The new old Sylvia Plath

From the Guardian:

Sylvia Plath alleged Ted Hughes beat her two days before she miscarried their second child and that Hughes wanted her dead, unpublished letters reveal….Written between 18 February 1960 and 4 February 1963, a week before her death, the letters cover a period in Plath’s life that has remained elusive to readers and scholars alike.

Well, duh, did anyone not have this figured out like 30 years ago? She dies; he isn’t even living with her, but in a bizarre act of possessiveness, he goes in and takes charge of all her writings, destroying any evidence of suicide notes, along with all her literary works in progress. In those days, people did not talk publicly about abuse, the pop-psyche self-help explosion would not come along until later, so you had to figure the public part was only the tip of the iceberg.

But now I see this article is 3 months old and, for some reason, is re-emerging now. Perhaps the reason is a July exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Art Gallery that is getting some international exposure.

So here is something curious. Assia Wevill, the woman he was with when Plath killed herself (oh wait it was Susan Alliston) , and who has her own tragic history, is credited with this iconic “sea witch” commercial, all the more ironic when you think of how many women are killed every day by their romantic partners.



2 thoughts on “The new old Sylvia Plath

  1. I saw there had been discussion recently on her wikipedia page. I’ve never understood how Hughes could’ve become Poet Laureate. Plath was much the better poet.

  2. The talk page, eh I see it, never figured out the issue there.

    They say Prince Charles has a private shrine to Hughes. If you have never heard their voices, this is much more interesting than all the echo chamber stuff the media regularly regurgitates about them. Around 13:00 or so he talks about how he thinks he is her and they are one person and that person is him, or something like that. Her answer is about how they are different. You see these kind of “boundary” issues quite often in families with abuse.

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