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Sylvia Plath ‘didn’t want her mother to know…’

24 January 2013

Sam Jordison, writing in the Guardian:

Sylvia Plath would never have wanted her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar published under her name while her mother, Aurelia Plath, was still alive, one of the writer’s friends has said.

. . . .

When The Bell Jar was first published in January 1963, it appeared under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, because, according to Sigmund, the author did not want to upset Aurelia or other people who feature in the book….

. . . .

Carl Rollyson, the author of a new Plath biography, American Isis: The Life And Art of Sylvia Plath, supports the view that Plath would not have wanted the book published in her mother’s lifetime. ….

He said there was “no love lost” between Plath and Olwyn Hughes….

Olwyn Hughes admitted she thought Plath was “a monster”. …

On the matter of using Plath’s own name on the book, she denied this was controversial. “What people want after they’re dead. That just goes.”

Link to the rest at the Guardian


One Comments to “Sylvia Plath ‘didn’t want her mother to know…’”

  1. It’s sad that writer’s work sometimes ends up in the wrong hands because they didn’t prepare for the eventuality of their deaths.

    Clearly Plath’s sister in law intensely disliked her, and yet was in charge of her legacy. That’s not a good situation.

    Kristine Rusch wrote an excellent post recently about preparing for your legacy – seems like something important for writers to think about.

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