Emma Komlos-Hrobsky

  • culture February 04, 2013

    Mad Girl’s Love Song by Andrew Wilson

    Almost all books about Sylvia Plath eddy around the years that the poet was married to Ted Hughes and her eventual suicide, to the neglect of the other two-thirds of her life. Now, in the new Plath biography Mad Girl’s Love Song, Andrew Wilson has set out to change this, attempting to give us the first portrait of Sylvia sans Ted.

    Biographers of Sylvia Plath take on a daunting task: Who could ever write as much or as well about Plath as Plath did? Plath was obsessed with re-creating her life’s story, which she not only transmuted into poetry and fiction but wrestled with in a staggering volume of personal writing. In the overflowing margins of leather-bound pocket calendars, across thousands of pages of journal entries and letters, Plath described the minutia of her days sometimes down to the hour, sparing no one from her exacting, critical eye. Plath’s story can even be divined through an incredible store of the stuff

  • syllabi February 04, 2013

    The Life and Afterlife of Sylvia Plath

    Even before her suicide became cultural legend, Sylvia Plath created her life’s narrative through the lens of myth. Plath saw herself in Shakespeare’s Ariel and Robert Grave’s white goddess, the doomed German lorelei and the resurrected Lazarus—figures liberated by their fantastic generative powers yet bound, too, to tragedy and death. “I think I would like to call myself ‘the girl who wanted to be god,’” the teenage Plath wrote in one letter, only to doubt her own capacity to play that part lines later: “I am I—I am powerful—but to what extent?” It’s these paradoxes that Plath sought to master