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The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

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4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  10,373 ratings  ·  311 reviews
First U.S. Publication

A major literary event--the complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath, published in their entirety for the first time.

Sylvia Plath's journals were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath's husband, Ted Hughes. This new edition is an exact and complete transcription of the diaries Plath kept during the last tw
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ebook, Abridged, 768 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Anchor (first published March 24th 2000)
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Tammy Marie Jacintho
The Problem of Sylvia Plath, Her Poetry, and the Necessity of Her Journals

Because of her suicide at the age of 30, many critics have labeled her either immature or hysterical--while other critics have taken it upon themselves to defend her integrity. Those who have championed her work find they do so at personal cost. Unfortunately, her personal life, and the circumstances surrounding her death have had an adverse effect on how she is read.

Quite instinctively, one knows the implications that may
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Kat Stark


It took me months to read this book. MONTHS I TELL YOU.

That is because Plath can not be devoured quickly. Each word has to be chewed and savored slowly. Yeah, there were parts that I couldn't be bothered with: The descriptions of the places she went to, the stream of consciousness portions of her writing, and the descriptions of food that she ate...was all meh for me.

Thing is, I loved the excerpts in her journals that deal with the most interesting and complex topics: philosophy and love. She is
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PryncessBelle
There were moments reading this book that I had to put it down because the feelings are so vivid you feel like an intruder.

There are quotes from her journal that decribe in dark detail the feelings that I am sure many women feel as they are on their own for the first time, falling in love, broken hearted, scared of failure, married, alone...

Loved this book.
Mayra
I decided I was going to read this for two reasons: Sylvia Plath intrigued me; and I need to write better journal entries.

It is sometimes hard to wrap your head around the fact that she was so young when she wrote those journals, and constantly I had to keep reminding myself. She seemed extremely mature for her age. I found myself only reading 20, 30 pages at a time, because her words were so full of introspection, I had to continually go back and reread passages and reflect, soul-search about m
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Catherine Roehl
It's astounding how much I relate to Sylvia in these journals. I think all feminine beings need to read this. Her entries are honest and raw: revealing her sensitivities, obsessions, routines, insecurities...

More intimate than any of her poetry books, Plath's journals offer greater insight into both her personal and literary struggles.

This book is of great value to me: and I'm sure I will continue referring to it for many years.
Gary
This is the book that introduced me to Sylvia Plath. Her poetry and 'The Bell Jar' would follow. I came to appreciate her love for just writing. She can make the most mundane interesting. To truly have a complete picture of Sylvia Plath, 'The Journals' are integral. One of my great thrills was to visit Smith College, and meet Karen Kukil and actually pick up and read the actual journals. In the Mortimer rare book room, I was also able to see the drafts of her poems written on the pink Smith Coll ...more
brook
it is a chilling experience to read this. if you keep a journal of your own you probably understand how odd it is to imagine people around the world curling up with it/them. i am a self-admitted voyeur so i couldn't resist this glimpse into her mind.

as always, ted had a say in what we (and more importantly, her children) would know of her:

"I destroyed [the last of her journals] because I did not want her children to have read it (in those days I regarded forgetfulness as an essential part of su
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Swetha
"I love people. Everybody. I love them, I think, as a stamp collector loves his collection. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me. My love's not impersonal yet not wholly subjective either. I would like to be everyone, a cripple, a dying man, a whore, and then come back to write about my thoughts, my emotions, as that person. But I am not omniscient. I have to live my life, and it is the only one I'll ever have. And you cannot discard your own life with ob ...more
Desislava
“I am jealous of those who think more deeply, who write better, who draw better, who ski better, who look better, who live better, who love better than I.”

Everything which Sylvia Plath wrote in her journals has proceeded to appear profoundly sad; even as she writes of the raptures of her youth, lurking beneath the surface is a profound melancholy. The rawness of her emotions is hard to take sometimes. Her ambitions are tremendous, and the pressures on her internally and externally match them.
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Lightreads
This just in: Sylvia Plath's journals? kind of a downer.

Also disorganized, vast, incredibly rich. I enjoyed the early college years the most, when she's all casually fantastic writing and cycling ecstasy and alienation. The later stuff is heavier with self-consciousness and deeply frustrating relationships with men. She's one of those people that I would be friends with and love dearly, but every year or so I would lose it and snap "oh just fucking deal with it," at her.

But man could she write.
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Marios
http://www.myvideo.ge/?video_id=381208

0:02 Beginning theme, comforting, like her first diary entries, sounds to me like: it is, it is gonna be ok, it is, it is gonna be ok...
"...I love people. Everybody. Every story, every incident, every bit of conversation is raw material for me...I have to live my life, it's the only one I'll ever have."

00:22 and the theme repeats, but a little stronger this time, more emotional, deeper bass, deeper her love for life:
"...I want to live and feel all the sha
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Christina Bouwens
A real pot-boiler! Certainly, this is a dense collection insofar as it is highly evocative of a time, a place, a woman in crisis -- her emotions, thoughts, conflicts roar off the page into a reader's heart. Anyone curious about Sylvia Plath as not only a poet, but a woman of the 50s, and perhaps as a feminist icon or a psychological study will be sorely mistaken not to delve into this collection. Plath was a phenomenal woman of the past mid-century, and such a loss to the literary world. Her jou ...more
ArEzO.... Es
سيلويا پلات در سحرگاه ِ يازدهم فوريه ي 1963 در هاي خانه را بست، شير گاز آشپزخانه را باز كرد و خودش را كشت. پيش از اين بار ها خودكشي كرده بود و يك بار هم در تيمارستان تحت ِ درمان ِ شوك الكتريكي قرار گرفته بود
واين كتاب كه خاطراتش بيشتر مي تون گفت:
مجموعه اي شگفت آور از احساسات واقعي يك نويسنده، شاعر و يك زن است. كلمات در كنار هم به وجود حمله مي برند و خواننده خود را اسير كلمات مي يابد. راه فراري نيست. پيش مي روي و عذاب مي كشي. خودت سيلويا مي شوي و تمام رنج ها، دلتنگي ها، خوشي ها، درد ها و آرزو ها ر
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Susan Katz
This is a book that would probably be best read the way it was written, a page or two at a time over a period of years. Roughly 700 pages at one gulp can be an overdose. Plath is a good writer and a perceptive and intelligent woman, but living inside her head for very long isn't comfortable even for an observer. Knowing the ending in advance, of course, gives the reader an edge on Plath and adds an unintended layer of irony to many entries and an involuntary little shiver to comments like "I des ...more
A
I can’t remember where I read it but I recall someone mentioning how worrying it was to relate so much to someone who’s life ended so tragically (or as they so bluntly put it 'someone who stuck her head in an oven'). That stuck with me as my interest in Plath and my knowledge of her and her work grows and especially now that I’ve read her diaries.

The amount of identifying I did with Plath in her diaries early on was of some distress to me. She took feelings, vaguely formed thoughts that had bee
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Nazanin
در این بازی جفت یابی،صدمات و لطمات بسیاری هست،آزمون و خطا فراوان است،اما ناگهان یک وقت میفهمی که فراموش کرده بودی همه اینها بازی بیش نبود و به گریه می افتی

....

قصه ای بخوان:فکر کن.می توانی.باید اینکار را
بکنی،علاوه بر این،نباید همیشه با خوابیدن از واقعیت فرار کنی.جزییات را فراموش کن-مشکلات را نادیده بگیر-دیوار میان خودت،دنیا و همه ی دخترهای شاد و شنگول را بردار-خواهش میکنم،فکر کن-از این حصار بیرون بیا.به نیروهای مثبت و مفیدی که فراسوی خود محدود تو قرار دارند بیاندیش.خدایا،خدایا!تو کجایی?تو را می
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Tara
Her diaries inspire me to write.
Stephanie
I did it.

I started and, more importantly, finished The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. This is a feat that comes at the end of fifteen years of starts and stops. I bought the book in 2000 when I worked at Indigo (my employee discount receipt is still taped on the inside back cover). The book had just been published and I remember the flurry of excitement that surrounded this "literary event".
I am not exaggerating when I say that I've picked up this book with every intent of reading it abo
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Luna
سیلویا رو اولین بار با یه تئاتر شناختم. سال 84 توی جشنواره تیاتر فجر یه نمایشی دیدم از خانم چیستا یثربی به نام "یک شب دیگر هم بمان سیلویا" که بر اساس زندگی سیلویا پلات نوشته شده بود. اون نمایشنامه منو مجذوب شخصیت سیلویا کرد

این کتاب اولین کتابی بود که راجع بهش خوندم. عجیب اونجا که گاهی "عین" جملاتی که تو خاطره هاش بود رو من یه جایی تو یادداشت هام نوشته بودم! خلاصه این احساس نزدیکی با سیلویا باعث شد من تمام کتاب هایی که مربوط به سیلویا بود و به فارسی ترجمه شده بود رو بخونم

فیلمی هم به نامش ساخته ش
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Cristina
Reading this... changed the way I think. I know and understand that Plath has been over-romanticized since her tragic death, but these journals are the undeniable evidence of her poetic genius. Plath found beauty in everything, and her descriptions of internal and external experiences are absolutely stunning.

I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Plath, poetry, mental illness, women writers, etc.
Kate
The depth of this woman never ceases to amaze me. I spent three months meticulously combing through her journal entries for a paper I was working on in graduate school. Though I've always been a huge fan of Plath (me and every other woman under thirty), I probably never would have picked up this book if it weren't for this paper. I'm very grateful that I did.
Stas Sajin
most books are like strangers you meet at a party. The names that are exchanged are instantly forgotten, the fleeting sensations of ease, the irritation, the laughter, the jokes, the whole thing somehow is gone by the start of the next day. Sometimes though you meet someone who is remembered. And so it is with books. Ill remember this one though.
Kaia James
This is a book I picked up for my 12 Books A Year challenge and, had it not been for that, I doubt I would have finished. Not because it wasn't enjoyable, but because it was *so* long and dense. I'm not quite sure what the best approach to take is when it comes to reading unabridged journals of prolific authors, but I don't recommend trying to sit down and read it cover to cover.

That being said, it was profoundly interesting in that voyeuristic kind of way. Her journals take us through her year
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Anne Nikoline
Jul 26, 2015 Anne Nikoline rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore fans of Plath
Recommended to Anne Nikoline by: book club
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath is the authors very own, not to forget very private, words which she wrote down in her journal. There cannot be any doubt that the author lived a hectic life with depression with a lot of downs and not so many ups, but nevertheless it was all written in a beautiful language so rich on life that it could bloom flowers.

That said, i believe only the hardcore fans of Sylvia Plath should read her unabridged journals. I've read only a little of h
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Vicky
Hard to give a set of private journals a star rating, really. These are amazing to read for anyone interested in Plath's life - taking you from the self conscious teenage years to the joys, doubts and insecurities of her creative and romantic life with Hughes. Took me a while to work through these but I will never read her work without thinking of them now/rightly or wrongly. I found her 'voice' in her journal writings much softer and less certain than in her poems.
Fenia
Beautiful. I don't know how I can review someones soul and life. Just that her writing is enchanting and special..And I found myself realy relating to Sylvia,which I think its bad,because she didn't end up well :P
Melda
"Bedenimin hayatta kalması için ekmek ne ise, mağrur ruh sağlığım için de yazmak odur."

Sylvia,

Sana pek bir şey söyleyemeyeceğim çünkü seni çok iyi anlıyorum güzel kadın. Işıklar içinde uyu.
Hadrian
I feel like an intruder reading this.

Incredibly vast and intricate, even her ordinary accounts of days are almost as eloquent and forceful as her poetry.
Tilly
Sylvia Plath's diaries are the perfect read to dispel the notion that she was a woman steeped only in death and despair. Over the course of the 1950-1962 journals, a portrait emerges of a writer furiously and utterly alive: intent on honing her own craft, of proving her literary value with publications, and of supporting her husband and family. Depression is surely present, at times, but it is outweighed by life, and by a love of the world. Her attention to the minute details involved in the act ...more
M. Sarki
Boring. Couldn't cut it. Too juvenile for me.
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Sylvia Plath 2 5 Jun 29, 2015 03:42AM  
  • Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath
  • Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath
  • Her Husband: Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath - A Marriage
  • Selected Letters, 1913-1965
  • The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
  • Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters
  • The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age
  • Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love
  • Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters
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  • My Lai 4; a Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath
  • A Mencken Chrestomathy
  • Sylvia Plath: Method and Madness
  • Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals
  • Sylvia Plath: A Biography
  • Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette
  • Pushkin: A Biography
  • Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted
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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
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More about Sylvia Plath...
The Bell Jar Ariel The Collected Poems The Colossus and Other Poems Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts

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“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” 10434 likes
“Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.” 5622 likes
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