25 December 2018

Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar Translations

The truth is, I really thought I was done buying the property, or former property, of Frieda Hughes. Turns out, I was wrong.

Back on 29 August 2018, there was an auction for seven boxes of books in translation by Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes via Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury, England. The winner of the lot was a gentleman in every sense of the word called Norman Macdonald. He started listing his new stock online via ABEbooks and included images of many of the books. The provenance to these books is Ted Hughes to Frieda Hughes, and some of the books include letters from Faber passing on the copy/copies of the book(s).

I love translations of The Bell Jar, so I was particularly focused on these as I browsed the collection, which is only partially listed so far through Norman's ABE page. I selected five that wound up being Christmas presents from my wife which fill in missing languages. They are:

Croatian edition, 1991

Dutch edition, 1981

Korean edition, 2013

Serbian edition, 1976

Slovakian edition, 2015

The Slovak translation included one of these aforementioned letters from Faber to Frieda Hughes. A couple of these were new to me and so are now on the Non-English book covers page over at A celebration, this is. And as well, some of the books now have better images, if they were already represented.

These books join other translations: Norwegian, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Japanese, Macedonian, Estonian, and Slovenian. And I have an edition in Braille, too.

I highly recommend you all view Normal Macdonald's Collection of Sylvia Plath's and Ted Hughes' books and acquire something for yourself. Norman's pricing is fair and his customer service is professional and expedient. It is a unique opportunity to own something with a rich, significant, and unimpeachable provenance.

My parents gave me this Arcturus edition of The Bell Jar for Christmas, too.  It us really lovely.


All links accessed 19 November 2018.

5 comments :

Unknown said...

You need a Polish translation too!

Peter K Steinberg said...

I agree!

A Piece of Plathery said...

I might have bought Ariel in Finnish as the cover was pretty

Peter K Steinberg said...

Oh, neat. Let me know if you actually might have done! ha ha. Happy New Year! ~pks

Anna said...

Honestly, I really don't understand how I could have missed this post! :(

But I am happy that at least I discovered it today and was able to also acquire two more translations for my collection and one from the library of Frieda Hughes! Thank you so much, Peter!

Also, I must have missed your list of languages when I saw the post before. Sorry. I think this is because I was so excited about the listing and immediately flew over to Mr. Macdonald's page to find out if he has any languages I do not own yet. And he did! I am really happy with purchasing the Danish and Catalan editions, but my dream would be to find the Icelandic one, closely followed by the Arabic, Hebrew and Thai translations. But, as I mentioned before, my all time favorite is the Ukrainian edition from 2017, the most beautiful book ever printed! <3

Thanks again Peter for this blog post (even though I discovered it just now), you made the 56th The Bell Jar anniversary a very special one!

Cheers,
Anna

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.

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