way you sort it. The items discussed in this post were worked with one day in January 2017 and the excessive delay in posting about it was due to the embargo on anything to the with Plath's letters. My reason for the trip was to work with the letters from Plath to the Merwins and to William and Edith Hughes. If you want limited editions and rare books, the Morgan Library has something for you to look at. They have several copies of the rare printing of A Winter Sh

Triple-Threat Woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath

The British Library will host an event on 23 October 2018 entitled " Triple-Threat Woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath ". Tickets went on sale on 10 September and it has been exciting to see and hear of people making bookings. This blog post is simply to reiterate the information on the British Library events page. Insights into the life and work of a great writer Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath was a great letter writer, and a newly published collection ( The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II: 1956–1963 , Faber and Faber) gathers letters from the period when she wrote her best-known works Ariel and The Bell Jar . Join the editors Peter K Steinberg and Karen V Kukil, and leading Plath scholars Heather Clark and Mark Ford, to explore the insights that they provide into her life and work. Alternating reflections on literature with quotidian episodes, the letters offer insights about her life as an American woman in England in the late 1950s and 60s, and her experience wi