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Friday, January 23, 2015

Read This Book

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
I know I have already gushed once about this book. But one gush is simply not enough. Open to any page and I guarantee you will find something beautiful, clever, biting, or heartbreaking. It's the kind of book that you can pick up and start in the middle, or you can read it straight through, or read it over and over, or put it down for a few months only to be swept right back into it with the first entry you read. Truly, it's wonderful. Whether you're interested in Sylvia herself; the writing life; or deeply felt, authentic musings, she never disappoints. For example:
I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.
-From The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

After reading (and loving) The Bell Jar for the first time last year, I moved on to Ariel, but quickly discovered that a poetry aficionado, I am not. Desperate for more Sylvia, I found this. And it's perfect. 
The personal, and intimate moments of her journals are both inspiring and hopelessly demoralizing. There's nothing quite like reading the private musings of an 18 year-old Sylvia Plath, to really deflate one's own literary aspirations.
But there is also an unexpected joy in these journals. Here is Plath's humor, compassion, biting wit, and shrewd observations, all wrapped up in her sometimes playful, often melancholy outlook; an honest account of a troubled literary genius. It's impossible to read and remain unmoved by these pages. 

-Erin B.

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia by Sylvia Plath

First U.S. Publication A major literary event--the complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath, published in their entirety for the first time. Sylvia Plath's journals were originally published in 1982 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, more 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 Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath is essential reading for all who have been moved and fascinated by Plath's life and work.

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