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La Cloche de détresse (1963)
par Sylvia Plath
» 97 plus
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For a variety of reasons, some personal, I found this book hard to read in places, but I appreciated what the author had to say. I understand this is a semi-autobiographical novel of this young author who ultimately committed suicide. We never know what people are like on the inside.
CW: Depression, suicide attempts.
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book. I borrowed a copy of this on audiobook from the library.
Thoughts: I thought this book did an excellent job of both portraying an intelligent woman's struggles in the 1950's and her mental breakdown and recovery. While I didn't really enjoy this per say, I do respect how well written this is and stayed engaged in the story. I listened to this on audiobook and I thought the narrator did an amazing job.
This story follows Esther, an incredibly brilliant young woman who gets an opportunity to go to New York and write for a fashion magazine. She wants to be a poet or editor after she finishes college and this internship in New York is perfect. This story is supposed to parallel Plath's own life and struggles.
This is a tough read. Esther has so much going for her, but she is also smart enough to recognize the poor decisions and pandering that happen around her. She is both intrigued and disillusioned by the fast-paced New York scene. Watching the way she was treated by a lot of the men around her was painful. Then watching as a relatively small set back (not making it into a literary college class) set her into a depressive (and finally suicidal) spiral was tough. Plath portrays this all in a way that is realistic and easy to relate to. Esther seems fairly reasonable throughout her mental collapse and does her best to seek help and support. She is lucky enough to get supportive assistance and is determined enough to pull through onto the path of recovery.
I think what frustrated me most is that, although things have gotten better for both women in general and people suffering from mental illness, we still have a long way to go as a society. Esther has so many people tell her to "just hurry up and get better", like she has a choice. For a long time the support and assistance just isn't there for her. The character of Esther was lucky enough to get involved with a hospital and group that was cutting edge for the time and supported her recovery. A big part of her recovery is figuring out what makes Esther feel so out of control and sad.
The afterward goes into Plath's life and her struggles. Plath struggled and unfortunately, it doesn't seem like she got the same support that Esther did. So, while this was a book I think should be read, it wasn't really an uplifting or happy read.
My Summary (4/5): Overall, while this isn't something I will reread, it was masterfully written and I am glad that I read it. This touches on so many societal issues that are still problems today. In addition it makes this type of depressive spiral relatable and understandable for those who haven't gone through this sort of thing. This is beautifully written and does end on a hopeful note. Although in general it left me feeling pretty down when I thought about how much further we have to go as a society.
This is one of my favourite books and authors, relatable and real, a much more realistic representation of life with mental health issues without impossible hope, magical cures or just “sadness”.
A book that you need to reread, pick apart and mull over to be able to grasp everything she wove into a beautiful novel. Heart wrenching to look into Plaths life and mind in a semi-autobiographical way, especially ending on a hopeful note when we know what followed in reality
"’A piece of dust.’
Then just as he was smiling and starting to look proud, I
'So are the cadavers you cut up. So are the people
you think you're curing. They're dust as dust as dust.
I reckon a good poem lasts a whole lot longer than a hundred of those people put together.’
And of course Buddy wouldn't have any answer to that,
because what I said was true. People were made of nothing so much as dust, and I couldn't see that doctoring all that dust was a bit better than writing poems people would remember and repeat to themselves when they were unhappy or sick and couldn't sleep.”
“What did I think was wrong?
That made it sound as if nothing was really wrong, I only
thought it was wrong.”
“the skin of my wrist looked so white and defenceless that I couldn't do it. It was as if what I wanted to kill wasn't in that skin or the thin blue pulse that jumped under my thumb, but somewhere else, deeper, more secret, and a whole lot harder to get at.”
“I would be moved to a state hospital, with hundreds of people like me, in a big cage in the basement.
The more hopeless you were, the further away they hid you.”
“We'll take up where we left off, Esther; she had said, with
her sweet, martyr's smile. ‘Well act as if all this were a bad dream’
A bad dream.
To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead
baby, the world itself is the bad dream.
A bad dream.
I remembered everything.
Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, should numb and
But they were part of me. They were my landscape.”
Affichage de 1-5 de 466 (suivant | tout afficher)
Esther Greenwood's account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing. It makes for a novel such as Dorothy Parker might have written if she had not belonged to a generation infected with the relentless frivolity of the college- humor magazine. The brittle humor of that early generation is reincarnated in "The Bell Jar," but raised to a more serious level because it is recognized as a resource of hysteria.
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Monographie du genre Onothera. Partie 1 / par Mgr H. Léveillé, ...; avec la collaboration pour la partie anatomique de M. Ch. Guffroy, ...Date de l'édition originale: 1902-1913Le présent ouvrage s'inscrit dans une politique de conservation patrimoniale des ouvrages de la littérature Française mise en place avec la BNF. HACHETTE LIVRE et la BNF proposent ainsi un catalogue de titres indisponibles, la BNF ayant numérisé ces oeuvres et HACHETTE LIVRE les imprimant à la demande. Certains de ces ouvrages reflètent des courants de pensée caractéristiques de leur époque, mais qui seraient aujourd'hui jugés condamnables. Ils n'en appartiennent pas moins à l'histoire des idées en France et sont susceptibles de présenter un intérêt scientifique ou historique. Le sens de notre démarche éditoriale consiste ainsi à permettre l'accès à ces oeuvres sans pour autant que nous en cautionnions en aucune façon le contenu. Pour plus d'informations, rendez-vous sur www.hachettebnf.fr
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Classification décimale de Melvil (CDD)813.54 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
Classification de la Bibliothèque du Congrès
I hope to read an biography about Plath if I can find one; I think it would make very compelling reading after finishing this novel which certainly stemmed from Plath's own experience. ( )