Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

by Sylvia Plath, Karen V. Kukil

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Overview

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 Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath is essential reading for all who have been moved and fascinated by Plath's life and work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307429506
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/18/2007
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 213,307
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

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

Date of Birth:

October 27, 1932

Date of Death:

February 11, 1963

Place of Birth:

Boston, Massachusetts

Place of Death:

London, England

Education:

B.A., Smith College, 1955; Fulbright Scholar, Cambridge University

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The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The good thing about journals is that after you've read them you can dip in again at any page and get caught up in that day's events, action, dilemmas, reflections; once you become more familiar with the contents you can return to your favourite passages for pleasure. It's almost like having a best friend on your bookshelf. The biggest barrier to anyone contemplating writing down their innermost thoughts is crossing that line of inhibition and saying what you really feel about the most intimate of things, without censoring yourself (with the fear of friends or family possibly reading it) or for feeling stupid or embarrassed about opening up on the page and seeing your thoughts in print. Not many people could write a journal account of their life as honestly as Sylvia Plath. It amazes me how disciplined - and with so much devotion - she was able to 'jot down' day after day the beautifully written, perfect prose in her journals; and from such an early age as well, eighteen (she actually started keeping journals in childhood but this edition covers only her adult life). In her own unmistakable voice we see 'Syvie' as the young, naive teenager on the threshold of life, dreaming of the romantic love affairs she longs for; the excited college student working on a New York magazine, an experience she later used for her only novel The Bell Jar; trips to Paris and her honeymoon in Spain; married life with Ted Hughes, the mother of his two children; and all the time living in the shadow of the black depression that would descend on her without any warning. With Sylvia Plath's tragic suicide you can't help but think: what a waste of life, what a wasted talent. Perhaps it was because she knew her own psyche best - she was constantly trying to figure out her feelings on the page - that she was in such a hurry to get everything down before the inevitable happened. Maybe she just burned herself out too soon. The final flurry of stunningly original poems that would later become the posthumous collection Ariel are testament to the short life she was able to pack into the pages of her hefty Journals. The only thing that spoils this otherwise marvellous new edition of the Journals is editor Karen V. Kukil's decision to list the notes of identification of people and places at the back of the book instead of footnotes on the bottom of the pages; it's irritating and bothersome to have to continually flick back and forth and use two different bookmarks to keep your place. Two other books can be read in conjunction with the Journals, and I recommend them both. Sylvia Plath's Letters Home - written mainly to her mother Aurelia Plath, who edited this volume and also provides biographical content about her daughter's life in a lengthy introduction and accompanying side-notes to letters when needed for clarification. Birthday Letters is a beautiful collection of poems by Ted Hughes, written as letters of reminiscence about his life with Sylvia Plath in reply to her account of their marriage in the Journals.
Elijah_Joon More than 1 year ago
Very comforting to read. Also, a storehouse of information for Plath scholars while being accessible and engaging.
Heather Arnold 3 months ago
This took me nearly two and a half months to read and it was a very hard read for several reasons: - It's very long - It's very long because it's someone's life - It's someone's life and thus the minutia of it becomes repetitious and boring Also, if you're looking for what her mind was like leading up to and immediately after her suicide attempt, she didn't keep journals of those days and very rarely refers to them. I mean it is interesting to look at Plath's mindset growing up, but if you're looking at what encouraged her to write, it's not in here. Pretty much all entries dealing with her writing are "I need to finish X amount of poems by the end of the month," or "If F--- can write a book and publish it, so can I." And there's nothing wrong with that. It's hard reading through the minutia of her life, I stand by that, especially near the end when "I must learn German" show up in nearly every entry, but it was interesting seeing what she did with her time and how normal she was. Sometimes when a person is so immortalized as Plath often is, it's hard to imagine they spent their summers babysitting, that they were insecure about finding love, that they didn't find their work very good. Still, it's hard to say "yeah, definitely dive into it," because at 700+ pages, it's such a commitment and one that often goes, "I want children and to write today," "today I woke at 7:30, ate eggs, walked after breakfast, and wrote for five hours," "I need to finish my outlines for Melville, James, Joyce, etc this week before I teach on them," by the end. My eyes started to glaze over when I realized I was hitting another "I need to learn German/finish my James outline" part.
sadiebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
beautifully written. i wish my diaries were so deep and philosophical....although on the other hand, maybe im glad they have their bright nonsensical moments.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This stunning collection is truly a must for anyone who has read and loved Plath's poetry. For those of us who have absorbed the final product, these journals illuminating Plath's struggles toward literary achievement offer an entirely new dimension to her work. Sort of a 'behind the scenes look'- a poet's craft begins in the mind and that is what unfolds in these pages. They are heartbreaking too, for we know as we read that this talented person didn't think she was good enough for this world. And she very often did not think her poems were too, but we are here today to know that she was wrong.