Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Sylvia Plath, the tragic artist in turmoil, whose legacy was to acclaim the questionable throne of the original poster girl for suicide. Ms. Plath, whose literary work forever in name has been attached to the man, who betrayed her with a friend´s wife and then milked her cult status to the bones. Ironically, both Sylvia and the mistress killed themselves in the same, identical style: by sticking their head to the gas oven. Some men can just drive a woman insane- although in Sylvia´s case, the groundwork had been laid years earlier.
Like herds of teenagers around the world at this present moment, I have read my "Bell Jar"(1963) in due time. Some books last through the times, despite the poor recognition and weak reviews of their contemporaries. And so has this piece earned its immortality with every new patch of teenagers, literature students and just plain curious book lovers. Semi-autobiographical tale on isolation and depression, "The Bell Jar" is also sharp depiction of a young woman coming to grips with her sexuality in the America of the 1950s, in the shadow of the anti-Communist witch hunt and the societal cry on replacing women back to their places as housewives. (The ideology of "Rosie the Riveter" was buried, and jobs were needed for the men, returning from war. ) Plath herself described her only remaining novel as a simple "potboiler", and published it under a pseudonym. Despite the controversy regarding "the Bell Jar", her poetry however, especially the later works, is almost univocally acclaimed.
Not only was the woman literally gifted, she also could drew. Some of her work has been now made public and is displayed at the Mayor Gallery in London, UK.
And here is a one more snippet of the woman herself reading one of her poems, fittingly for the month we are living, "November Graveyard".