Monday, September 12, 2005

Plath Discovery

For some reason I find the literary remains of writers to be fascinating stuff. I believe we often get to see a different picture of a writer by material that surfaces postmortem and has otherwise been out of the view of the vast public. Sometimes it is a early draft of a published work and we get to see some progression and by that can visualize the mental progression of the writer. Or it may take the form of letters between peers or family or other significant people in their life. And then there is always the possibility of that lost or unknown piece of work that we get a view of for the first time. I find all of these possibilities utterly fascinating. It is almost like studying their DNA. You learn more about who they were.

So last night I was like a giddy kid in a candy store upon reading that pages and notes from an unpublished novel by Sylvia Plath have been discovered among documents left by the Ted Hughes estate to Emory University in Atlanta. [source]

The papers evidently comprise some notes and I believe two chapters of a work that was to be a fictionalization of an American girl who moves to London and marries her poet lover. The title of the book novel was Falcon Yard which was the place in Cambridge where Plath met Hughes, her future husband and bit him.

It was a known fact that such a novel was written by Plath as it is mentioned in her journals. Falcon Yard was meant to be a gift to her husband. A bestselling romantic comedy that would be successful enough for them to be able to get on with writing poetry. It was generally assumed that the manuscript had been destroyed.

Some of the material will be on display starting Wednesday at the Grolier Club in New York, starting Wednesday in an exhibit of Plath and Hughes material.

The archives at Emory University of the Hughes estate which contain Plath's material as well total two and a half tons of letters, poems, drafts, proofs, etc. God, I'd love to be able to sift through it.

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