Taken Care Of: An Autobiography (Bloomsbury Reader)
The Collected Poems , published in , edited and introduced by Ted Hughes, contained poetry written from until her death. Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, posthumously. The poem, composed during Plath's early years at Smith College, is published in Blackbird , the online journal. Plath's letters were published in , edited and selected by her mother Aurelia Plath. The collection, Letters Home: Correspondence — , came out partly in response to the strong public reaction to the publication of The Bell Jar in America.
Her adult diaries, starting from her first year at Smith College in , were first published in as The Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Frances McCullough, with Ted Hughes as consulting editor. In , when Smith College acquired Plath's remaining journals, Hughes sealed two of them until February 11, , the 50th anniversary of Plath's death. During the last years of his life, Hughes began working on a fuller publication of Plath's journals. In , shortly before his death, he unsealed the two journals, and passed the project onto his children by Plath, Frieda and Nicholas, who passed it on to Karen V.
More than half of the new volume contained newly released material;  the American author Joyce Carol Oates hailed the publication as a "genuine literary event". Hughes faced criticism for his role in handling the journals: he claims to have destroyed Plath's last journal, which contained entries from the winter of up to her death. In the foreword of the version, he writes, "I destroyed [the last of her journals] because I did not want her children to have to read it in those days I regarded forgetfulness as an essential part of survival.
And here you come, with a cup of tea Wreathed in steam. The blood jet is poetry, There is no stopping it. You hand me two children, two roses. As Hughes and Plath were legally married at the time of her death, Hughes inherited the Plath estate, including all her written work. He has been condemned repeatedly for burning Plath's last journal, saying he "did not want her children to have to read it. Plath's gravestone has been repeatedly vandalized by chiseling off "Hughes" to leave only the name "Sylvia Plath.
After each incident, Hughes had the damaged stone removed and repaired. Morgan's book Monster contained the poem and it was banned, although underground, pirated, feminist editions of the book were published. In , with Hughes under public attack, a battle raged in the letters pages of The Guardian and The Independent. But I learned my lesson early. In general, my refusal to have anything to do with the Plath Fantasia has been regarded as an attempt to suppress Free Speech [ Where that leaves respect for the truth of her life and of mine , or for her memory, or for the literary tradition, I do not know.
Still the subject of speculation and opprobrium in , Hughes published Birthday Letters that year, his own collection of 88 poems about his relationship with Plath. Hughes had published very little about his experience of the marriage and Plath's subsequent suicide, and the book caused a sensation, being taken as his first explicit disclosure, and it topped best seller charts.
It was not known at the volume's release that Hughes was suffering from terminal cancer and would die later that year. The book went on to win the Forward Poetry Prize , the T. The poems, written after Plath's death, in some cases long after, try to find a reason why Plath took her own life. Their daughter Frieda spoke for the first time about her mother and father. In , it was revealed that letters written by Plath between February 18, and February 4, claim that Hughes beat Plath two days before she had a miscarriage in , and that Hughes told Plath he wished that she was dead.
The letters were sent to Dr. Ruth Barnhouse then Dr. Love set you going like a fat gold watch. The midwife slapped your footsoles, and your bald cry Took its place among the elements. Sylvia Plath's early poems exhibit what became her typical imagery, using personal and nature-based depictions featuring, for example, the moon, blood, hospitals, fetuses, and skulls.
They were mostly imitation exercises of poets she admired such as Dylan Thomas , W. Yeats and Marianne Moore. After her work moved into a more surreal landscape darkened by a sense of imprisonment and looming death, overshadowed by her father. The Colossus is shot through with themes of death, redemption and resurrection. After Hughes left, Plath produced, in less than two months, the forty poems of rage, despair, love, and vengeance on which her reputation mostly rests. Plath's landscape poetry, which she wrote throughout her life, has been described as "a rich and important area of her work that is often overlooked As soon as it was published, critics began to see the collection as the charting of Plath's increasing desperation or death wish.
Her dramatic death became her most famous aspect, and remains so. What is more, 'Daddy' was merely the first jet of flame from a literary dragon who in the last months of her life breathed a burning river of bile across the literary landscape.
They are poems, as Robert Lowell says in his preface to Ariel , that 'play Russian roulette with six cartridges in the cylinder. Some in the feminist movement saw Plath as speaking for their experience, as a "symbol of blighted female genius. Not only women who ordinarily read poems, but housewives and mothers whose ambitions had awakened [ Plath's voice is heard in the BBC documentary about her life.
Gwyneth Paltrow portrayed Plath in the biopic Sylvia Despite criticism from Elizabeth Sigmund, friend of Plath and Hughes, that Plath was portrayed as a "permanent depressive and possessive person," she conceded that "the film has an atmosphere towards the end of her life which is heartbreaking in its accuracy.
She accused the "peanut crunching" public of wanting to be titillated by the family's tragedies. In , Frieda reacted to the situation in the poem "My Mother" in Tatler :. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Sylvia Plath. Poet novelist short story writer. Ted Hughes m. Frieda Hughes Nicholas Hughes. Otto Plath father Aurelia Schober mother. Main article: The Colossus and Other Poems. Main article: The Bell Jar. Main article: Ariel Plath. Poetry portal Biography portal. A note explains that the texts of all but half a dozen of the many pieces listed are in the Sylvia Plath Archive of juvenilia in the Lilly Library at Indiana University.
The rest are with the Sylvia Plath Estate. February 4, Retrieved March 9, The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 1, Archived from the original on March 19, Academy of American Poets. Archived from the original on February 4, Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness. Encyclopedia of Creativity, Two-Volume Set. Academic Press.
This Day in History. Archived from the original on July 1, The Guardian. April 15, Retrieved July 9, Now held in the British Library Sound Archive. London Remembers.
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August 29, Retrieved April 6, Anne Sexton" Interview by Barbara Kevles. Issue 52, Summer Retrieved February 17, Robin Morgan.
Biography & Memoir
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Oxford University Press. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online ed. Subscription or UK public library membership required. Butscher, Edward. Tucson, AZ: Schaffner Press. Mysticism: Holiness East and West. Christodoulides, Nephie. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Dalrymple, Theodore. London: Gibson Square Books. Edinburgh University Press.
Gifford, Terry. Ted Hughes. Gill, Jo. The Cambridge companion to Sylvia Plath. Cambridge University Press. Hayman, Ronald. The Death and Life of Sylvia Plath. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing. Helle, Anita Ed. Hemphill, Stephanie. Hughes, Frieda To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 23, Tosh rated it liked it. The one thing that surprised me for some reason, is that Edith Sitwell's quotes Arthur Rimbaud's poetry a lot in her memoir "Taken Care Of. This is a book of little and not too many major surprises. She didn't like D. Lawrence and is quite snooty towards a lot of people. On the other hand, it seems she adored Marilyn Monroe. The memoir started off strongly in a narrative way with her relationship with her parents when she was a child, which wasn't so hot.
After that, the book jumps around time-to-time with no strong narrative impulse. Sort of whatever entered Sitwell's head at the time of writing, is what stayed in the final version of the book. I wished she wrote a larger chapter, or even a whole book on her experiences in America, especially Hollywood. Still, this is a nice portal or entrance into the brain of Sitwell, but it's not the great memoir that one would hope for. View 1 comment. Interesting, especially read in conjunction with her brother Osbert's memoirs.
This is even less of a linear account, apart from a section about her childhood being near the beginning: jumps about all over the place, and is very selective. The passage about Dylan Thoma Interesting, especially read in conjunction with her brother Osbert's memoirs. The passage about Dylan Thomas is a charming tribute and worth reading for anyone interested in him somehow I wouldn't have thought of these two together but it seems they were friends, as a result of admiring each other's poetry.
Altogether, very odd, but shines some light on another corner of the twentieth century English literary landscape. It is occasionally funny too, but one feels the "hell" of the Sitwell childhood was a more obviously bitter experience for Edith than for her brothers, who were able to escape the family home a bit more.
Nov 17, Fiona rated it it was amazing Shelves: biography. Wonderful English eccentricity. There's a gem of brilliance, madness or wit on every page. You have to read it, that's all Dame Edith Sitwell, author, artist, arts patron, and society queen of her day, describes her painful early life feeling "in disgrace for being female" and her career as a glamorous if not beautiful, brilliant, rich socialite who knew all the famous Edwardian writers and artists--as colleagues.
Writing toward the end of her life, she didn't live long enough to feel that she'd finished this book, but as it stands it's an enjoyable read. She sniped back at people You have to read it, that's all She sniped back at people who'd sniped at her and her brothers, shared pleasant memories of famous people, reminisced and philosophized.
She was someone everyone wanted to know. You'll probably enjoy meeting her through her most personal book, too. If you've not already read any of her biographies, her autobiography may make you add them to your wishlist. If you have, the ones you've not read are already on the list.
Edith Sitwell was a Plantagenet She was an opinionated writer and critic - a poet and a woman of great sensitivity. She was almost one of the Bloomsbury set - but always an outsider. I loved this book for its spirit and sense of adventure. Not an easy read - but if you're interested in literature and how the other half lived at the tail end of the 20th Century, this book is fascinating.
Nov 29, Alvin rated it liked it. A charming memoir full of great anecdotes about dotty English eccentrics. Also full of meditations on poetry which I skipped. Sitwell's prose careens wildly between brilliance, opacity, and weirdness.