carnevalemanfredonia.it
» » The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

eBook The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes download

by Janet Malcolm

eBook The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes download ISBN: 0679431586
Author: Janet Malcolm
Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (March 29, 1994)
Language: English
Pages: 207
ePub: 1824 kb
Fb2: 1953 kb
Rating: 4.3
Other formats: lrf mbr docx doc
Category: Biography
Subcategory: Arts and Literature

The Silent Woman" gave me additional perspective on Sylvia Plath while raising provocative questions about the .

The Silent Woman" gave me additional perspective on Sylvia Plath while raising provocative questions about the nature of writing and biography. It's concise, well written, and I highly recommend it, especially to writers. Recommended even for people who are not specifically interested in Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes because of the book's insights into the nature of truth, memoirs,fiction, and biography. 11 people found this helpful.

In The Silent Woman, Janet Malcolm examines the biographies of Sylvia Plath to create a book not about Plath’s life but about her afterlife: how her estranged husband, the poet Ted Hughes, as executor of her estate, tried to serve two masters-Plath’s art and his own need for privacy.

Malcolm's book created a sensation when in March 1989 it appeared in two parts in The New Yorker magazine. The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes (1994). The Crime of Sheila McGough (1999)

Malcolm's book created a sensation when in March 1989 it appeared in two parts in The New Yorker magazine. Roundly criticized upon first publication, the book is still controversial, although it has come to be regarded as a classic, according to Douglas McCollum. It ranks ninety-seventh in The Modern Library's list of the twentieth century's "100. The Crime of Sheila McGough (1999). Reading Chekhov: A Critical Journey (2001).

Электронная книга "The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes", Janet Malcolm

Электронная книга "The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes", Janet Malcolm. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

Janet Malcolm (author of Reading Chekhov, The Journalist and the Murderer, In the Freud Archives) examines the biographies of Sylvia Plath, with particular focus on Anne Stevenson's controversial Bitter Fruit, to discover how Plath became the enigma of literary history, and how the legend continues to exert such a hold on our imaginations.

Ted Hughes as Sylvia Plath’s literary executor. When Plath committed suicide, she was still married to Hughes, though the couple was separated. Thus, he inherited her literary estate and oversaw her posthumous legacy. Much of Plath’s work was unpublished while she was alive, and Hughes decided to publish some of the collections she left behind. In the biography Her Husband: Hughes and Plath - A Marriage, the book is described as author Diane Middlebrook’s portrayal of Hughes as a complicated, conflicted figure: sexually magnetic, fiercely ambitious, immensely caring, and shrewd in business.

The Silent Woman book. Janet Malcolm brings her shrewd intelligence to bear on the legend of Sylvia Plath and the wildly productive industry of Plath biographies. Features a new Afterword by Malcolm

The Silent Woman book. Features a new Afterword by Malcolm.

Top. American Libraries Canadian Libraries Universal Library Community Texts Project Gutenberg Biodiversity Heritage Library Children's Library.

The Silent Woman is one of the deepest, loveliest, and most problematic things Janet Malcolm has written. It is so subtle, so patiently analytical, and so true that it is difficult to envisage anyone writing again about Plath and Hughes. She is the cat who has licked the plate clean

The Silent Woman is one of the deepest, loveliest, and most problematic things Janet Malcolm has written. She is the cat who has licked the plate clean. It has an almost disabling authority about it, a finality like a father's advice. -James Wood, The Guardian (London). Not since Virginia Woolf has anyone thought so trenchantly about the strange art of biography.

From the moment it was first published in The New Yorker, this brilliant work of literary criticism aroused great attention. Janet Malcolm brings her shrewd intelligence to bear on the legend of Sylvia Plath and the wildly productive industry of Plath biographies. Features a new Afterword by Malcolm.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Comments: (7)
BlessСhild
"The Silent Woman" is a fascinating examination of the many biographers who have latched onto the life and death of writer Sylvia Plath. Janet Malcolm explores their motives, methods and the impact of their work in terms of creating, sustaining or shattering our perceptions of the poet, who took her own life in 1963. Malcolm offers a focused, intelligent analysis of the challenges of biography, especially biography of a long-dead and controversial subject. She touches on important writerly issues: the reliability of witnesses; the ambiguity of source materials; the machinations of literary executors; the negotiations required for access to interview subjects or for reprint permissions; the ideological and financial motives of the writer; selective editing; exaggerations and mythmaking; self-aggrandizement and vindictiveness; integrity and restraint.

At the same time, "The Silent Woman" walks us once again through the short, turbulent life of Plath, who was just beginning to make a name for herself at the time of her death and who has since risen to cult status. I found most moving some of Malcolm's observations about suicide, the silence it leaves and the rebuke it suggests for the deceased's survivors. She critiques the Plath v. Hughes battle lines, in which some partisans depict Plath as the victim of a faithless husband and anti-feminist repression while others view her husband, Ted Hughes (later, a Poet Laureate of England), as a man worn down by a mentally unstable wife. Hughes's role as the executor of Plath's literary estate and his destruction of her last diaries also come in for a close analysis.

"The Silent Woman" gave me additional perspective on Sylvia Plath while raising provocative questions about the nature of writing and biography. It's concise, well written, and I highly recommend it, especially to writers.
Gajurus
This is a remarkable book, a blend of numerous genres: biography, memoir, journalism, criticism, psychological analysis, deconstruction of other biographers and memoirists and their work, discussion of postmodernism, and more. Malcolm has an extraordinary intelligence and imagination--both expressed in her metaphors, many of them extended beyond belief. I particularly liked her metaphors for and about Olwyn Hughes, Ted Hughes's sister: "Cerberus to the Plath estate," Anne Stevenson's unsuccessful commanding of "Olwyn back into the lamp," Anne's obliviously walking into "Olwyn's web." (Anne wrote what Malcolm says is a good biography of Plath that Olwyn insisted on editing and correcting as the price of permission to quote.) Malcolm has brilliant things to say about memory and memoirs, criticism, biography, the impossibility of fair-mindedness and truth, writing in general, the language of face and body that can't be captured on recordings, and footnotes. What I don't understand, although Malcolm addresses the question, is why any of the people she interviewed and wrote about gave her permission to quote them. Even the people whose sides she takes emerge scarred and bleeding from her descriptions. Surely her reputation for this proclivity preceded her with at least some of the characters in the book. On the other hand, the noted critic Harold Bloom has remarked on her "wonderful exuberance" and has stated that her books "transcend what they appear to be: superb reportage."

Of biography Malcolm says that it "is the medium through which the remaining secrets of the famous dead are taken from them and dumped out into full view of the world. The biographer at work, indeed, is like the professional burglar, breaking into a house . . . . The voyeurism and busybodyism that impel writers and readers of biography alike are obscured by an apparatus of scholarship designed to give the enterprise an appearance of banklike blandness and solidity." And, "there is no length he [the biographer] will not go to, and the more his book reflects his industry the more the reader believes that he is having an elevating literary experience, rather than simply listening to backstairs gossip and reading other people's mail." Similarly, "The reader's amazing tolerance (which he would extend to no novel written half as badly as most biographies) makes sense only when seen as a kind of collusion between him and the biographer in an excitingly forbidden undertaking: tiptoeing down the corridor together to stand in front of the bedroom door and try to peep through the keyhole."

She uses one of her extended metaphors to discuss the issues of writer's block and the elusiveness of truth, which I had not realized were related: "At the end of Borges's story 'The Aleph,' the narrator goes to the cellar of a house, where he has the experience of encountering everything in the world. He at once sees all places from all angles . . . . Writer's block derives from the mad ambition to enter the cellar; the fluent writer is content to stay in the close attic of partial expression, to say what is 'running through his mind,' and to accept that it may not--cannot--be wholly true." Later, Malcolm says, "Truth is, in its nature, multiple and contradictory, part of the flux of history, untrappable in language." She contrasts nonfiction and fiction in an interesting way: "In a work of nonfiction we almost never know the truth of what happened. The ideal of unmediated reporting is regularly achieved only in fiction, where the writer faithfully reports what is going on in his imagination." (Of course that leaves unanswered the real question of whether that imagination captures the truth.) Finally, Malcolm relates a visit she made to the incredibly littered, filthy house of an artist and author who had written recollections about Plath. She saw the place as "a kind of monstrous allegory of truth" in its "unmediated actuality, in all its multiplicity, randomness, inconsistency, redundancy, authenticity."

In relation to the cluttered house, she writes further, "the narratives called biographies pale and shrink in the face of the disorderly actuality that is life. . . . Each person who sits down to write faces not a blank page but his own vastly overfilled mind. The problem is to clear out most of what is in it, . . . to make a space where a few ideas and images and feelings may be so arranged that a reader will want to linger awhile among them, rather than to flee. . . . But this task of housecleaning (of narrating) is not merely arduous; it is dangerous. There is the danger of throwing the wrong things out and keeping the wrong things in."

Malcolm is also insightful on post-structuralism, a viewpoint that she at least partly shares, calling it "a theory of criticism whose highest values are uncertainty, anxiety, and ambiguity." Writing about a poststructuralist writer and professor of English literature who wrote _The Haunting of Sylvia Plath_, Malcolm says that "In accordance with post-structuralist theory," Jacqueline "Rose argues for suspension of all certainty about what happened, and thus of judgment and blame." Finally, she refers to "the post-structuralist vision of writing as a kind of dream, which no one (including the dreamer-writer) ever gets to the bottom of."

Of her conversation with Rose, Malcolm says, "I render it with the help of a tape recording, which preserved the words that passed between Rose and me but did not catch any of the language of face and body by which we all speak to one another and sometimes say what we dare not put into words." This from a woman who had won a lawsuit brought against one of her books about Freudianism by a psychoanalyst; she won by playing a tape recording of her interview with him.

Recommended even for people who are not specifically interested in Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes because of the book's insights into the nature of truth, memoirs,fiction, and biography.
Joni_Dep
Janet Malcolm is always very interesting, thoughtful, entertaining and in an understated way quite a stylist. Also extremely cranky and eccentric but her very weirdness and self contradictions are interesting in themselves. As just one example, she says that journalists and biographers by their very nature are seducers and betrayers of their subjects--she feels the same about lawyers, prosecutors and maybe everyone--and yet she persists in writing biography and journalism as her life work, which, step three, doesn't seem particularly unethical or unfair, in fact, attempting to be scrupulous, though, four, governed by her eccentric prejudices, for example about psychiatry.
Goktilar
Interesting insights into the difficulties of being honest and ethical as a journalist. Reinforces the idea that there is never one truth but many different interpretations of it, like a tightly tangled ball of wool- you loosen one thread, you think you're getting clear, only to encounter another dense knot.
The marriage of Plath and Hughes, her death and the characters of these two poets are fascinating and Janet Malcolm maintains our interest in them throughout. I would have liked even more extracts from Plath's poems as well as some from Hughes but, then, that would probably be another kind of book. Nevertheless, an excellent read.