It s astounding how much I relate to Sylvia in these journals I think all feminine beings need to read this Her entries are honest and raw revealing her sensitivities, obsessions, routines, insecuritiesMore intimate than any of her poetry books, Plath s journals offer greater insight into both her personal and literary struggles.This book is of great value to me and I m sure I will continue referring to it for many years. First US PublicationA Major Literary Event The Complete, Uncensored Journals Of Sylvia Plath, Published In Their Entirety For The First TimeSylvia Plath S Journals Were Originally Published In 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, 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 Complete Journals Of Sylvia Plath Is Essential Reading For All Who Have Been Moved And Fascinated By Plath S Life And Work There were moments reading this book that I had to put it down because the feelings are so vivid you feel like an intruder There are quotes from her journal that decribe in dark detail the feelings that I am sure many women feel as they are on their own for the first time, falling in love, broken hearted, scared of failure, married, aloneLoved this book. . . This is the book that introduced me to Sylvia Plath Her poetry and The Bell Jar would follow I came to appreciate her love for just writing She can make the most mundane interesting To truly have a complete picture of Sylvia Plath, The Journals are integral One of my great thrills was to visit Smith College, and meet Karen Kukil and actually pick up and read the actual journals In the Mortimer rare book room, I was also able to see the drafts of her poems written on the pink Smith College stationary To read the Journals for me was to get closer to the real Sylvia Plath, and away from the sensationalized version Highly recommended for anyone interested in Sylvia Plath. I love people Everybody I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me My love s not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person But I am not omniscient I have to live my life, and it is the only one I ll ever have And you cannot discard your own life with objective curiosity The quality that predominantly stands out in Sylvia Plath s writing style is that as you are reading, she becomes you and you become her A swap of souls takes place Your life story is voiced in her words Your fears, apprehensions, doubts, cravings, yearnings and all such introspections that are intimate to you alone are structured into wild erratic sentences that are delivered so powerfully that it takes some time to clear your mind again She becomes the soul sister you have just found If there s one author who has had the same effect on me in the past, it is Victor Hugo in Les Mis rables Seriously, what is not there in that book Writing is a way of expression, among other things, and Sylvia knows how to express At first, I was a little hesitant to read this memoir as I figured it would amount to trespassing as it was published posthumously but now I am sneakily glad I did it because her writing is the friend that I needed It comforted me with companionshipIt seems to me than ever than I am a victim of introspection If I have not the power to put myself in the place of other people but must be continually burrowing inward, I shall never be the magnanimous creative person I wish to be Yet I am hypnotized by the workings of the individual, alone, and am continually using myself as a specimen She lived a life in which her work was rejected constantly She doubted herself often, wondered if she could write a damn thing worth while, but wrote relentlessly and compulsively everyday She criticized her own work with much anguish which is just painful to read but also, relatable Most people believe that she is one of those authors who became popular only because of her suicide When you search Sylvia Plath and add a space next to her name, poems pop up as the first suggestion on Google and not death I consider that a testament by itself Admittedly, I was so moved by her writing that she was my phone s wallpaper for a couple of days I can see how this can be a treasure for those who truly love her We receive a first hand experience of her thoughts Some of her entries made me say Oh Sylvia while some Oh SylviaThere are entries that are just weather reports but even those made me submerge Although her writing is poignant even when she was happy, it s just drop dead beautiful Reading her thoughts on authors like Virginia Woolf, Henry James, Capote, D.H Lawrence and many others was a delightful treat It s not often that we come across how authors who are no felt about other authors She uses words in block letters every now and then which suggests how strongly she must have felt while penning it down WHY DON T I FEEL SHE LOVES ME WHAT DO I EXPECT BY LOVE FROM HER WHAT IS IT I DON T GET THAT MAKES ME CRY Also I d like to praise the editor as she has done a fabulous job with her research There s an entire section of Notes at the end of the book about all the people mentioned You don t need to be a lover of Sylvia Plath or have any previous experience to appreciate her journals You will fall for her writing as easily as a child craves some extra candy It breaks my heart to know that her journals ended because she took her life and not because the pages in her book ran outWhat am I afraid of Growing old and dying without being Somebody If only she knew the number of her quotes that are tattooed on people s bodies in permanent ink I decided I was going to read this for two reasons Sylvia Plath intrigued me and I need to write better journal entries.It is sometimes hard to wrap your head around the fact that she was so young when she wrote those journals, and constantly I had to keep reminding myself She seemed extremely mature for her age I found myself only reading 20, 30 pages at a time, because her words were so full of introspection, I had to continually go back and reread passages and reflect, soul search about my own life It was exhausting and worthwhile.The first half of this book is absolutely remarkable Especially for being just a journal After she married, however, I think her tone changed Her journaling was permanently altered She made herself so little when compared to the great Ted Hughes She refrained from nagging him, but he could nag her, because of his superior seat Out of the pair he was always the better, bigger and smarter in her eyes Her feminist words of before were somehow not put into action, and she became rather submissive and accepting too much of his behavior and betrayals I understand her position and era of misogyny, but after being so entirely compelled by this woman s words, I can t lie here and say her submission didn t bother me.The introspection halted and her diaries started resembling a drone list of clipped everyday happenings and to do lists The student Sylvia was interesting, incredibly eloquent and contemplative alive and iridescent, even at her worst depressions The working, married Sylvia was washed out and colorless But that s when she wrote her most important masterpieces So I suppose she just transplanted her magic from journaling to higher purposes.This book was a long, tough read Took me forever to finish But it was than worth it Sylvia Plath was something else Her words transcend journaling. So it all moves in a pageant towards the ending, it s own ending Everywhere, imperceptibly or otherwise, things are passing, ending, going And there will be other summers, other band concerts, but never this one, never again, never as now Next year I will not be the self of this year now And that is why I laugh at the transient, the ephemeral laugh, while clutching, holding, tenderly, like a fool his toy, cracked glass, water through fingers For all the writing, for all the invention of engines to express convey capture life, it is the living of it that is the gimmick It goes by, and whatevere dream you use to dope up the pains and hurts, it goes Delude yourself about printed islands of permanence You ve only got so long to live You re getting your dream Things are working, blind forces, no personal spiritual beneficent ones except your own intelligence and the good will of a few other fools and fellow humans So hit it while it s hot Jesus My college diaries don t sound like that, let me tell you But of course, Sylvia Plath has always operated on another level entirely, and her journals prove nothing else, it s that Plath was in a category by herself The newly unabridged journals of Sylvia Plath are a fascinating and intimate look into her life and her mind and at the same time, the reader is kept mostly at arm s length For every page where we see Plath grappling with her depression, or her anxieties about writing, or her complex relationship with Ted Hughes, we have to wade through hundreds of pages that are nothing but Plath describing who she spent the afternoon with and what they wore and what the room looked like As a writing exercise, she would record everyone s outfits and physical details of the places she visited I m sure it helped her as a writer, but for a reader, it s a maddening slog And even though this book contains hundreds of pages worth of journal entries that were previously kept out of the public eye thanks, Ted , this is far from a no holds barred tell all Many of Plath s journals have been destroyed, and Plath went through long periods where she didn t do any diary keeping at all So we get to read her college journals up until July 1953, and then there s nothing until 1955 so anyone going into this book expecting raw, emotional entries written after Plath s suicide attempt in August 1953, and her last year at Smith following her hospitalization, will be disappointed I freely admit that I m one of these ghouls the first time I read The Diary of Anne Frank in elementary school, I was genuinely disappointed that the final entry wasn t written as the Gestapo were raiding the attic At over seven hundred pages, this book requires a lot of commitment Even die hard Plath fans will find themselves struggling to stay invested the downside of reading real diaries is that there s never anything resembling a plot to keep the reader interested, unless that plot is we re hiding from the Nazis or something like that But if you stick with it, there s a lot to discover I identified very strongly with the college entries, because it s a lot of what am I supposed to do with my life am I actually talented when am I going to get a boyfriend that will be very, very familiar to anyone who remembers that period of their lives Plath also writes frankly about what it s really like to make a living as a writer once she and Ted are married, they re both constantly sending stories to magazines, working on their books, and applying for writing fellowships Plath is always reminding herself to write in her entries, setting goals for herself like write for two hours every day or finish ten poems and send them to publishers It s a very realistic depiction of what it actually means to be a writer The most interesting part, for many people, will be after Plath marries Ted Hughes I didn t know much about their married life, aside from the fact that Ted was responsible for fucking up a lot of Plath s poetry collections after her death, and the way Plath writes about their marriage is really interesting She fucking adored Hughes, and she seemed to really love her role as a housewife she s always baking cakes and throwing dinner parties, and at times it seems like she enjoyed being an author s wife than being an author herself She believed that Ted was the real talent, and seemed very happy to play second fiddle to him so it s a delightful irony that Plath is now the famous name, while Ted Hughes is known primarily as Sylvia Plath s jealous husband As I said earlier, their relationship was complex Plath freely acknowledges in her diaries that Ted is a surrogate father figure for her, and there s a section where she realizes Ted is cheating on her and is devastated Throughout the book, you can see Plath struggling with her own personal demons, and trying to push back at the depression and anxiety that eventually killed her In a way, I appreciated how long this volume is, because it allows you to see that Sylvia Plath was than just a writer who killed herself She had good days and bad days, she was complicated, she was happy and sad and scared and angry, and she was alive I must reject the grovelling image of the fearful beast in myself, which is an elaborate escape image, and face, force, days into line I have an inner fight that won t be conquered by a motto or one night s resolution My demon of negation will tempt me day by day, and I ll fight it, as something other than my essential self, which I am fighting to save each day will have something to recommend itMinute by minute to fight upward Out from under that black cloud which would annihilate my whole being with its demand for perfection and measure, not of what I am, but of what I am not I am what I am, and have written, lived, and travelled I have been worth what I have won, but must work to be worth I shall not be by wishful thinking.
Anne Sexton, Plath is credited with advancing the genre of confessional poetry initiated by
- 732 pages
- The Journals of Sylvia Plath
- Sylvia Plath
- 15 August 2019 Sylvia Plath