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Sylvia Plath: An Introduction to the Poetry

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In this lively and accessible introduction to Sylvia Plath's writing, Bassnett offers a balanced view of one of the finest modern poets. Bassnett argues that there can never be any definitive version of the Plath story, but from close reading of the texts she left behind, readers can discover the excitement of her diverse work. The second edition includes three new chapter In this lively and accessible introduction to Sylvia Plath's writing, Bassnett offers a balanced view of one of the finest modern poets. Bassnett argues that there can never be any definitive version of the Plath story, but from close reading of the texts she left behind, readers can discover the excitement of her diverse work. The second edition includes three new chapters and ends with a reading of Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters.


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In this lively and accessible introduction to Sylvia Plath's writing, Bassnett offers a balanced view of one of the finest modern poets. Bassnett argues that there can never be any definitive version of the Plath story, but from close reading of the texts she left behind, readers can discover the excitement of her diverse work. The second edition includes three new chapter In this lively and accessible introduction to Sylvia Plath's writing, Bassnett offers a balanced view of one of the finest modern poets. Bassnett argues that there can never be any definitive version of the Plath story, but from close reading of the texts she left behind, readers can discover the excitement of her diverse work. The second edition includes three new chapters and ends with a reading of Ted Hughes' Birthday Letters.

30 review for Sylvia Plath: An Introduction to the Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dorotea

    The poems are full of pain, of references to suffering and death as release from suffering but to read them as coded references to her suicide seems unfair. Better to read the poems, as Ann Sexton suggests, for their own sake, for what they say to those who read them, rather than in an attempt to use them in the making of the text that is Sylvia Plath’s life. […] What we are left with is the pain in the poem and the pain of knowing that she died. There can be no simple, definitive reading of Syl The poems are full of pain, of references to suffering and death as release from suffering but to read them as coded references to her suicide seems unfair. Better to read the poems, as Ann Sexton suggests, for their own sake, for what they say to those who read them, rather than in an attempt to use them in the making of the text that is Sylvia Plath’s life. […] What we are left with is the pain in the poem and the pain of knowing that she died. There can be no simple, definitive reading of Sylvia Plath’s poetry or of her life. Only by accepting that contradictions exist in a dialectical relationship with each other can we move beyond a dead-end ‘reading to find out the truth’ kind of process. […] Sylvia Plath, like the rest of us, was a complex human being full of contradictory impulses and feelings and, perhaps more honestly than many of us, she recorded those contradictions in her work. Just as it is impossible to discover the ‘truth’ about anyone else’s heart, so it is impossible to have a single true reading of a work. We have come to recognise that there is no such thing as a single definitive reading of anything, that there are as many versions of a text as there are readers reading it and though there have been some attempts to restrict the anarchy of that suggestion we are today offered the prospect of a text as an open entity. The poem, once written, is rewritten in every reading and the notion of a single definitive reading becomes the absurdity it is.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Wow! Some parts got a bit too deep/analytical for me and, I confess, I skimmed them. But it was really insightful into Plath's poetry and life and avoided the clichéd analysis of her poetry as evidence that she was suicidal. Her life, and poetry, was a lot more complex than that. Wow! Some parts got a bit too deep/analytical for me and, I confess, I skimmed them. But it was really insightful into Plath's poetry and life and avoided the clichéd analysis of her poetry as evidence that she was suicidal. Her life, and poetry, was a lot more complex than that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I only skimmed through this book as a means to glean some form of direction for my possible English Honours thesis. If my application is successful, I dare say I will be revisiting this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laura Holroyd

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    Steph Ford

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    Anthi

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    Sajjad Atazadeh

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    Antonio Hehir

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    Mae Brennan

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    Debarun

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    Jessica

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    Angela

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    K.

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    Allison

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    Malintha Perera

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    Hiwot Abebe

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    Leah

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    Jess

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    Dragana Andjelic

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    Gary

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    Elizabeth

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    Emily Kate

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