Critical Insights: Sylvia Plath
This volume presents a variety of new essays on the unconventional American poet, a unique, rare, rebellious and unexpected voice in American literature. Outstanding, in-depth scholarship by renowned literary critics; great starting point for students seeking an introduction to Plath and the critical discussions surrounding her work.
Talented from the very beginning of her life, Sylvia Plath published her first poem at the age of eight in the "children’s section" of the Boston Herald. She said of her childhood: "I want to work at putting together the complex mosaic of my childhood; to practice capturing feelings and experiences from the nebulous seething of memory and yank them out into black-and-white on the typewriter." Plath won several major prizes in writing and scholarship and her poems are considered today to be the most famous by an American female poet of the 20th Century, especially those in her 1965 collection Ariel. In 1981, Plath’s Collected Poems was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, the first American poet to win this prize after death.
Edited by William Buckley, this volume in the Critical Insights series presents a variety of new essays on the unconventional American poet. This work will introduce Sylvia Plath to high school and college classrooms.
1.Career, Life, and Influence
This section discusses Plath's career and certain themes of her writings in fairly broad terms, along with a biography about the woman behind the literature. The rest of the text examines the writings of Plath's and their growing legacy.
These essays aim to provide a background to the author that is a historical, cultural, and biographical foundation for the reader.
Readers seeking a deeper understanding of the writer can then move on to other original essays that explore a number of schools of thought. These essays utilize common critical approaches to further analyze the author's work, or specific works according to the selected theme. Each essay is 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and all essays conclude with a list of "Works Cited," along with endnotes.
The volume's appendices offer a section of useful reference resources, including:
- A chronology of the author's life
- A complete list of the author's works and their original dates of publication
- A general bibliography
- A detailed paragraph on the volume's editor
- Notes on the individual chapter authors
- A subject index