Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

ISBN-10: 0385720254

ISBN-13: 9780385720250

Edition: 2000 (Abridged)

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First U.S. Publication A major literary event--the complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath, published in their entirety for the first time. 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. The complete Journals of Sylvia Plath is essential reading for all who have been moved and fascinated by Plath's life and work.
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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/17/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 768
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.60" tall
Weight: 1.826
Language: English

Sylvia Plath's best poetry was produced, tragically, as she pondered self-destruction---in her poems as well as her life---and she eventually committed suicide. She had an extraordinary impact on British as well as American poetry in the few years before her death, and affected many poets, particularly women, in the generation after. She is a confessional poet, influenced by the approach of Robert Lowell. Born in Boston, a graduate of Smith College, Plath attended Newnham College, Cambridge University, on a Fulbright Fellowship and married the British poet Ted Hughes. Of her first collection,The Colossus and Other Poems (1962), the Times Literary Supplement remarked, "Plath writes from phrase to phrase as well as with an eye on the larger architecture of the poem; each line, each sentence is put together with a good deal of care for the springy rhythm, the arresting image and---most of all, perhaps---the unusual word." Plath's second book of poetry, Ariel, written in 1962 in a last fever of passionate creative activity, was published posthumously in 1965 and explores dimensions of women's anger and sexuality in groundbreaking new ways. Plath's struggles with women's issues, in the days before the second wave of American feminism, became legendary in the 1970s, when a new generation of women readers and writers turned to her life as well as her work to understand the contradictory pressures of ambitious and talented women in the 1950s. The Bell Jar---first published under a pseudonym in 1963 and later issued under Plath's own name in England in 1966---is an autobiographical novel describing an ambitious young woman's efforts to become a "real New York writer" only to sink into mental illness and despair at her inability to operate within the narrow confines of traditional feminine expectations. Plath was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1982. In recent years, there have been a number of biographies and critical evaluations of Plath's work.

Karen V. Kukil is assistant curator of rare books at Smith College, with particular responsibility for supervising scholarly use of the Sylvia Plath Collection.

List of Illustrations
Publisher's Note
The Journals of Sylvia Plath
Journal July 1950 - July 1953
Wellesley, Massachusetts
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (first year)
Wellesley and Swampscott, Massachusetts (summer 1951)
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (sophomore)
Wellesley and Cape Cod, Massachusetts (summer 1952)
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts (junior)
Wellesley, Massachusetts (summer 1953)
Journal 22 November 1955 - 18 April 1956
Newnham College, Cambridge, England
Journal 15 July 1956
Benidorm, Spain (honeymoon)
Journal 22 July 1956 - 26 August 1956
Benidorm, Spain
'Sketchbook of a Spanish Summer'
Journal 3 January 1957 - 11 March 1957
Cambridge, England
'Fish and Chip Shop'
Journal 15 July 1957 - 21 August 1957
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Journal 28 August 1957 - 14 October 1958
Northampton, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts
Journal 12 December 1958 - 15 November 1959
Boston, Massachusetts (therapy notes)
Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, New York
Journal Fragment 17-19 October 1951, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
Back to School Commandments
Journal Fragments 24 March 1953 - 9 Arpril 1953
Journal Fragment 19 June 1953, Mademoiselle, New York, New York
Letter June - July 1953, Wellesley, Massachusetts
Journal Fragment 31 December 1955 - 1 January 1956, Nice, France (winter vacation)
Journal 26 March 1956 - 5 April 1956, Paris, France (spring vacation)
Journal Fragment 1 April 1956
Journal Fragment 16 April 1956
Journal 26 June 1956 - 6 March 1961
'The Inmate', London, England, 1961
Journal June 1957 - June 1960
Letter 1 October 1957
Journal Fragment 5 November 1957
Hospital Notes
Journal 1962, North Tawton, Devonshire, England
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