Sylvia Plath (/ plæθ /; born October 27, 1932 in Jamaica Plain near Boston , Massachusetts ; † February 11, 1963 in Primrose Hill , London ) was an American writer. Plath's main work is her poetry , in particular the decommissioned volume of poetry Ariel , as well as her only novel Die Glasglocke . In addition, Plath wrote short stories and children's books .
Sylvia Plath's literature is mostly assessed in the context of her life story. Her poems are considered confessional poetry (lyric confession), and also in their prose they processed autobiographical experiences as a suicide attempt or the relationship with her husband Ted Hughes . Plath published his first work during his lifetime; However, her literary success only began posthumously after her suicide with the publication of posthumous poems and the US publication of her novel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to her work, Plath's life and early death also became the subject of public interest. Plath was stylized as a symbol of the women's movement and her life story was understood as a reflection of the role of women in society.
Sylvia Plath was the daughter of German-born biology professor Otto Emil Plath (1885-1940) and teacher Aurelia Schober Plath (1906-1991), who came from an Austrian immigrant family. Sylvia had a younger brother named Warren Joseph (* 1935).
Sylvia Plath was eight years old when her father died. She started writing shortly after his death. For the first time one of her poems was published in 1945 in the school newspaper The Phillipian . More than four hundred poems were written within a few years.
In 1950, Plath began studying at Smith College in Northampton , Massachusetts on a scholarship for gifted students, which was donated to her by the novelist and later friend and sponsor Olive Higgins Prouty . At Smith College she also took part in a “ creative writing ” seminar with Alfred Kazin . In 1952 she won the Mademoiselle magazine's writing competition with the Mintons' Sunday short story . In June 1953 she was selected, along with nineteen other students from around the country, to work on the August edition of Mademoiselle , called the College Edition , and spent the month in New York . Upon her return, she suffered from severe depression , which was treated with electric shocks , but this therapy did not lead to any improvement. On August 24, 1953, Plath tried to take his own life with sleeping pills . She survived the suicide attempt and spent the next few months in a psychiatric hospital. The events of that year, beginning with her stay in New York, form the basis for her semi-autobiographical novel Die Glasglocke , which appeared in 1963 under the pseudonym “Victoria Lucas”.
Until the spring semester of 1954, Sylvia Plath was in psychiatric treatment. She suffered from mood swings and depression. In the summer of 1955, Plath graduated from Smith College with an excellent thesis on Dostoyevsky's doppelganger . In the fall of 1955, she received a Fulbright Fellowship of Newnham College of Cambridge University in England and undertook several trips through Europe. At Cambridge University, Plath met the writer Ted Hughes in 1956 and fell in love with him. Only a few months later, on June 16, 1956, the two married. From June 1957 to October 1959, Plath and Hughes lived and worked in the United States. During this time, Sylvia Plath worked as an instructor at Smith College . From December 1958 she had to seek psychiatric treatment again because of a bipolar disorder . In 1959 Plath attended a poetry seminar by Robert Lowell , where she met Anne Sexton . After returning to London in 1960, she gave birth to their daughter Frieda Rebecca.
In October 1960 Sylvia Plath published the collection of poems The Colossus And Other Poems , which had been accepted by Heinemann Verlag in London. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes moved to a country house in Devon , south-west England. After a miscarriage on February 6, 1961, she gave birth to their son Nicholas Hughes (1962–2009, suicide) on January 17, 1962. In May of the same year, The Colossus And Other Poems was also released in the United States. In October 1962, Plath and Hughes separated. Plath's only novel The glass bell ( The Bell Jar ) was published on 14 January 1963rd
Four weeks later, on February 11, 1963, Plath took her own life by swallowing sleeping pills again , sealing the kitchen with towels, turning on the gas tap on the stove and putting her head in the oven. Some farewell letters were found as well as a presumed cry for help to the tenant below her. Their children slept in an adjoining room.
The writer was buried as Sylvia Plath Hughes in Heptonstall, West Yorkshire , England, near the birthplace of Ted Hughes . Most of Sylvia Plath's works did not appear until after her death. Ted Hughes published her late lyrical works from 1962 and 1963 in the Ariel collection of poems in 1965 . In 1982 Plath's lyrical oeuvre was published in The Collected Poems and was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category.
Sylvia Plath has kept a diary since she was eleven . The diaries from July 1950 onwards were published in various editions by their heirs, with the previously known records breaking off in November 1959; only fragments exist of the later years. In the preface to the first edition of Plath's diaries in 1982, Ted Hughes admitted that he had destroyed the last volume of the diaries because he “didn't want their children to ever read it”. Another band "disappeared". The editor, Frances McCullough, admitted further omissions in this edition. They sprang from consideration for those “who still have to live their lives as persons in this drama to the end. Some malicious tips were left out ”as well as from discretion passages about“ Sylvia Plath's eroticism, which was quite pronounced ”. It was not until 2000 that the "unabridged diaries" appeared under the edition of Karen K. Kukils. In this edition only a few names are abbreviated and a total of twelve sentences are deleted.
Ted Hughes introduced the diaries: "Sylvia Plath was a person with many masks, both in her private life and in her writing." Some of these masks are defensive reflexes, others consciously trying out different poses and styles. In her diaries, Plath tried to contrast the contradicting identities of her real self. For Elisabeth Bronfen , the diaries were an archive of the most diverse self-designs by Plath, which she tried to organize into a uniform, coherent form, always breaking through a reflective voice commenting on the contradictions and ambivalences. In the first part, up to her suicide attempt, the focus is on young Sylvia's search for identity. The restrictive cultural norm and the incompatibility of high expectations and their self-doubt are discussed again and again. The second part of the diary revolves mainly around Ted Hughes, his idealization and function as a doppelganger of his father, who died early. In the third part, Plath describes her existence as a freelance writer and the attempts to break away from the formative role models.
Even before Plath's diaries, her mother Aurelia Schober Plath published Sylvia Plath's Letters home in 1975 , a collection of letters to various family members, especially to her mother. With the publication, Aurelia Plath tried to counter the image that had become public in Ariel and the Bell Jar about her daughter and her family conflicts, and instead to convey to the public the image of a good, carefree daughter that Sylvia always played to her mother in the letters would have. Juxtaposed with the diaries of the same period, Elisabeth Bronfen's letters were a testimony to how much Sylvia Plath had adapted outwardly, while in the diaries she described her social alienation and the loss of her identity. Plath plots every feeling in the diaries in depth, the letters are characterized by the greatest emotional distance. At the same time, the unshakable optimism that her mother expects from her becomes a lifeline against her psychological crises for "Sivvy", as she called herself in the letters.
Sylvia Plath's poems are often seen as confessional poetry or "confessional poetry " - a form of poetry in which the author transforms biographical details of his life into literature. She herself described in a radio interview with the BBC in October 1962: "My poems arise directly from the sensual and emotional experiences that I have." At the same time, however, she turned against narcissistic self-reflection and demanded that "experience be under control and [...] to work on from an enlightened and intelligent consciousness. ”Later investigations of the works of Sylvia Plath opposed the autobiographical reading of the artistic character of the works. Mary Lynn Broe emphasized that Plath's poems were always determined by artistic control and did not stem from a mere dictation of illness and inner conflict.
Plath's early poems followed an adopted form canon and were influenced by models such as W. H. Auden and W. B. Yeats . They showed an artificial, archaic language and often referred to myths of antiquity . In later poems, especially her posthumous poems, Plath increasingly broke away from the academic corset of early works, even if her poems continued to be metrically shaped. For Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath had only found her own voice in Ariel , which she had previously sought in vain in her work. Since Dylan Thomas ' Death and entrances (1946), no volume of poetry has caused a similar sensation in literary scholarship and criticism as the book Ariel, published posthumously in 1963, with Plath's posthumous poems, in which the insecurity of a generation is expressed that the Felt unable to cope with the past. Created within a few months before the author's suicide, these lyrical experiments reached a “frightening intensity” as an outwardly and inwardly perfect “expression of a sense of time.” The fascination of this work as well as that of the person of the poet certainly has, like Winter in his analysis of Plath's literary work emphasizes that she has a lot to do with her untimely suicide - as does the cult that developed around her. In terms of content, three major complexes of themes dominated the poetry of Sylvia Plath: the poetry of nature , family relationships, in particular the processing of the father's early death, as well as the complex of topics of the transcendence of the self, its extinction and renewal.
Plath's experiences of nature were shaped by astonishment at the wonders of nature, when she exclaims at the sight of poppies in Poppies in October : “My God, what am I, / That these late mouths open screaming / In a ripe forest, a cornflower morning ! “Nature often becomes an omen for man and the personification of his state of mind. At the same time, the strangeness and otherness of nature remain perceptible at all times and exclude the shell seeker in Mussel Hunter at Rock Harbor , for example : "I / stood there, suddenly, forever, / lost in the path of their / absolutely alien / order". The lyrical self in Wuthering Heights changes from the looking subject to the observed object in relation to nature: “The black slits of their pupils accept me.” In The Moon and the Yew Tree , a psychic landscape is transformed into a natural landscape. The lyrical self, which at first feels as the creator of the scene, becomes a child waiting in vain for tenderness, the impersonal moon its blind mother: “The moon sees nothing of this. He is naked and wild. / And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence. "
A large number of Plath's poems revolve around the figure of the father, his early loss, and her attempts to imaginarily revive him. In On the Decline of Oracles , the father's legacy is the gift of the imagination: “I keep the voices that he / I put in my ears and eyes.” The poem Electra on Azalea Path begins with the words: “By day , from which you died, I went into the dirt / into the dark hibernation ”. The daughter of the poem sees her father's death as a result of her birth and the punishment of her love for him: "My love killed us both." Incest fantasies arouse the father's evocation in The Bee Keeper's Daughter ; the father becomes the bridegroom. In The Colossus , the daughter recreates her father as an idol , a colossal statue in which she lives. In contrast, in Daddy , the daughter propagates parricide: “Daddy, I had to kill you. / But before I got there, you died ”. The father changes from the almighty protector to the henchman of the Nazis: "A man in black with a Mein-Kampf face, / With a weakness for torture and torment". Childhood is elevated to the Holocaust . The daughter has to ram a stake through her father's heart like a vampire to finally drive out the past: "Daddy, you bastard, now I've had enough."
Plath's work also pervades the complex of topics of self-dissolution and transformation. The seven-part poem Poem for a Birthday revolves around the return to a state before one's identity was named. In a reversal of the process of birth, the lyrical I demands: “Mother of otherness, / devour me.” In Ariel , a rider transforms herself into pure energy through the complete exhaustion of her own self: “And I / am the arrow, / the rope, which flies ". In Tulips, a sick room becomes the scene of a different kind of metamorphosis , in whose white neutrality a patient loses all ties and identity. Also in Fever 103 ° the fever of the illness becomes an occasion for an inner purification until the lyrical self rises towards the sky at the end: “I think I take off / I think I rise - drops of lead flutter, and I, dearest, one / Pure Acetylene / Virgin ". Since every identity is constricted by the shackles of imposed roles, the only way out and ultimate freedom is to turn to death. He is longed for as a worthy birthday present in A Birthday Present : "If it were death / I adored his deep seriousness, his timeless eyes." Lady Lazarus. proclaims in the poem of the same name: “To die / is an art, like everything else. / I'm particularly good at it. ”In Edge , one of her last poems, Plath refers to the ancient Medea myth. In contrast to previous depictions of rebellion, anger and pain, a frozen fatalism now prevails : “The woman is perfect. / Your dead / body bears the smile of what has been achieved. "
Although Sylvia Plath was born and raised in America, her best poems from a literary critical point of view were written during her studies and through her marriage to the English poet Ted Hughes in England, where she came into close contact with the literary scene. Accordingly, it is claimed, with good reason, in the literary discussion not only for American but also for English literature. Due to her German-Austrian parental home, she felt connected to the European past; in her work, the awareness of complicity in the National Socialist crimes becomes a complex complex, especially in her last poems.
For her short stories, which were first published in magazines such as Seventeen and Mademoiselle , Sylvia Plath showed significantly more different ambitions than for her poems. In a letter to her mother dated March 14, 1953, she emphasized that she adapted both literary genres “to a special market [...]. I want to get my poems to the New Yorker and my stories to the Ladies' Home Journal ”. This is why Plath based her prose through more conventional narrative structures compared to her late poetry, for example. At the same time, however, she used rhetorical stylistic devices such as ridicule and black humor to deconstruct the American dream . Plath's need to expose the trauma hidden beneath the surface of a myth of prosperity, happiness and infallibility went hand in hand with her desire to become a successful and recognized writer within the ruling structures. According to Elisabeth Bronfen, Plath's prose was characterized by the ambivalence of moving formally within the conventions of a culture that was at the same time questioned in terms of content.
Many of Plath's short stories, which were published in German translation in the two anthologies, The Bible of Dreams and Tongues of Stone , deal with the role of a social outsider, the individuality of the individual in relation to the social fear of the particular. In America! America! the narrator uses her introduction to an American student union to describe the cultural assimilation of dissidents in American society. Also introduction is about humiliating admission rituals in the American College beings who successfully denied the main character. Traumatic experiences of the sudden outsider role of children of German descent in America during World War II form the background to Superman and Paula Brown's new snowsuit and Der Schatten . Other stories deal with the struggle for the development of female creativity in a male-dominated environment, for example when in The Wish Box the dark nightmares of a woman every morning cannot stand up against the brightly colored night fantasies of her husband - a competitive situation that she can only escape through death . In Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams , too, there are dreams that reality cannot control and which alienate the protagonist from the real world more and more.
Sylvia Plath had, as she repeatedly assured her family, created her only novel The Bell Glass , merely as “bread work”. Today, however, it is considered an integral part of Plath's oeuvre. Plath described the bell jar as an “autobiographical apprentice work”, which she had to write in order to free herself from her past, opposite her friend and critic Al Alvarez . The Bildungsroman by the nineteen-year-old Esther also follows a deconstruction of American myth carried out with black humor, but at the same time Plath used an entertainment novel to work on the autobiographical story of her own stay in New York and the subsequent suicide attempt in the summer of 1953. After a stay in a psychiatric clinic, the novel ends with the motif of rebirth and the re-entry of a purified heroine into the world. For Ted Hughes, The Bell Jar was an important step for Plath, which would lead to her late poetry. The novel draws on the same repertoire of symbols in the same period as the Ariel poems. And like the poems, it has a layered structure in which an apparently intact surface is threatened by deeper-seated disturbances.
The short story about Mary Ventura , the depiction of an abruptly ending train journey, which was first published in English in 2019 from the estate , ends in a gloomy apotheosis of the eponymous protagonist. This end may also have been the decisive factor in the fact that Sylvia Plath could not find a publication option for her text back then, in 1952, as it contrasted with the optimism of the 1950s.
Reception and effect
Both Sylvia Plath's literary success and the myth that surrounded her as a person only began after her death, and especially after the late publication of the Bell Jar in 1971 in the United States. The novel stayed on the country's bestseller lists for over a year. The American literary critic Marjorie Perloff stated in the spring of 1973: “During the last year Sylvia Plath has become a real cult figure.” And she judged: “Plaths will not be remembered for an important oeuvre, but for some amazing and excellent poems, a fascinating one autobiographical novel and because of the exemplary character of her life with its terrible tension between success and suffering ”. Her colleague Ellen Moers highlighted Sylvia Plath's importance for the women's movement when she acknowledged in 1977 that “no other writer was more important to the current feminist movement, although Sylvia Plath was hardly a feminist and she died at the age of thirty before the feminist movement Movement began. "
In the reception of Sylvia Plath's publications, the connection between life and work was often emphasized. The American poet Robert Lowell wrote in his 1966 foreword to Ariel : "Everything in these poems is personal, confessional, felt, but the type of feeling is a controlled hallucination , the autobiography of a fever." This strong autobiographical reference of the works moved the life of the author in the public focus, which was reflected in the publication of her letters and diaries as well as numerous biographies about Sylvia Plath. Joyce Carol Oates wrote in an essay that “Sylvia Plath represents a tragic figure for us who was involved in a tragic act, and that her tragedy was offered to us as an almost perfect work of art”. Bruce Bawer went even further with his assertion that "obviously the real interest is not in Plath's art, but in her life." Irving Howe lamented the myth that began to grow around Sylvia Plath: "It is a legend that incites our desire to heroize illness." Other critics turned against the amalgamation of life and work. Elizabeth Hardwick saw in Plath's death no necessity for the greatness of her work. And Tracy Brain, in her book The Other Sylvia Plath, opposed attempts to interpret Plath's work merely as evidence against her husband, parents, or female rivals: “It is disparaging for Plath's work to treat it this way, as it implies "Sylvia Plath would have been too unimaginative to think of anything, or too self-fixated to deal with something of greater historical or cultural importance."
Nevertheless, the formation of a myth about Sylvia Plath's life was facilitated by the fact that her bereaved relatives kept parts of her work under lock and key or were reluctant to publish them. In 1982, Ted Hughes confessed in the preface to the publication of Plath's diaries that he had destroyed the last volume so that their children should not read it; another had gone missing. When editing Ariel , he dropped some of the more "personal, aggressive" poems. Sylvia's mother Aurelia Plath prevented the American edition of Die Glasglocke until 1971 because the novel portrayed the “meanest ingratitude” towards all those who loved and helped Sylvia Plath. The only biography authorized by Plath's heirs, the collaboration of Anne Stevenson and Ted's sister Olwyn Hughes, gave many readers the impression that they were taking sides against Sylvia Plath. The literary critic Al Alvarez , known personally as Plath , accused the book of never missing an opportunity to "trim Plath" and of repelling someone who could no longer speak for himself.
The controversy surrounding her grave formed a high point in the public dispute over Sylvia Plath. After the name Hughes in the grave inscription Sylvia Plath Hughes had been vandalized several times in the past , Plath's bereaved relatives had the tombstone completely removed, which led to a controversial debate in the British daily The Guardian in 1989 about who had the right to Sylvia Plath's grave and of its importance as a memorial. The tombstone has now been rebuilt. In his statement, Ted Hughes saw little room for Sylvias or his own life aside from the readers' needs for their personal view of the poet: “A careful observer would come to the (in my opinion correct) conclusion that speculation about Sylvia Plath is more are needed than the facts about them. ”In January 1998, a few months before his death, Hughes published the volume of poetry Birthday Letters , a collection of 88 poems about his relationship with Sylvia Plath, which he had written over the last quarter of a century and which was his personal form of grief work can be interpreted.
1985 Johann Kresnik directed the choreographic play Sylvia Plath in Heidelberg. In 2003 Christine Jeffs filmed Plath's biography under the title Sylvia with Gwyneth Paltrow in the lead role. A theater project dedicated to Plath in the Posthof in Linz was premiered in February under the title Lady Lazarus - An Evening for Sylvia Plath . In her 2015 novel Jij zegt het (German: You say it , 2016), the Dutch writer Connie Palmen describes the relationship with Sylvia Plath from Ted Hughes' perspective.
- Letters home 1950–1963. Selected and edited by Aurelia Schober Plath, translated into German by Iris Wagner . Hanser, Munich 1979, ISBN 3-446-12827-1 .
- The diaries. Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main 1997, ISBN 3-627-00011-0 .
- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. Edited by Karen V. Kukil. Anchor Books, New York 2000, ISBN 0-385-72025-4 . (English)
- Ariel . Translation by Erich Fried . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2001, ISBN 3-518-01380-7 .
- Ariel. New translation by Alissa Walser . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-518-42023-2 .
- The Collected Poems. Edited by Ted Hughes. Perennial, 1981, ISBN 0-06-090900-5 .
- Love poems. Edited and translated by Jutta Kaußen . Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-458-35130-6 .
- The colossus. Translated by Judith Zander . Suhrkamp, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-518-42380-6 .
- About the water. Postponed poems. Bilingual. Translated by Judith Zander. Luxbooks, Wiesbaden 2013, ISBN 978-3-939557-29-6 .
- The bell jar . German by Christian Grote . Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1968, .
The bell jar. German Foreword and translation by Reinhard Kaiser. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-518-45676-8 .
- New edition, with a foreword by Alissa Walser. Suhrkamp, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-518-42365-3 .
- The bible of dreams. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-596-29515-7 .
Tongues of stone. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-596-10783-0 .
- New edition, translated by Sabine Levin. Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-627-10021-6 .
- Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom , translated by Eike Schönfeld , Insel 2020 and Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2020, ISBN 3458765670 .
- The Bed Book. Illustrated by Quentin Blake . Faber and Faber, London 1976, ISBN 0-571-10929-2 .
- The It Doesn't Matter Suit. Illustrated by Rotraut Susanne Berner . St. Martins Press, 1996, ISBN 0-312-14189-0 .
- Mrs. Cherry's Kitchen. Faber and Faber, London 2007, ISBN 978-0-571-19589-3 .
- Three women; a monologue for three voices. Turret Books, London 1968 (German: Three women: a poem for three voices. From the English by Friederike Roth ). Fischer Taschenbuchverlag, Frankfurt am Main 1974, ISBN 3-596-11762-3 .
- American poetry now, ed. By Sylvia Plath. In: Critical Quarterly Poetry. Supplement No. 2, 1962.
- Frederik Hetmann : Our hearts are so easily injured. The life story of Sylvia Plath. Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim 1988, ISBN 3-407-80746-5 .
- Anne Stevenson: Sylvia Plath. A biography. Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-627-10025-5 .
- Linda Wagner-Martin: Sylvia Plath. A biography. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-518-38486-4 .
- Paul Alexander: Rough Magic. A Biography of Sylvia Plath. Viking, New York 1991, ISBN 0-306-81299-1 .
- Edward Butscher: Sylvia Plath. Method and Madness. Schaffner Press, Tucson 2003, ISBN 0-9710598-2-9 .
- Linda Wagner-Martin: Sylvia Plath. A literary life. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke 2003, ISBN 1-4039-1653-5 .
- Peter K. Steinberg: Sylvia Plath. Great Writers Series. Chelsea House, New York 2004, ISBN 0-7910-7843-4 .
- Connie Ann Kirk: Sylvia Plath. A biography. Prometheus Books, Amherst (New York) 2009, ISBN 1-5910-2709-8 .
About Plath's biographies
- Janet Malcolm: The silent woman. The biographies of Sylvia Plath. Kellner, Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-927623-43-1 .
About Plath's work
- Elisabeth Bronfen : Sylvia Plath. Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-627-00016-1 .
- Helmut Winter: Sylvia Plath. In: Martin Christadler (Ed.): American literature of the present in single representations (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 412). Kröner, Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-520-41201-2 , pp. 634-651.
- Elke Schmitter : Sylvia Plath, Genie und Lebenswut, in dies., Verena Auffermann , Gunhild Kübler , Ursula March : Passions. 99 women authors of world literature. C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2009, pp. 246-251.
- Jutta Rosenkranz: "Writing is more than anything to me" , line by line my paradise. Eminent women writers. 18 portraits. Piper, Munich 2014, pp. 302-318.
- Al Alvarez : The Savage God. A Study of Suicide. Random House, New York 1972, ISBN 0-394-47451-1 .
- Tracy Brain: The Other Sylvia Plath. Longman, Edinburgh 2001, ISBN 0-582-32730-X .
- Jo Gill: The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN 0-521-68695-4 .
- Anita Helle (Ed.): The Unraveling Archive. Essays on Sylvia Plath. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor 2007, ISBN 978-0-472-06927-9 .
- Tim Kendall: Sylvia Plath. A critical study. Faber and Faber, London 2001, ISBN 0-571-19235-1 .
- Judith Kroll: Chapters in a Mythology. The Poetry of Sylvia Plath. Sutton, Stroud 2007, ISBN 978-0-7509-4345-1 .
- Literature by and about Sylvia Plath in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Sylvia Plath in the German Digital Library
- Sylvia Plath. In: FemBio. Women's biography research (with references and citations).
- Biography of Sylvia Plath by Norgard Kohlhagen
- Plath, Sylvia - Article by Caitriona O'Reilly on the life and work of Sylvia Plath in the Oxford Research Encyclopedias - Literature from July 2017 (English)
- Sylviaplath.info , extensive information page from Plath biographer Peter K. Steinberg (English)
- Sylviaplath.de , Anja Beckmann's private information site with numerous online essays (English)
- Plath Profiles . Interdisciplinary journal for research on Sylvia Plath (English)
- Sylvia Plath at Poetry Foundation (selection of poems and articles, English)
- Sylvia Plath Poems (extensive collection of poems on Famous Poets and Poems , English)
- Fabienne Hurst: 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath's death : Spiegel Online , February 11, 2013 (with many photographs)
- Cf. Helmut Winter: Sylvia Plath. In: Martin Christadler (ed.): American literature of the present in individual representations. Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-520-41201-2 , p. 649.
- Sylvia Plath: The Magic Mirror . Embers Handpress, Rhiwargor, Llandwddyn, Powys 1989 Horst-Jürgen Gerigk : The magic mirror - Sylvia Plath interprets Golyadkin and Ivan Karamazov . In: A Master from Russia - Fourteen Essays . Universitätsverlag Winter, Heidelberg 2010, ISBN 978-3-8253-5782-5 , p. 101-117 . .; on this very negative review
- Ulli Kulke: Farewell: Nicholas Hughes, biologist (1962–2009) . In: Welt Online , March 26, 2009.
- Plath: The Diaries. P. 14.
- Plath: The Diaries. P. 10.
- See Kukil (ed.): The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. Preface.
- Plath: The Diaries. P. 12.
- Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 64.
- Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 68-69.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 70-96.
- See Malcolm: The Silent Woman. Pp. 38-40.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 98-106.
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 111.
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 112.
- Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 112-116.
- Ted Hughes: On Sylvia Plath . In: Raritan. Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall, 1994, pp. 1-10.
- See in detail Helmut Winter: Sylvia Plath. In: Martin Christadler (ed.): American literature of the present in individual representations. Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-520-41201-2 , p. 634.
- Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 113-114.
- Plath: Poppy in October. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 103.
- "I / Stood shut out, for once, for all, / Puzzling the passage of their / Absolutely alien / Order." In: Plath: The Collected Poems. S. 96. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 121.
- "The black slots of their pupils take me in." In: Plath: The Collected Poems. S. 167. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 125.
- Plath: The moon and the yew tree. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 149.
- See section: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 117-132.
- "I keep the voices he / Set in my ear, and in my eye" In: Plath: The Collected Poems. P. 78. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 134.
- "The day you died I went into the dirt, / Into the lightless hibernaculum". In: Plath: The Collected Poems. S. 116. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 136.
- "It was my love that did us both to death." In: Plath: The Collected Poems. S. 117. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 138.
- Plath: Daddy. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 169.
- Plath: Daddy. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 173.
- Plath: Daddy. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 175.
- See section: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 133-146.
- "Mother of otherness / Eat me." In: Plath: The Collected Poems. S. 132. Translation from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 150.
- Plath: Ariel. In: Ariel (2008), p. 81.
- Plath: 39.4 ° fever. In: Ariel (2008), pp. 181-183.
- Plath: A birthday present. In: Ariel (2008), p. 157.
- Plath: Lady Lazarus. In: Ariel. (2008), p. 43.
- Plath: Rand. In: Ariel. (1974), p. 173.
- See section: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 146-166.
- See in detail Helmut Winter: Sylvia Plath. In: Martin Christadler (ed.): American literature of the present in individual representations. Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1973, ISBN 3-520-41201-2 , p. 635ff.
- Plath: Letters home. P. 114.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 169-175.
- Plath: The Bible of Dreams. Pp. 169-175.
- Plath: Tongues of stone. Pp. 33-46.
- Plath: Tongues of stone. Pp. 87-96.
- Plath: Tongues of stone. Pp. 185-198.
- Plath: The Bible of Dreams. Pp. 21-31.
- Plath: The Bible of Dreams. Pp. 32-56.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 175-190.
- Plath: Letters home. 512
- Linda Wagner-Martin: The Bell Jar. A Novel of the Fifties (= Twayne's Masterwork Studies No. 98). Twayne Publishers, New York 1992, ISBN 0-8057-8561-2 , p. 506, p. 13.
- "autobiographical apprenticework". Quoted from: Marjorie G. Perloff: "A Ritual for Being Born Twice": Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar . In: Contemporary Literature. Vol. 13, No. 4, Autumn 1972, pp. 507-522.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 175-212.
- "During the past year or so, Sylvia Plath has become a true cult figure." Quoted from: Janet Badia: The "Priestess" and Her "Cult". In: Anita Helle (Ed.): The Unraveling Archive. Essays on Sylvia Plath. P. 163.
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 33.
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 29.
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 16.
- "[It is proper to say] that Sylvia Plath represents for us a tragic figure involved in a tragic action, and that her tragedy is offered to us as a near-perfect work of art". In: Joyce Carol Oates: The Death Throes of Romanticism: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath .
- Quoted from: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 35-36.
- "It is a legend, that solicits our desires for a heroism of sickness." In: Irving Howe: The Plath Celebration: A Partial Dissent. In: Edward Butscher (Ed.): Sylvia Plath. The Woman and the Work. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York 1985, ISBN 0-396-08732-9 , p. 225.
- "I don't see the death as a necessity for the greatness of the work. Quite the opposite. “In: Elizabeth Hardwick : On Sylvia Plath. In: The New York Review of Books , Volume 17, Number 2, August 12, 1971.
- "To treat Plath's writing in this way, is to belittle her work, for the implication of such an exercise is that Sylvia Plath was too unimaginative to make anythink up or to self-obsessed to consider anything of larger historical or cultural importance." In: Tracy Brain: The Other Sylvia Plath. P. 15.
- "It omitted some of the more personally aggressive poems from 1962 [...]." Foreword to: Sylvia Plath: The Collected Poems. P. 15.
- Quoted from: Malcolm: The silent woman. P. 38.
- " Bitter Fame [...] misses no opportunity to cut Plath down to size [...] and generally bad-mouths someone who, alas, can no longer answer back for herself." In: Sylvia Plath: An Exchange . In: The New York Review of Books , Volume 36, Number 16, October 26, 1989.
- On the debate, see: Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 13-24.
- Quoted from Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. P. 17.
- See Bronfen: Sylvia Plath. Pp. 46-55.
- Her fame began with suicide . Johann Kresnik in conversation with Dieter Kassel. In: Deutschlandradio Kultur , February 11, 2013.
- Impressive female figures. In: Oberösterreichs Neue , January 30, 2009.
- Björn Hayer: Love, incurable . In Spiegel Online , September 6, 2016.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Plath, Silvia; Victoria Lucas (pseudonym)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American writer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 27, 1932|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Jamaica Plain , Boston , Massachusetts|
|DATE OF DEATH||February 11, 1963|
|Place of death||Primrose Hill , London|