Event exploring our knowledge of Sylvia Plath at 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival
- janette currie
- 7 August 2013
This article is from 2013.
Can we ever know the true Plath? Andrew Wilson investigates
Doting mother or fiercely driven artist; who is the ‘true’ Sylvia Plath? In the 50 years since she killed herself, the life of the American poet and novelist has become blurred. In Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted, Andrew Wilson aims 'to show a Plath who was a real living, breathing woman who existed at a particular time in history; a writer and a woman in her own right'. Researching 'the largest chunk of Plath’s life', before she met Ted Hughes, he 'unearthed a mass of unpublished material (diaries, letters, photos) and talked to lots of friends and lovers who had never spoken publicly about Plath before'. For all this delving, he uncovered a familiar 1950s tale of repression and self-loathing: 'On the surface she presented herself as a smiling, respectable all-American girl but underneath she was a mass of anger and sexual frustrations. She also felt a great deal of anger about constrained gender roles and her economic situation.'
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 16 Aug, reading workshop on The Bell Jar, 1pm, £15 (£13); Andrew Wilson event , 5pm, £10 (£8).