Plath Profiles: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Sylvia Plath Studies <p>Plath Profiles is not your usual academic journal. We publish memoirs, trade-sections, students essays, notes, sections to provide volumes, art, poetry, music, photos, archival research, biographical studies, and comments. Academic studies should be limited to 25 pages. General guidelines: Any length, any topic, any view. ISSN&nbsp;2155-8175.</p> en-US (W. K. Buckley) (Editors) Sat, 31 Aug 2019 18:54:22 -0400 OJS 60 "From Modern to Mythos" Shawn Gillick ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 18 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400 Editor's Note and Table of Contents ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:53:26 -0400 "'I Never Will Need Shorthand': Sylvia Plath and Speedwriting" <p>Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), despite pressure from home and the job market, resisted learning Gregg shorthand or any form of rapid writing until 1959 when a desired clerical job required it. She then chose to learn Speedwriting, a modified longhand invented by shorthand instructor Emma Dearborn (1874-1937). Introduced in 1924, Speedwriting for the next 50 years was promoted in now-iconic ad campaigns as an alternative to symbolic shorthand systems such as Gregg. References to shorthand and dictation pervade Plath’s novel <em>The Bell Jar </em>(1963), her 1958 short story “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams” and the 1959 story “The Daughters of Blossom Street.” Noted by Plath herself as artistic breakthroughs, these works and others were written in bursts on the heels of her clerical employment in 1958-59 and 1961. Plath’s office jobs fed her new subject matter and confidence, and these fed her fiction.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> Catherine Rankovic ##submission.copyrightStatement## Sun, 14 Jul 2019 18:28:53 -0400 "Foucault and Plath, Body and Soul" <p>What could a confessional poem possibly have in common with a philosophical critique of confessional power? Unlikely though the pairing may be, this essay enters Plath’s “In Plaster” into conversation with Michel Foucault’s <em>Discipline and Punish</em> in order to explore how each text revisits the classical conception of the “soul.” If the soul has always referred to an immaterial yet constitutive dimension of subjectivity, one that <em>doubles</em> the subject’s corporeal body, what Foucault and Plath show in tandem is that the modern “soul” is a vestibule of power relations. In this light, even the innermost depths of the self are not external to such relations of power — and so the poet writing to “confess” their “True Self” would more so reproduce than resist power. However, my Foucauldian reading of “In Plaster” insists that the poem’s central conflict — between the speaker’s embodied self and her “double,” or soul — is irreducible to such a confessional liberation of self from society. I argue that, in the course of the poem’s volatile lyrical movement, the boundaries between self and society are destabilized, as are those between body and soul. Ultimately, Plath reveals that this mutual imbrication of each term with its other enables, at once, power’s hold upon the body (via the technology of the soul) as well as the body’s <em>resistance</em> to this power, this soul, by which it is constructed.</p> Míša Stekl ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:00:51 -0400 "Searching for Connotations and Connections Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Paul Ricoeur, and the Language of Madness" <p>Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar provides an idiosyncratic account of a young woman’s experience of psychological distress. It therefore serves as a vital tool for bridging the divide between a logo-scientific understanding of mental distress and the lived experience of it.</p> <p>This article will engage the narrative theory of French theorist Paul Ricoeur, to explicate how Plath’s metaphorical language functions to produce a new “kind” of knowledge about the experience of “madness.”</p> <p>I will argue that in contrast to the language of psychiatry, as expressed by The American Psychiatric Association in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-fifth edition (The DSM-V), Plath’s abundant metaphors and similes may succeed in aiding the development of empathy in readers precisely because such literary techniques force readers to make meaning and draw connections between the unlikely comparisons Plath generates between terms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jessica Louise Phillips ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:01:11 -0400 "Female Relationships, Motherhood, and Loss of Language in 'The Bell Jar' and 'Mothers'" <p><em>The Bell Jar</em> and “Mothers” portray dissonant relationships between women and ambivalent positions in relation to language. In the novel, young Esther Greenwood struggles to appropriate a language of her own, whereas in the short story, the protagonist, also named “Esther,” types her husband’s works, with no apparent interest in writing her own words. In this essay, I analyze both narratives in terms of female relationships, motherhood, and loss of language, discussions that are grounded in the works of French philosopher Luce Irigaray. I argue that there is no possible sorority in the women’s groups presented in <em>The Bell Jar</em> and “Mothers” as both narratives depict female characters who, reduced to the functions of mother and wife, end up reinforcing patriarchal values. Although the novel’s Esther criticizes the hypocrisy of gender norms, especially how her writing goals are seen as incompatible with being female, her present-time situation is defined by her status as a mother. Similarly, in “Mothers,” the other Esther creates a sense of belonging in a new community based solely on her being one of its mothers. I thus argue that these two Esthers have more in common than just their names, and I investigate evidence that shows that this might be more than just a coincidence. By juxtaposing <em>The Bell Jar</em>’s Esther’s anxieties about writing and the fact that she is later able to narrate her breakdown to the reductive role of typist of one’s husband’s writings presented in the third-person “Mothers,” I propose that the Esther from the short story might be seen as a final figure of a loss of language originated in the novel. Finally, I claim that, by depicting this loss, Plath is providing a critique, which I approximate to Irigaray’s notion of mimesis.</p> Mariana Chaves Petersen ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:01:31 -0400 "'And I a smiling woman.' Sylvia Plath’s Unheimlich Domesticity" <p>Doppelgängers, living dolls, monstered speakers, and alien landscapes populate the corpus of Sylvia Plath’s writing from her juvenilia to her posthumously published <em>Ariel </em>poems. This article examines Plath’s use of uncanny affects from a Kristevian perspective in order to argue that the poet uses the <em>unheimlich</em> as a tool to interrogate cultural constructs regarding “femininity,” particularly in relation to the domestic sphere, motherhood, and objectification of the female body.</p> Candice L Wuehle ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:01:51 -0400 "Sylvia Plath’s Poems as Poetic Tableaux" <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong>With its distinctive poetic forms and themes, Sylvia Plath’s poetry patently epitomizes her personal and artistic struggle as a woman writer to be part of a largely male-dominated canon. Plath encountered many difficulties while drafting her poems, as she wrestled with what to reveal to, or conceal from, the reading public—a literary exertion that is even more visible when we studies the her manuscripts of published and unpublished poems.</p> <p>The present paper presents some of Plath’s early and later poems as paintings drawn against the backcloth of postwar America’s containment culture. Focusing on colors in Plath’s poetry, the aim of this paper is also to dismiss, time and again, the haunting, bleak, and blank feel very often attached to her poetry. Sometimes the poems themselves display vivid color imagery while, at other times, the manuscripts leading to the final poetic product reveal a different story—a story of an excruciating writing process, a story recorded not only in words that very often do not make it to the poem we now have in print, but also a story painted in tears and blood, as it were. Plath’s poetry is teeming with color imageries but this paper sheds light on white, red and blue—colors that I find very symbolic, again, of the poet’s struggle as a woman artist in the fifties and early sixties and of her endeavor to make her words “go farther than a lifetime,” as she once envisaged them to (<em>Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams</em> 99).</p> <p><em>This paper was delivered at the “Sylvia Plath: Letters, Words and Fragments Conference,” November 10<sup>th</sup>, 2017, Belfast, Northern Ireland. </em></p> Ikram Hili ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 28 Jun 2019 17:02:08 -0400 "Her Own Words Describe Her Best? Reconstructing Plath’s Original Ariel in Sylvia (2003) and Wintering (2003)" <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This article explores two of Sylvia Plath’s afterlives: John Brownlow and Christine Jeffs’ biopic <em>Sylvia </em>(2003) and Kate Moses’s novel <em>Wintering</em> (2003). Contrary to Frieda Hughes’s assertion that such works attempt to “breathe life into” Plath (xvii), I show how these are <em>textual</em> resuscitations, engaging intimately with Plath’s then-unpublished <em>Ariel</em> manuscript. I explore how both writers’ decision to omit the second wave of <em>Ariel</em> poems contests Hughes’s arrangement of the collection, and severs the link, fostered in <em>Ariel</em> and confirmed in <em>Birthday Letters</em>, between Plath’s writing and her death. I then show how the texts’ readings of <em>Ariel </em>nuance interpretations of Plath herself, emphasising her pursuit of transcendence over her drive towards self-destruction. These biographical works ultimately yield significant critical implications, popularising long-standing scholarly debates about “why the differences between the two version of <em>Ariel</em> matter” (Badia 162) and catalysing the canon-reformation that produced <em>Ariel: The Restored Edition</em>.</p> Bethany Layne ##submission.copyrightStatement## Sun, 14 Jul 2019 18:25:11 -0400 "Lady Lazarus", White Series <p>Images from the White Series. The art work explores the symbolism of the colour white, female sexuality, life, death and transience and the poetry of Plath.</p> Linda Kosciewicz ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:59:16 -0400 "Animal Trapping Exercise", "PLATH/HUGHES" <p>Robert Eric Shoemaker’s duet musical <em>PLATH/HUGHES</em>&nbsp;dissects and interrogates the married life of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Using historical and literary evidence, this musical probes into the biases and conjectures of celebrity biography. The excerpt from the musical included in <em>Plath Profiles&nbsp;</em>is preceded by&nbsp;“Animal Trapping Exercise,” a brief introduction to the play and the process of its creation.”</p> Eric Shoemaker ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0400 "Sheep in Fog," Hindi <p>In the spirit of global experimentation, <em>Plath Profiles</em> has an interest in publishing new translations of Plath’s work. What follows is one translation of a Plath poem, “Sheep in Fog,” couched with critical engagement from the translator and the evaluator, both native speakers of Hindi. Our hope with this section is to encourage thinking into the crevasses of Plath’s work that occur outside of English and to encourage more work like this.</p> Smita Agarwal ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:35:40 -0400 "Stillness", White Series <p>Images from the White Series. The art work explores the symbolism of the colour white, female sexuality, life, death and transience and the poetry of Plath.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Linda Kosciewicz ##submission.copyrightStatement## Fri, 19 Jul 2019 11:54:39 -0400 "LUNATIC THIRTEENS, MONUMENTAL SHAM", "Aria" <p>2 poems inspired by and using the language of Sylvia Plath.</p> Jacquelyn Shah ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 01 Jul 2019 20:31:45 -0400 "Sylvia's Dance" <p>"Sylvia's Dance"</p> Sharon Portnoff ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 11 Jul 2019 11:21:23 -0400 "The Cooking Calculus of Sylvia Plath" <p>-</p> <p>poem</p> <p>“The Cooking Calculus of Sylvia Plath” (poem) explores cunning housewifery, debit and credit, values of <em>The Really Garbage Cookbook vs.</em> <em>The Joy of Cooking </em>(Sivvy’s copy)<em>,</em></p> <p>the overlay between slang terms for money (dough&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;biscuits</p> <p>clams&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; bread</p> <p>cheese&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; cabbage</p> <p>&nbsp;bones)</p> <p>with those for food items, adding a soupcon of double entendre, such as, top to tail, making tasty provender of all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Crystal Hope Hurdle ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 01 Jul 2019 21:19:11 -0400 "As Is" <p>-</p> Daniel R Martinez ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 01 Jul 2019 21:13:38 -0400 "Not the Ones You Wrote" <p>-</p> Sarah Brown Weitzman ##submission.copyrightStatement## Mon, 01 Jul 2019 21:25:16 -0400 "American Engines" <p>-</p> William K Buckley ##submission.copyrightStatement## Tue, 25 Jun 2019 17:18:12 -0400 "Mary Ventura and the Rebirth Kingdom" <div class="gmail_default" style="font-family: garamond,serif; font-size: large;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="gmail_default" style="font-family: garamond,serif; font-size: large;">&nbsp;</div> <div class="gmail_default" style="font-family: garamond,serif; font-size: large;">Abstract:&nbsp;<span style="color: #000000; font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium;">This review considers the newly-published story "Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom" in the context of Plath's other writing as concluding with a rebirth. It refers to Plath's probable inspiration, Dante's&nbsp;</span><em style="font-size: small; color: #000000; font-family: -webkit-standard;">Divine Comedy</em><span style="color: #000000; font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium;">, as well as other reviews of the story. It also pays attention to Plath's letters and concludes with a call for publication of more of what is available in Plath archives.</span></div> Gary Leising ##submission.copyrightStatement## Sun, 14 Jul 2019 18:26:21 -0400 "Artist's Statement: White Series" Linda Kosciewicz ##submission.copyrightStatement## Wed, 07 Aug 2019 13:08:53 -0400 Biographies and Submission Information ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:57:08 -0400 Back Cover: "From Modern to Mythos" Shawn Gillick ##submission.copyrightStatement## Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:58:37 -0400