After reading (and loving) The Bell Jar for the first time last year, I moved on to Ariel, but quickly discovered that a poetry aficionado, I am not. Desperate for more Sylvia, I found this.
And it's perfect. The personal, and intimate moments of her journals are both inspiring and hopelessly demoralizing. There's nothing quite like reading the private musings of an 18 year-old Sylvia Plath, to really deflate one's own literary aspirations.
But there is also an unexpected joy in these journals. Here is Plath's humor, compassion, biting wit, and shrewd observations, all wrapped up in her sometimes playful, often melancholy outlook; an honest account of a troubled literary genius. It's impossible to read and remain unmoved by these pages.
The complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath—essential reading for anyone who has been moved and fascinated by the poet's life and work.
"A genuine literary event.... Plath's journals contain marvels of discovery." —The New York Times Book Review
Sylvia Plath's journals were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath's husband, Ted Hughes. This new edition is an exact and complete transcription of the diaries Plath kept during the last twelve years of her life. Sixty percent of the book is material that has never before been made public, more fully revealing the intensity of the poet's personal and literary struggles, and providing fresh insight into both her frequent desperation and the bravery with which she faced down her demons.
About the Author
SYLVIA PLATH was born in 1932 in Massachusetts. She began publishing poems and stories at a young age and by the time she entered Smith College had won several poetry prizes. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Cambridge, England, and married British poet Ted Hughes in London in 1956. The young couple moved to the States, where Plath became an instructor at Smith College. Later, they moved back to England, where Plath continued writing poetry and wrote her novel, The Bell Jar, which was first published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in England in 1963. On February 11, 1963, Plath committed suicide. Her Collected Poems, published posthumously in 1981, won the Pulitzer Prize.
KAREN V. KUKIL is Associate Curator of Rare Books at Smith College, with particular responsibility for superervising scholarly use of the Sylvia Plath Collection.
"A literary event... The book has a raw immediacy that will only add to Plath's iconic reputation." —Harpers & Queens
"The journals are cause for celebration.... Given the intensity and rawness of their writing, at moments it feels like walking straight into someone else's dream." —Jacqueline Rose