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Sylvia Plath: Drawings Hardcover – November 5, 2013
Sylvia Plath: Drawings is a portfolio of pen-and-ink illustrations created during the transformative period spent at Cambridge University, when Plath met and secretly married poet Ted Hughes, and traveled with him to Paris and Spain on their honeymoon, years before she wrote her seminal work, The Bell Jar.
Throughout her life, Sylvia Plath cited art as her deepest source of inspiration. This collection sheds light on these key years in her life, capturing her exquisite observations of the world around her. It includes Plath’s drawings from England, France, Spain, and New England, featuring such subjects as Parisian rooftops, trees, and churches, as well as a portrait Ted Hughes.
Sylvia Plath: Drawings includes letters and diary entries that add depth and context to the great poet’s work, as well as an illuminating introduction by her daughter, Frieda Hughes.
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“Never-before-seen artwork from Sylvia Plath.” (Esquire)
“It is not only an interesting artifact of the poet who articulated the woes of our time far before we knew them, it is also a beautiful, multi-textured window into that poet’s life…” (PolicyMic)
“[A]n enthralling portfolio of pen-and-ink illustrations amidst a context of the poet’s letters and diary entries...” (Brain Pickings)
From the Back Cover
In 1956 Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother, Aurelia, 'I feel I'm developing a kind of primitive style of my own which I am very fond of. Wait 'til you see . . . '
Throughout her life Plath cited art as her deepest source of inspiration; yet while her writing is celebrated around the world, her drawings are little known. This publication brings together drawings from 1955 to 1957, the period she spent on a Fulbright fellowship at Newnham College, Cambridge. During this time she met and married in secret the poet Ted Hughes, travelling with him on honeymoon to Paris and Spain before their return to the US in June 1957.
Plath's drawings in pen and ink are exquisitely observed moments from this period in her life, and include among their subjects Parisian rooftops, trees, churches and a portrait of Ted Hughes. The collection sheds light on these key years in Plath's life and includes letters and a diary entry about her art, as well as an illuminating introduction by her daughter, Frieda Hughes.
- Publisher : Harper; 1st Edition (November 5, 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 72 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062315706
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062315700
- Item Weight : 15.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.21 x 0.5 x 8.97 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,229,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Included in the slim 72-page book are a handful of letters and journal entries in which Plath reveals that her purpose in making these pictures was both therapeutic (when she drew alone) and romantic (when her newlywed Ted Hughes was by her side on drawing excursions). Yet all the while her very practical interest was to sell the pictures for publication in periodicals -- most yearningly, to The New Yorker magazine.
"Sylvia Plath: Drawings" also includes a brief Introduction by Plath's daughter, Frieda Hughes; a two-page Biography in the form of a year-by-year chronology (similar to the chronologies found at the end of each Library of America volume); and a one-page Bibliography.
Devotees of Plath are the principal audience for this book. If you're not familiar with the poet, "Sylvia Plath: Drawings" might leave you wondering what all the fuss is about. As a stand-alone book, it has the disadvantage of being a minor addendum to a major survey of Plath's art published in 2007 -- Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual . "Eye Rhymes" deserves your consideration, as its pages examine the relationship between Plath's poetry and the sketches, drawings, and paintings she created throughout her too-brief life. The variety of subjects she addressed was much broader than what you see in "Sylvia Plath: Drawings." What may be of special interest is that "Eye Rhymes" includes reproductions and a discussion of the author/artist's self-portraits. It also contains revealing essays by six scholars who uncover links between Plath's visual art and her confessional literary works. That investigation, and the substantial critical apparatus it requires, are beyond the limited scope of "Sylvia Plath: Drawings."
If you're a Plath completist, & intrigued by her visual art, you'll want to have this hard-to-come-by book in your collection. (Also, check out Eye Rhymes - Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual. That showcases her artwork & art assignments from her childhood & Smith College days).
The reproductions in this 8"x9" book are crisp & clear.
The introduction by her daughter is informative, the most interesting bit being how her father divided these drawings and letters between her and her brother Nicholas and how they were complied again after her brother's suicide.
By James Hayward on December 25, 2020
Top reviews from other countries
Badly done, Faber. You'll never compete with Phaiden and other art publishers by making such mistakes.
Even so, it is nice to have a book of Plath's drawings.
A highly recommended book: a real and unexpected find - well worth buying!