The Journals of Sylvia Plath
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The Journals of Sylvia Plath

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  750 ratings  ·  45 reviews
No other major contemporary American writer has inspired such intense curiosity about her life as Sylvia Plath. Now the intimate and eloquent personal diaries of the twentieth century's most important female poet reveal for the first time the true story behind "The Bell Jar" and her tragic suicide at thirty. They paint, as well, a revealing portrait of the Pulitzer Prize-w...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 1st 1982 by Doubleday Books (first published 1982)
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Cheryl
The individual is an independently acting, and responsible, conscious being--rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, or preconceived notions the individual fits. This is what existentialists will tell you.

This year I've decided to add diaries and journals to my list of memoirs I love reading because while some prefer the philosophical observations of researched psychology, anthropology, and even social biology, I prefer examining the unalterable part of humanity that we deem the human cond...more
Cherie
I share a slightly less articulate piece of Plath's soul.
Veronica
"The most terrifying realization is that so many millions in the world would like to be in my place."
Szplug
May 19, 2013 Szplug marked it as intermittently-reading  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit to feeling a sharp pang of guilt at perusing what were private journals never intended for the prying eyes of the outside world. What's more, every indication is that this edition pales in comparison to its unedited successor, which bore no trace of the interfering and subsuming hand of Ted Hughes, for reasons both obvious and personal, and included, among others, that which editor Frances McCullogh obliquely refers to as the nasty bits—still, it's the only copy that was up for g...more
Jen
Just a note, this is the abridged version Ted Hughes published before his death, and does not include all of her journals. Despite his claim to have destroyed the rest, there is now available a full version of her journals with the parts that Hughes excised restored. If you want the full story (I hear some of the restored material is critical of Hughes), find the newer version rather than this (though it could be interesting to read both as a comparison).
Jessica
If I had known that there was an uncensored version of this available, I would have read that instead. These journals are very well written and eye-opening, but are also sanitized and purged of any strong hatred or eroticism, and especially of any negative criticism towards Hughes.

All the sections containing praise towards Hughes have been left intact, but anything that is so much as harsh or unfavorable towards him has been erased, marked with an elusive [omission]. The 1962-63 section prior t...more
Stephanie Sun
Mar 21, 2013 Stephanie Sun marked it as to-finish  ·  review of another edition
Putting this aside for now. Very interesting though and glad some random Amazon reviewer steered me here away from The Bell Jar. Lots of vividly cyclical thoughts and creepalicious animal imagery. Many hours spent crying at her therapist's. So glad I missed the fifties.

-

PREVIOUSLY:

This is a very different kind of women's TRUTH book than Lean In.

She just very lustily described a rock:
"Lying on my stomach on the flat warm rock, I let my arm hang over the side, and my hand caressed the rounded con
...more
Evelyn
I still can not describe how much I love this woman. The way her mind worked is just amazing to me, with every word she typed she nailed clever and clear. I think this book (more of a journal) gives me really high expectations and despite the fact that sometimes I would say the same thing that Sylvia (and yes indeed I feel very much indentified with her) creeps me out I still fell that this book among with The Bell Jar are one of those that I will read over and over again and I will recomended t...more
Amanda
The sad thing - well, no, the great thing is I don't think I will ever finish this book. It's my rainy day, melancholy, feeling totally uninspired as an writer, want to crawl into the floor boards and sleep until things get better book. And, comforting enough, there hasn't been that many of those times recently (well, except the feeling completely and utterly a failure as a writer, but what can one do?)
Elena
Το βιβλίο χωρίζεται σε 3 μέρη στο πρώτο είναι τα καλύτερα διηγήματα της Πλαθ …κάποια πραγματικά με ξετρέλαναν, κυρίως όσα ανέφεραν περιστατικά από το ψυχιατρείο το ομώνυμο διήγημα «ο κυρ Πανικός και η βίβλος των ονείρων» και «Οι κόρες της οδού Μπλόσσομ» …εξίσου υπέροχα «το κουτί των ευχών» και το «Μία σύγκρισης» τα υπόλοιπα κάποια ήταν συμπαθητικά κάποια με άφησαν παγερά αδιάφορη. Σαφέστατα η Πλαθ για μένα είναι μεγάλη ποιήτρια και καλή διηγηματογράφος. ‘ Ύφος απλό, πρωτοπρόσωπη αφήγηση, όχι ιδι...more
Denmark Foor
In this book I could not really find a purpose for writing it but the point of view of this book seems to be in first person. The audience she is trying to reach would most likely be younger people. The style of this book is in journal form, so It is just journal entry's that she had written down on a certain day of her life. The theme of this book would be that you should never let someone try to treat you badly and that you should not listen to what people are trying to get you to do. I belie...more
Shahab
Have started reading this again! :) I left it unfinished about 4 years ago i think... The level of empathy and sympathy I feel towards her is scary... I guess it was getting to the uncomfortable bits where it was actually painful to read. :)

If you have the Sylvia-like personality, namely if you are a creative-type, sentimental perfectionist, then reading this makes you grin every five minutes or so, or maybe it's just me... I don't know! I get all butterflies-in-stomachy when she says stuff like...more
Nina
I chose to read this as a joke to myself: "I never went through that adolescent phase of reading the works of depressing female poets." Really, this was a good read; it did expose many of her different mental states throughout a specific period of her life.

I'll admit that I am jealous - I wish that my journals could read so beautifully. There's a whole paragraph in which she describes the joys of picking one's nose... And rather than being disgusted, I could only think to myself "Good for you,...more
Cee
This is the first book that I've read electronically, maybe that played a role in finding it hard to get through. She has a definite voice, but at times I found it to be "whiny". I don't think it's fair to say I didn't like it - being that they were journal entries and not made for the public. I could only how "whiny" I would seem if my private thoughts were published lol.
Rebecca Elswick
There are no words to describe the haunting life of Sylvia Plath. Read it and you will be immersed in her world and the demons she dealt with as well as the brilliance of her writing. Such a tragedy. Such a loss. I kept thinking what would she have done???
Melinda
I was frustrated by the fact that the last few weeks of her journal were not included in this edition (for compelling reasons that I did understand at the time). But it felt exactly like someone ripping out the last few pages of a novel I was caught up in. I have not read the newest edition, but would hope that it brings her personal story to more of a conclusion.
hannah
This is one of the most exhausting books I've ever read, but it was a good exhausting, because Plath was such a genius. I wish I had read the unabridged version instead, but still, it was really good. The most frustrating thing was knowing that Ted Hughes destroyed her final journal, because that is the one I was so interested in seeing.
Astrid Johanne
Bogen giver et godt indblik i hvordan Sylvia Plath tænkte, og hvor meget hun i perioder var styret af depretion. Bogen slutter mens hun er højgravid med sit første barn, 3 år inden hun begår selvmord.

Igennem det meste af sit liv skrev Sylvia Plath dagbøger, denne udgave indholder 1/8 af det dagbogsmateriale hun skrev.
Cherie
A- Really fascinating. My main complaint is the ommission of a lot of sections, and she also stopped writing towards the end of her life (so I missed a lot that way) but really interesting, gave me a lot of insight into her poetry now that I know even more about her life (plus hope as a writer--she was rejected mad times!).
Katey
A great insight into the poet. While one can guess at the nature of a poet's psyche based on their work, these journals provide so much more. But you almost feel like you're invading her privacy- her poetry provided so much already. I only can wonder at what was contained in the journal entries Ted Hughes destroyed.
David
Reading her journals nearly made ME insane. Keeping up with her train of thought, which is both beyond genious and like following Alice through Wonderland, nearly sent me over the edge. If you're stable, then I say go for it, because she really was an incredibly brilliant woman.
Meltha
I read the Hughes-bowdlerized version of this, which felt very much, to paraphrase the movie Charade, "like drinking coffee through a veil." I may just re-read it in the unabridged version, though Plath is very emotionally draining to read.
Satia
Another of my "Fifteen in 2011." I was given this book before the unexpurgated journals were published. A must read for anyone who is an admirer of Plath's poetry.

http://satiasreviews.blogspot.com/201...
Nancy
As you would expect it was very depressing. If they knew then they would have said she was bi-polar, you can see it in what she writes. And she was obsessed with writing her journals show that, interesting but very sad...
Suvi
Not something you would want to sink into for several hours at a time, extremely depressing and sad. And frustrating because I realised I had just read an edition which didn't include all the material.
Sasha Odermann-karr
I had to stop reading this because there has been too much sadness in my life lately to read something like this. I really admire and "enjoy" Sylvia Plath's writing, so I will read this later on.
Gina
At times, I felt Plath and I were as one. The things she feared, the things she felt... I had been there myself throughout life. While I am not the biggest fan of her poetry, I love her writings.
Michelle Muench
I respect her writing and what she has to say, but i found the journals of her life boring, and her choppy way of writing hard to follow.
Angie crosby
I read this awhile ago. I really enjoyed a glimpse into her life, into her mind really.

It was enlightening and disturbing.
Kate
I'm a little embarrassed to say I don't find her an especially sympathetic figure. But her writing is beautiful.
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4379
Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist, and short story writer.

Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The book's protagonist, Esther Greenwood, is a bright, ambitious student at Smith College who begins to experience a mental breakdown while interning for a fashion magazine in New York. The plot paralle...more
More about Sylvia Plath...
The Bell Jar Ariel The Collected Poems The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath The Colossus and Other Poems

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“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that - I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much - so very much to learn.” 1768 likes
“I have never found anybody who could stand to accept the daily demonstrative love I feel in me, and give back as good as I give.” 1009 likes
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