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The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume 1: 1940-1956

par Sylvia Plath

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A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Sylvia Plath-most never before seen. One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer's correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues. The Letters of Sylvia Plath includes her correspondence from her years at Smith, her summer editorial internship in New York City, her time at Cambridge, her experiences touring Europe, and the early days of her marriage to Ted Hughes in 1956. Most of the letters are previously unseen, including sixteen letters written by Plath to Hughes when they were apart after their honeymoon. This magnificent compendium also includes twenty-seven of Plath's own elegant line drawings taken from the letters she sent to her friends and family, as well as twenty-two previously unpublished photographs. This remarkable, collected edition of Plath's letters is a work of immense scholarship and care, presenting a comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote. Intimate and revealing, this masterful compilation offers fans and scholars generous and unprecedented insight into the life of one of our most significant poets.… (plus d'informations)
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“My biggest trouble is that people look at me and think that no serious trouble has ever troubled my little head. They seldom realize the chaos that seethes behind my exterior. As for the who Am I, what am I angle...that will preoccupy me till the day I die.”

In "Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956" by Sylvia Plath

Prior to the publication of the second volume in October 2018, I finally finished reading this mammoth of a book. And I didn't feel too good reading it for reasons too complex to delve into here. I'm not sure I'm up to the task of tackling the 2nd volume to be honest. It's rather depressing reading. That's why it took me almost two months...

If you read Hughes poems you will see a depiction of nature as violent and bloody. Which it is. Hughes wrote about the process of evolution, how animals are. Pikes, Hawks: seeing the world from their perspective. That was his genius. There's a poem in "Birthday Letters" where he talks of Plath being angry at a country hunt. He notes that she hates all celebration of death, and he sees tradition, history. As I recall, the poem, as with many in the "Birthday Letters" are of them arguing, or his reflection of it, of something sliding or falling between them. I don't know what happened but I just don't see physical abuse from his writings. Maybe it did happen. It just depresses me to think that was true. He destroyed her later journals, saying he wanted to protect their children from the contents, which always struck me as self-serving nonsense. There couldn't have been anything in the journals which was worse than what a child might later imagine. He also re-edited her last and most famous book, Ariel. The Ted version ends with the drive towards death; hers looked towards spring. Citation: her Collected Poems, which lists them in the original order. Whatever happened between them privately, I think THE destruction and reworking of her writings after her death was appalling. But what do I know? I don't. And editing Ariel could have been purely technical. I do not know. I like Ariel by the way. In fact I found Plath first then discovered Hughes. It seems to me we all project a lot of our own thoughts and beliefs into the tragic death of Plath. And the woman he cheated on her with also killed herself. That is entering dark places. But there are subtle and strange reasons for many things that happen in life. We all judge from outside with innate inaccuracy.

There are two types of conversations that should never be revealed to the public at large: what happens in a confessional box and what happens in a shrink's office. With both parties long dead, it's impossible to sort out fact from fiction.

Let them be. They bequeathed such expression of our ragged humanity, just appreciate that, no opinions needed, love them and let them be. ( )
  antao | Oct 29, 2018 |
A fascinating book ( )
  J.S.Watts | Mar 10, 2018 |
Considering the BBC production (5 segments of 15 minutes each) was abridged, I have to wonder did that mean abridging individual letters, or eliminating letters altogether? Probably some of both. Although curiously, some of what was included was fairly mundane. It didn't help that the reader had an annoying style, and her poor American accent gave the impression of affectation. Perhaps that was appropriate; it wouldn't surprise me if Plath had been. Anyway, letters can be interesting because they are a direct line into the writer's mind. On the other hand, they're generally pretty dull. The book contains photos and drawings that of course I couldn't see. These volumes would probably be enjoyed by the extreme Plath fan; otherwise, for the generally curious, it might get tedious trying to read straight through like a novel. A bathroom book, perhaps? Or one to take to appointments to read while you sit and wait. ( )
  Lit_Cat | Dec 9, 2017 |
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A major literary event: the first volume in the definitive, complete collection of the letters of Sylvia Plath-most never before seen. One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer's correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues. The Letters of Sylvia Plath includes her correspondence from her years at Smith, her summer editorial internship in New York City, her time at Cambridge, her experiences touring Europe, and the early days of her marriage to Ted Hughes in 1956. Most of the letters are previously unseen, including sixteen letters written by Plath to Hughes when they were apart after their honeymoon. This magnificent compendium also includes twenty-seven of Plath's own elegant line drawings taken from the letters she sent to her friends and family, as well as twenty-two previously unpublished photographs. This remarkable, collected edition of Plath's letters is a work of immense scholarship and care, presenting a comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote. Intimate and revealing, this masterful compilation offers fans and scholars generous and unprecedented insight into the life of one of our most significant poets.

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