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Subject:

Re: BBC text re Plath Journals

From:

"david.bircumshaw" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 1 Apr 2002 12:19:13 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (158 lines)

Here you are, Roger, the url is:

http://www30.brinkster.com/bbcnews/plathjournal1.html

not pleasant reading I'm afraid.

Best

Dave


----- Original Message -----
From: "Roger Collett" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 12:04 PM
Subject: Re: BBC text re Plath Journals


Douglas

Where did you find this reference please?

Roger.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas Clark" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 9:52 AM
Subject: BBC text re Plath Journals



   Unpublished Sylvia Plath Journals Appear

   A set of unpublished journals written by the late poet Sylvia Plath -
   including one kept until to the day of her suicide - has been acquired
   by the British Library.

   The journals were donated by Ann Skea literary critic, biographer and
   friend of Ted Hughes - husband of the late poet.

   "These revelations are explosive and will cast a long dark shadow over
   the reputation of poet laureate Ted Hughes " said A. Alvarez.

   Sylvia Plath and husband Ted Hughes Sylvia Plath and husband Ted
   Hughes in happier times
   In an extract from the journal, Plath recounts a vitriolic meeting
   between her and Ted Hughes the weekend before she ended her life.
   Plath states that Ted had told her, that his mistress Assia Wevill was
   pregnant with his child and there never could be a reconciliation
   between him and Sylvia. "Why don't you finish what you attempted ten
   years ago and leave us in peace " Hughes is quoted as saying.

   Hughes had always maintained that he had destroyed her final journal
   in order to spare his children and had lost or misplaced another of
   her journals.

   "The only one he wanted to spare, was himself and the wrath of an
   accusing public."said Ronald Hayman, a Plath biographer.

   This long and important series of journal entries, written out in
   Sylvia's dramatically vigorous hand, gives us an exceptionally direct
   insight into her tragic death.
   Chris Fletcher, British Library

   Shortly before his death in October 1998, Ted Hughes entrusted the
   remaining journals to his long time friend Ann Skea with the
   stipulation that they not be made public until after the death of his
   sister Olwyn Hughes .

   "I think it is time to have the whole truth known regardless of who
   will be offended," said Anne Skea,"Ted Hughes was not a saint and had
   many flaws and he did regret his harsh words and statements to his
   wife prior to her death."

   These heartrendering final journals are not for the faint of heart and
   will leave many Plath fans shocked and saddened.

   Other entries include descriptions of a trip to Ireland and a chilling
   one written one week before her death in which she debated ending her
   childrens lives along with hers.

   Chris Fletcher, curator of modern literary manuscripts at the British
   Library, where the collection will eventually go on public display,
   enthusiastically welcomed the donation.

   "This long and important series of letters, written out in Plaths'
   dramatically vigorous hand, gives us an exceptionally direct insight
   into the complex mind of one of the most creative, charismatic and
   popular national literary figures of the post-war world," he said.

   Control Of Literary Estate ?

   Another explosive revelation is that Sylvia Plath had intended that
   her mother be the executor of her will. Though she had started divorce
   proceedings, she was still married when she died and Ted was left in
   control of her literary estate.

   "The journal clearly states that she had made a will" said A. Alvarez.
   Whether that would have made a difference under the Kings Law is open
   for conjecture.

   Many feminists and admirers of Plath hold Hughes responsible for his
   wife's suicide, accusing him of abandoning her for another woman at a
   time when she was emotionally unstable, and these new unpublished
   journals will go a long way in confirming that view.

   Sylvia's Plath's suicide in 1963 at the age of 30 made her an
   international bestseller, a cult figure, a martyr of the feminist
   movement, a posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner and the subject of at
   least 104 books. If she hasn't yet reached the status of full-blown
   cultural icon, she probably will when the movie about her life
   starring Gwyneth Paltrow comes out.

   See also:
   29 Oct 98 | UK
   Quiet man of intense verse 28 Jul 00 | UK
   Plaques to the wall 17 Jan 98 | UK
   Hughes breaks silence over Plath 29 Oct 98 | Entertainment
   Extracts from Hughes' Birthday Letters 13 May 99 | Entertainment
   Ted Hughes: 'A born poet' remembered 11 Jan 99 | Entertainment
   Hughes wins TS Eliot poetry prize 03 Nov 98 | UK
   Emotional farewell to Ted Hughes

   Internet links:
   Ted Hughes - unofficial siteSylvia Plath linksThe British Library
   The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

   Top Arts stories now:
   Emin's cat posters taken by collectors Gold cape stars at British
   Museum New fans flock to Opera House Man charged over corpse show
   damage Benin bronzes sold to Nigeria Biggest artwork ever for Glasgow
   Campaign to save portrait from export Van Gogh 'fake' declared genuine

   Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.

   Links to more Arts stories

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   [INLINE]


Douglas Clark, Bath, England           mailto: [log in to unmask]
Lynx: Poetry from Bath  ..........  http://www.bath.ac.uk/~exxdgdc/lynx.html

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