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Showing posts from February, 2022

Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Writing Between Them by Jennifer D. Ryan-Bryant

Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Writing Between Them: Turning the Table by Jennifer D. Ryan-Bryant, a professor of English at SUNY-Buffalo State, and published by Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield ( website ), was published in February 2002. The ISBN is 978-1-7936-1415-5. It is 193 pages and has a retail price of $95.  From the website:  "Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Writing Between Them: Turning the Table examines early draft manuscripts and published poems by Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in order to uncover the compositional approaches that they held in common. Both poets not only honed the minutiae of individual poems but also reworked the shape of overall sequences in order to cultivate unique theories of an ars poetica . The book incorporates drafts of their work from Indiana University’s Lilly Library, Emory University’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Library, Smith College’s Mortimer Rare Book Room, and the British Library. After assessing the w

Sylvia Plath Who's Who: Hamish Stewart

The modern age supplies, at our fingertips, a wealth of information. Some of it is good. Some of it bad. Some of it is really bad.  Over the last year or two this blog has featured images of some of the people Sylvia Plath knew from her Smith College teachers to boys she dated at Amherst, Yale, and Princeton. I do hope this is good---if not really good---information to have. One particular person I have always been interested in because there is so little know about him is Hamish Stewart, the guy who accompanied Plath to the St. Botolph's Review party where she met, and bit, Ted Hughes, on the night of 25 February 1956. During the daytime, Plath met with Dr. Davy for a long time at his office at the University Health Centre, she read in Racine, and had dinner with Jane, Winthrop Means, and Nat Lamar. The gloss on Stewart in the Journals and the Letters is basically basic:  "David Hamish Stewart (1933– ), Canadian; B.A. 1956, English, Queens’ College, Cambridge; dated SP in

Carol LeVarn McCabe Obituary

Sylvia Plath met Carol LeVarn McCabe in New York City during her June 1953 internship at Mademoiselle magazine. McCabe, who was the inspiration for Doreen in The Bell Jar , recently passed away and you can read her fascinating obituary online . I am grateful to Stephen Monteiro for letting me know. All links accessed 24 February 2022.

Sylvia Plath Society Conference, 11-12 March 2022

The Sylvia Plath Society is hosting an online conference, "Sylvia Plath Across the Century",  on Friday-Saturday, 11-12 March 2022. Click here for registration information . This is, naturally, terrifically exciting, and features a very international collection of speakers. Below is the schedule. Please note all times are posted in GMT. And thanks must go to Dorka Tamás, Julie Irigaray, Kitty Shaw for organizing this event. Day 1: 11 March 2022 9.45-10.00 Welcome to the conference! Dorka Tamás, Julie Irigaray, Kitty Shaw Breakout Room A: 10.00-11.30 -- Food and femininity Chair: Sarah-Jane Burton 1. Sabine Verlie Kildea: Plath, Food, and the Body: Unravelling Plath's complex relationship between food and femininity 2. Eilish Mulholland: "Whole as a Pie": Domesticity and Dining in The Bell Jar and Beyond Breakout Room B: 10.00-11.30 -- Influences and Imagination Chair: Kitty Shaw 1. Lana Chryssavgis: Spaces, bodies, and impersonal subjectivities: A re

Sylvia Plath's Calendars

Sylvia Plath's wall, desk, and pocket diary/calendars offer the researcher a wealth of biographical and bibliographical information about her life, work, and times.  During her first year at Smith College, if Plath kept a calendar for her first semester its whereabouts is unknown. But the Lilly Library holds a wall calendar for 1951 which features crucial information about Plath's assignments, social life, and so much more. The calendar for 1952 is a desk calendar; as is the incomplete one for 1953 (due to her suicide attempt and recovery, entries slow down and cease by 24 August). The 1953 calendar features images of Germany and had has days, months, and other information all in the German language. If she kept a calendar for the spring term of 1954 its location is unknown. 1954-1955 Calendar From the summer of 1954 when she was at Harvard Summer School until the Spring of 1957 when she completed her degree at the University of Cambridge, Plath fairly regularly kept a log of h

Look Up, Sylvia Plath

I meant to post this yesterday... On Tuesday, 4 February 1958, in Northampton, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath wrote a commandment to herself to " Look up : in Boston: angels or muses floating light as handkerchiefs in a Monday wind under 5 arches - in a green rural scene by Puvis de Chavannes in the public library" (324).  These un-disquieting muses appear in the Boston Public Library's " Puvis de Chavannes Gallery ". The works full name appears to be Les Muses Inspiratrices Acclament le cenie messager de lumiere (The Muses of Inspiration hail the Spirit, the Messenger of Light). They are above the entrance to Bates Hall. When I lived in Boston I likely passed by these muses, unhired by you , dozens of times but never realized it... Update : On 24 August 2022, I visited the Boston Public Library and took these photographs of the mural. All links accessed 12 November 2021.

Böcklin's "Island of the Dead"

I meant to post this yesterday, on 3 February 2022... On Monday, 3 February 1958, in Northampton, Massachusetts, Sylvia Plath wrote at the end of a journal entry that after "Arvin, art & the sudden surprise - Böcklin's 'Island of the Dead'" (322). Böcklin is Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901). And his "Isle of the Dead", done in several different versions, dates to 1880 to 1901.  Not sure which version Plath saw, but this below is one of the darker versions.

Publication Day for Breaking Down Plath by Patricia Grisafi

Congratulations to Patricia Grisafi are in order as today her first book Breaking Down Plath  is published by Jossey-Bass. Trish was kind enough to ask me to write a Foreword to the book which I happily and enthusiastically did.  The book is reasonably priced at $9.99, in paperback, and comes in at 128 pages. The ISBN is 978-1119782384. About the book:  In Breaking Down Plath , writer and educator Dr. Patricia Grisafi delivers a refreshing glimpse into the life and work of an iconic American poet. The author offers unique insights into how interest in Sylvia Plath developed, why her life and art matter, how the story of her life has been told, and what we still need to discover about her. Breaking Down Plath includes a thematic tour through Sylvia Plath’s short fiction, journals, letters, and poetry, as well as an overview of her critics and the role her work plays in today’s popular culture. Perfect for middle and high school students studying Plath’s work, Breaking Down Plath is al

Sylvia Plath Ex-libris Olwyn Hughes

You may have noticed on my Twitter , if you are on Twitter, or from viewing the sidebar over on the righthand side of this blog, that I have been tweeting a number of tweets of photographs of baby Frieda Hughes annotated on the back by Sylvia Plath as well as some books (translations) of Plath's work. These are eBay sales by April Star Books (who is also, as it turns out, on Instagram  and regularly posts stunning book and nature photographs, too). I am tweeting them because I like Damian, the owner of these accounts, very much and consider him a friend. We have been emailing for years and years about Plath first editions. 2021 fairly broke many a persons bank accounts with the two big Bonhams and Sotheby's auctions of the property of Frieda Hughes---sidebar WHO BOUGHT THE TAROT CARDS???---and Damian/April Star Books was the winner of a number of lots. He also purchased some books off Norman MacDonald, who has featured on this blog , of mostly translations of Sylvia Plath'