Sylvia Plath: A Critical Guide: A Critical Study Paperback – 20 Aug 2001
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About the Author
Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
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Top Customer Reviews
Tim Kendall is the antidote to all this nonsense. He is a very level-headed critic of her work with strong and clearly stated views. I am not a Plath expert so I do not know how mainstream these views are, but they certainly helped me get a better appreciation of her poetry, which is, let’s face it, not the easiest to understand.
The first thing to note about his approach is that he goes to great pains to keep the poet’s biography in the background and avoids almost all speculation into her psychological state. The biography cannot be eliminated altogether, as certain details are necessary for the understanding of the poems – her age when her father died, her age when she attempted suicide and very nearly succeeded, her father’s interest in bees, the name of her son, etc.
This approach allows the Sylvia versus Ted question to be neatly sidestepped, which in turn allows the poems to stand for themselves, which is, one hopes, what Sylvia herself would have wanted.
Standing up for itself under Professor Kendall’s scrutiny is a pretty exposed situation to be in. One of the first things he does in the book is dismiss virtually all the poems written before Ariel as juvenilia. This means that the poems deemed worthy of serious consideration are largely limited to those written in the last year of her life. He then goes on to distinguish the true Ariel poems, mostly written in 1962, from the very late poems written in 1963 immediately before Plath’s successful suicide in February of that year.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast delivery, as ever from Better World. Book is fine: slightly on its last legs, I'd say, but acceptable. Very happy to recommend seller.Published 9 months ago by TobMann