Monday, December 03, 2007

How Sylvia Plath Wrestled With
The Ghost of Her Unborn Novel

'I am evidently going through a stage in beginning writing similar to my two months of hysteria in beginning teaching last fall. A sickness, frenzy of resentment at everything, but myself at the bottom. I lie wakeful at night, wake exhausted with that sense of razor-shaved nerves. I must be my own doctor. I must cure this very destructive paralysis and ruinous brooding and daydreaming. If I want to write, this is hardly the way to behave--in horror of it, frozen by it. The ghost of the unborn novel is a Medusa-head. Witty or simply observant character notes come to me. But I have no idea how to begin. I shall, perhaps, just begin.'
--from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, in an entry dated July 7th, 1958. For a brief overview of her life and career, go here. To read her poem Daddy, a heartbreaking evocation to the father who died when she was a small child, click here.


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