The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath

Overview

Since Sylvia Plath's spectacular poems were announced to the world nearly a half century ago, fascination with the poet has never waned. In the past decade alone, Plath has been the subject of a new cultural explosion of interest-there have been novels, a feature film, and an array of public conferences, performances, and exhibitions, creating new conversations among different generations of scholars and readers. But because the posthumous record was incomplete-and in some cases, altered-the variety of ...
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Overview

Since Sylvia Plath's spectacular poems were announced to the world nearly a half century ago, fascination with the poet has never waned. In the past decade alone, Plath has been the subject of a new cultural explosion of interest-there have been novels, a feature film, and an array of public conferences, performances, and exhibitions, creating new conversations among different generations of scholars and readers. But because the posthumous record was incomplete-and in some cases, altered-the variety of distinctive materials Plath brought to her poetry has only recently been understood.

The publication of Plath's Unabridged Journals, a "restored edition" of her Ariel poems, and Ted Hughes's Birthday Letters, along with fresh attention to archives of periodical and popular culture, have provoked new readings of Plath and shed new light on her creative life and art. The Unraveling Archive provides a new assessment of Plath's creative life and work in light of an abundance of new material, offering essays that respond to new discoveries about familiar and neglected works.

The book includes reproductions of two of Plath's original paintings from the 1950s and photographs rarely seen before, along with essays by Janet Badia, Tracy Brain, Marsha Bryant, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Kathleen Connors, Sandra Gilbert, Anita Helle, Ann Keniston, Diane Middlebrook, Kate Moses, and Robin Peel.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472069279
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2007
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents


Introduction: Archival Matters     1
The Plath Archive
Unstable Manuscripts: The Indeterminacy of the Plath Canon     17
The Political Education of Sylvia Plath     39
Visual Art in the Life of Sylvia Plath: Mining Riches in the Lilly and Smith Archives     65
Sylvia Plath's Voice, Annotated     89
Culture and the Politics of Memory
On the Beach with Sylvia Plath     121
The Holocaust Again: Sylvia Plath, Belatedness, and the Limits of Lyric Figure     139
The "Priestess" and Her "Cult": Plath's Confessional Poetics and the Mythology of Women Readers     159
Reading Plath Photographs: In and Out of the Museum     182
Ariel's Kitchen: Plath, Ladies' Home Journal, and the Domestic Surreal     211
Poetic Arson and Sylvia Plath's "Burning the Letters"     236
Creative Partnership: Sources for "The Rabbit Catcher"     254
The Oral Archive     269
Contributors     275
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