The Cambridge Introduction toSylvia PlathSylvia Plath is widely recognised as one of the leading figures intwentieth-century Anglo-American literature and culture. Her work hasremained constantly in print in the UK and USA (and in numeroustranslated editions) since the appearance of her first collection in 1960.Plath’s own writing has been supplemented over the decades by a wealthof critical and biographical material.The Cambridge Introduction toSylvia Plathoffers an authoritative and comprehensive guide to Plath’spoetry, prose and autobiographical writings. It offers a critical overviewof key readings, debates and issues from almost fifty years of Plathscholarship; draws attention to the historical, literary, national andgender contexts which provide the framework for her writing; andprovides informed and attentive readings of her work. Accessiblywritten, this book will be of great value to students beginning theirexplorations of this important writer.Jo Gill is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature at the University ofExeter.
ContentsPrefacepageixAcknowledgementsxiAbbreviations and textual notexii1 Life1Family1Marriage7England102 Contexts14Literary contexts15‘Poetess of America’17Confessional poetry19Historical and ideological contexts21World War II22Postwar cultures24Domesticity and the suburbs26England283 Early poetry29Juvenilia and other early poems30English influences33The Colossus35Creativity and self-creation40Crossing the Water43Transformation and change44Displacement49v
viContents4Arieland later poetry51Ariel53Echoes53The bee sequence, ‘Lady Lazarus’ and ‘Daddy’58Ariel: The Restored Edition64Winter Treesand other late poems66Three Women695The Bell JarandJohnny Panic and theBible of Dreams73The Bell Jar73Narrative voice78The double79Subjectivity83Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams84Value85English stories90America916Letters HomeandJournals93Letters Home93Rendering account97Leaving home100