The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘sylvia plath’

A Week in Culture: Carlene Bauer, Writer

February 5, 2013 | by


Tonight I went to my first Spanish class at Idlewild on Nineteenth Street. 7:30 to 9 P.M.. When I signed up for this class in November, shortly after I came back from spending a few weeks in Barcelona, I was flush with the joy of recent travel, and intent on injecting some novelty, intellectual and otherwise, into my life. I had an idea that I might try to make it back to Spain at the end of this year, and if that happened, I'd like to be able to do more than buy a few peaches without tripping over my tongue, or wanting to revert to French, the only other foreign language I know. And if that never happened, I would at least be doing something to forestall dementia. But as the intervening weeks, growing colder and darker, put more and more distance between me and that trip—I dreamed that, didn’t I?—I started to wonder why I’d done such a thing. It seemed as unnecessary and out of character as signing up for ten colonics through Groupon. But when, after the fifteen of us had gathered in a circle in the back of the store, and the teacher welcomed us in Spanish, something in me quickened in response to hearing the language. Maybe it was just sound as souvenir, but some sleeping dog in me perked up. Something similar had happened back in Barcelona, while standing in the La Central bookstore, looking at all the books I wanted to read but could not, feeling a strange urgency to get the key that would unlock what lay between those covers, a strange feeling that this was a language I needed to know deeper. Read More »


Bovary and the City

February 4, 2013 | by

The controversial new Faber cover of The Bell Jar has inspired the Internet to update other classics! This is one of our favorites.



Dr. Seuss’s Hats, and Other News

February 4, 2013 | by


  • “In Plath’s case, her writing began, soon after her death, to be relegated to a supporting role in a seductive, but intensely misleading, narrative of victimhood.” How to give the poet her due
  • Are these the fifty key moments in English literature? Discuss. 
  • The strange mystery of who firebombed London’s oldest anarchist bookshop, Freedom Books. 
  • “Believe me, when you get a dozen people seated at a fairly formal dinner party, and they’ve all got on perfectly ridiculous chapeaus, the evening takes care of itself.” A display of Dr. Seuss’s hats is going up at the New York Public Library. 
  • Related: Jon Stewart gets Seussical. 



The Netherfield Ball, and Other News

January 18, 2013 | by

  • In honor of Pride and Prejudice’s two hundredth anniversary, the BBC is re-creating the Netherfield Ball at Chawton House, Hampshire. The unfortunately named Pride and Prejudice: Having A Ball at Easter, which will air on BBC 2, is for some reason ninety minutes long, and we would like an invitation.
  • The Bell Jar, meanwhile, is a spring chicken at fifty.
  • Philip Roth disagrees with most readers as to which of his novels are the best.
  • What is the obsession with ranking things? May we rephrase? Here are a few of America’s best bookstores.
  • If Mr. Eliot had to have a day job, why is it that writers and poets today are so cagey about what they do to pay the bills? Or, as someone at a Williamsburg party once put it, “What do you do—not for money?”


    Selling Psalms, and Other News

    December 4, 2012 | by

  • Boston’s Old South Church is considering selling the Bay Psalm Book, thought to be the oldest book published in North America. The money would be used to finance repairs to the 1874 building.
  • On touching Sylvia Plath’s hair, the Plath Symposium, and literary hagiography.
  • Dispatches from the first Twitter Fiction Festival.
  • Managing the challenges of preserving the Vatican’s treasures.
  • The emotional life of books.
  • [tweetbutton]



    “repeat, repeat, repeat; revise, revise, revise”: Poets Mourning Poets

    November 19, 2012 | by

    “I used to want to live / to avoid your elegy,” Robert Lowell confessed in “For John Berryman.”

    The death of one poet is an extraordinary occasion for another poet. It is like the day a stonemason dies and another has to carve his headstone. Like a rough ashlar, the elegy sits waiting to be shaped into a memorial for the one who is gone. The death of a poet so great as Jack Gilbert last week pains, but also promises remembrances fitting the one who died.

    Gilbert devoted most of his elegies to his wife, Michiko Nogami, but poets have forever elegized one another. We can trace the canon through the poems that poets have written to mourn their own: Henri Cole grieving Elizabeth Bishop; Bishop remembering Robert Lowell; Lowell lamenting the death of John Berryman; Berryman longing for Roethke, Jarrell, Hughes, Plath, Schwartz, and William Carlos Williams; W.H. Auden elegizing Yeats; Shelley bemoaning the loss of Keats; all the way back to Ovid mourning Orpheus.

    Read More »