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Showing posts from January, 2022

Newish Articles on Sylvia Plath

It has been quite a while since a post has been dedicated to highlighting new articles about Sylvia Plath. They are routinely added to the bibliography of articles on Plath on my website, A celebration, this is . But there are several thousand there so it is possible they are quasi-hidden... Clark, Heather. 2021. "Sylvia Plath: An Iconic Life." Women's History Review 30:7: May 2021: 1071-1084. Connell, Stacie M. "There Was a Young Woman Who Lived in a Shoe: Understanding the Juxtaposition of Love, Hate, And Patriarchal Confinement. In Sylvia Plath's poem 'Daddy'." Advances in Language and Literary Studies 12:5. October 31, 2021: 48-51. Inoue, Shihoko. "'Cow-heavy and floral in my Victorian nightgown': Maternity and Transatlanticism in Sylvia Plath's Poetry and Fiction." Journal of Transatlantic Studies 19:3. 2021:350-371. Meyers, Jeffrey. "Diane Arbus and Sylvia Plath: 'The Horror! The Horror!'." Sa

Sylvia Plath's "Princetonian Charmings"

Sylvia Plath visited Princeton in the fall of 1952, for a weekend with Rodger Decker, a young man whom she met through Philip Livingston Brawner, a Wellesley transplant, earlier in that summer. Before that, she had briefly flirted and dated Constantine Sidamon-Eristof. Her wonderful letters to him were saved and included in Volume 1 of The Letters of Sylvia Plath (thanks, always, to Andrew Wilson for supplying copies).  This blog post follows a few others that have shown images of the people Sylvia Plath knew at the time that she new them, such as her colleagues at Smith, boys from Amherst and Yale, etc.  First up is Philip Brawner, who went on to become a lawyer in the Coral Gables area of Florida. These images are from the 1953 Princeton Bric-a-Brac .  Plath called Brawner, in July 1952, her "Princetonian charming" ( Journals 114). I love that. Decker passed away early, in 1993. He was from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. The first image here is from his high school, t

Sylvia Plath's Goggle-Eyed Headlines

In the first paragraph of Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar , Esther Greenwood sets the tone going, like a fat gold watch, for the entire book.  She foreshadows her own experiences with Electroconvulsive therapy later in the book. She has two sets of treatment: the first does nothing to life her depression and launches her into a suicide attempt; the second restores her to health. One of a number of "doubles" themes that runs throughout the novel. But in that first paragraph, Esther places the herself as an information consumer in a hectic world of newspaper headlines: "that's all there was to read about in the paper – goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner..."  So much information has been digitized that I thought it might be interesting, upon my bi-annual reading of the novel, to see if any of these New York City newspapers that Esther (and Plath) saw in June 1953 were available digitally.  There was a lot going on in the world when

Collected Writings of Assia Wevill Event Tomorrow

Please join Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick and me at an event tomorrow, Thursday the 6th of January 2022, hosted by our publisher, the LSU Press, on our recent publication The Collected Writings of Assia Wevill . Registration information is here . It will be recorded, but we would love for you to witness our talk live. The starting time is 2 pm Central US time (12 noon Pacific time/3 PM Eastern US time/8 PM London time/9 PM Dortmund time). Buy the book! Please! Looking forward to seeing you then! All links accessed 28 December 2021.

"Woe" is Sylvia Plath

In 2000, when The Journals of Sylvia Plath (unabridged) was published, readers got access to Plath's 1957-1959 journals, which had previously been sealed.  In her 31 December 1958 journal entry, written in Boston at 9 Willow Street, Plath talked about a letter she wrote to Ted Hughes' parents. A letter that before The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume II  was published readers could only dream about.  She remarked in the journal entry, "Ted read my signature on the letter to his parents as 'woe' instead of love. He was right, it looked surprising: the left hand knows not what the right writes" (452). Now that the letter---written on 30 December 1958---has been published, (and the original has been sold (Lot 33)  in July 2021), we can determine for ourselves whether or not Plath's sign-off looks like "love" or like "woe". What say you? Are you supporting Love or supporting Woe? All links accessed 20 November 2021.