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Sylvia Plath
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Briefe nach Hause : 1950 - 1963

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  2,381 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Letters Home represents Sylvia Plath's correspondence from her time at Smith College in the early 1950s, through her meeting with, and subsequent marriage to, the poet Ted Hughes, up to her death in February 1963. The letters are addressed mainly to her mother, with whom she had an extremely close and confiding relationship, but there are also some to her brother Warren an ...more
Published (first published 1975)
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C.
When I started this I was not at all sure whether I wanted to read it. I liked The Bell Jar, but it could just have been the time I read it. I do not get her poetry. Cult of the personality stuff makes me uncomfortable. Doesn't she deserve to be laid to rest, anyway. Blah.

BUT! I read the first couple of letters and was sucked in. It seems like she used her letters in a similar way that I use my diary, so I felt as if I was right in her life. And although the events of her life in September 1950
...more
Jamie
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mothers/daughter relationships--unless you're part of the duo, you'll never, ever get it. My boyfriend does, my brother doesn't--my father gets us both, but even he doesn't get us "together." As far as I can tell, how do you co-exist with someone you love, admire, hate, hope the best for/worst for? How do you take someone seriously you've known since they were in diapers? And likewise, how do you take someone seriously that you've spent your whole life working to "out do"? Mothers and daughters ...more
Lara
Jun 28, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, biography-memoir
The disparity between her bleak poetry and these almost desperately cheerful letters to her mother is heartbreaking.
Sherilyn
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sylvia Plath's Letters Home juxtaposed against her Unabridged Journals is a fascinating study. The face she showed to Mummy in her letters versus what was truly happening in her life and mind is heartbreaking and reminds me of the importance in my own heavy depression struggle of being as true as I can to all the people in my life, so that they might see me and pull me into light when I start to fail. Her letters are almost manic in their tales of the mad joy she supposedly found while away at c ...more
Katie Marquette
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Having read these letters in such a short period of a time, I feel somewhat bereft without them. Much like Sylvia's mother must have, I've come to rely on reading a letter from Sylvia almost everyday. This is truly an amazing collection. Nearly all of the letters are written to her mother, Aurelia, who edited the volume and provides introductions to each section. I readily identified with Sylvia, especially in her early years at Smith when she attempted to excel in her classes while maintaining ...more
April
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, loved
Plath transcribes her life in a typically beautiful way, and it's such a joy to read about her daily thoughts and events of whatever day she found herself on. A lovely book comprised of both harrowing and glistening correspondences between Sylvia and (mostly) her mother. It's very sad to picture Sylvia in despair and thinking of no way to get out of it other than retaining her usual visits to her typewriter, but if she didn't we wouldn't have Letters Home and we'd probably feel that much further ...more
Evelyn
I've read parts of this book before a very long time ago, so I'm pleased that I've finally gotten around to reading it all the way through now. Sylvia's letters to her family (mainly her mother) exude all the anxiety and excitement of youth, so it was fascinating to get a rare glimpse into Sylvia's personality and how she conducted herself, dealt with her relationships and friendships, and her drive to succeed in her studies. Obviously because she killed herself, the reader can't stop themselves ...more
Joni
I finished about three quarters of these letters. While many people on here felt these letters were more personal and enjoyable than her diary entries, I have to disagree. I actually got a tad bored with them. What I did find interesting was to read them along with the diary entries. There is such a discrepancy between private Sylvia and the way she chose to present herself to the world.
These letters do show that she was an extremely hard-working, perfectionistic girl who genuinely tried to be
...more
Manik Sukoco
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think these letters seem a lot more intimate than Sylvia's diaries. I found by reading her poems in chronological order alongside these letters home, a clearer rendering of Plaths world, or worlds, surfaces. Her letters home were often painfully cheerful and optimistic, it felt somehow unreal standing up against such dark poetry. I got really sad about halfway through. Very genuine and truthful emotions of a hardworking and ambitious girl. Her passions are too strong and her ideals are too vul ...more
Augustine
So raw, heartfelt and entirely heartbreaking.
There was a universe contained in her existence, with such incredible depth in feeling and experiencing life and nature;
I cried reading Sivvy's description of going to Paris the first time for its beauty. I wonder if I'll ever get to live a moment so vividly again, just by reading...
There is so much to regret and so much tragedy even after her death. She really could've been so much more if she had stayed strong.
Heart goes out to Frieda Rebecca who is
...more
Toni Wu
显然没看完……这里面的女孩,恋家,爱美,热爱生活,享受生活,心里没有阴暗,没有恨,没有厌恶,没有恶毒,没有敌意……其实她的诗里面也没有这些东西。她真的是个诚挚的姑娘,没有敌意的姑娘。软妹子。母亲的语气看上去很好……
Ruth
What mother doesn't want to think that the self a child presents to her in chatty letters home is the child's True Self?
britt
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
so good, I gained a new respect for her as a writer or person. she seemed to embrace life; she was just fragile.
Stephanie Keil
Dear Mom,

I think I might be insane [but really, it's just because I think i'm a genius poet].


Her diaries are even better
Clémence
Très intéressant comme lecture. J'ai lu la traduction française, qui correspond à la première moitié du livre original d'après ce que j'ai compris. La deuxième moitié n'a jamais été traduite, dommage. Peut-être qu'un jour je mettrai la main sur l'original.
Jessica
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was melancholy and emotional in a way that Plath's journals, and even a lot of her poetry, was not for me. Perhaps it is the fresh-faced optimism that washes over the early letters and the beginning stages of Plath's marriage, or perhaps it is the truthfulness with which these are recorded and told by Plath's mother, Aurelia, that makes them so thought provoking. Regardless, these letters offer a wholly different perspective on the bitch-goddess and helpless woman that we are inclined ...more
Shhhtevie  St. Evie
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Let’s be real for a moment, we all shuffled the association of Sylvia Plath in the section of stuff-angsty-teenage-girls-covet, correct? Heaven forbid I, or any adult for that matter, fancy Plath. Don’t worry, I too am guilty of this asinine accusation and undermining thought. I used to scoff at any university professor who’d recommend Plath’s work, which is a shame considering Plath actually has some wonderful rhyme skills and talent in poetry. Unfortunately, Sylvia Plath has become a misleadin ...more
Efemia
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Reading Letters Home, a collection of letters by Sylvia Plath wrote to her mum at uni and onwards is like living alongside her and it is wonderful. She is so bubbly, deep-feeling, hard-working and eloquent in these letters. One gets a real sense of who she is apart from her incredible body of work.
She and Ted worked so hard, sending out 40 submissions in some months, writing for 2 hours + a day, in a fever of love and creativity.

Talking to her mother you can see her trying, you can see her pret
...more
Fernando Gallegos
"On the whole, my colleagues have depressed me: it is disillusioning to find the people you admired as a student are weak and jealous and petty and vain as people, which many of them are. And the faculty gossip, especially among the men, over morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails is very boring: all about the latest gossip, possible appointments, firings, grants, students, literary criticism - all secondary, it seems - an airtight, secure community, with those on tenure getting po ...more
Tonya
Sep 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading The Bell Jar, I just had to know more about Sylvia Plath. After finishing The Bell Jar, I felt hopeful for the main character, who is thinly disguised as Sylvia herself. I wanted to know how the hopeful ending turned into suicide. Reading Letters Home felt like a voyeuristic journey into Plath's life, but I was fascinated by her and how she could reach such despair. The end to Letters Home left me questioning why she decided to remove herself from this world. However, I felt like I ...more
Ramona Ezra
I read this book because I'm a Plath fan, and the letters cover two periods of her life for which there are no journals to refer to. Plath was honest in her journals: in her letters to her mother, she tries to put a cheerful spin on everything. The discrepancy is mind-boggling. Plath and her mother had an extremely close, symbiotic relationship. The letters cover 10 years. On average, she wrote a letter once a week. There is a subtext to the letters: Plath is listing her achievements, the prizes ...more
Beverly
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I read this book. All the biographies, poetry and anything you can get your hands on about Sylvia Plath emphasizes her anger, depression, and insecurities. This was so different. Reading these letters home to her mother from the time she was at Smith until right before her death show so many sides of her personality- her love of her children, her husband, traveling, writing. What struck me most about these letters was her strong spirit. She was determined to make it through the most ...more
Nikoline
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Plath fans
Recommended to Nikoline by: all the Plath fans
Is there is one thing Sylvia Plath has taught me, it is that she never fails to entertain with her sad, sad story and her stunning, stunning writing; in my opinion she is without doubt an overlooked treasure when it comes to poetry; I have no idea how she did it, but no matter what she did with words, she always managed to make out the most beautiful picture of emotions and senses.

Letters Home by Sylvia Plath, states a seventeen years old girl who started writing lots of letters home to her mot
...more
Alison Whiteman
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this in college. Sylvia's struggles with bipolar disorder are not clearly addressed in this book as much as in her private journals.

I could not decide if it was her mental illness that lead to her suicide or her philandering husband, Ted Hughes. Either way, we lost her far too early.

Hughes did publish work after her death but it does not compare to the caliber of talent she shared with the world.

I also wonder about the future collection of letters and journals from authors in this digi
...more
Jennifer
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, non-fiction
'Letters Home', a collection of Sylvia Plath's letters to her mother, brother and sponsor, could easily be mistaken for an epistolary novel. The letters are further evidence of Plath's intelligence, ambition and vulnerability, and showcase the development of her poetic voice in a very interesting and personal way. They tell a slightly different side of the story to that which is presented in Plath's own journals and in the biographies of her (the letters are often cheerful and optimistic, even w ...more
Kallie
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder if Aurelia Plath left out any letters that did not reflect her daughter's life as 'Mommy' wanted to see 'Sivvy'? Probably not. Self-censoring (and self-promotion of an ideal, fake self) had clearly become Plath's habit. Growing up in the American Fifties was difficult, what with so much emphasis on the requirment for females to appear perfect: perfectly lovely, perfectly cheery, perfectly whatever. This mother-daughter relationship seems to have been especially relentless in that respec ...more
Ellen Puccinelli
Oct 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about two million times when I was in college and then tried to write my own mother similar letters describing my fabulous college days. I am fascinated by Sylvia Plath, as are so many people -- so talented and beautiful, and such a tragic life in so many ways. Reading these letters, you see so clearly the different aspects of Sylvia's personality and her competing impulses. It seems to me that she tried so hard to live. These letters are some of her best writing in many ways -- ...more
Peter Burton
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew next to nothing about Sylvia Plath,except her suicide, but once I dipped into this,I had to continue.You feel as though you are in direct contact with her - her ups and downs,her struggles,her successes until her final breakdown - such a waste to end the way it did.However her enthusiasms seem to be over the top,even written to convince her mother that everything was fine.I wonder how much editing was done by her mother.There would of course be some but how much and how did it alter the p ...more
Gail
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anyone with a particular interest in the life of Sylvia Plath (like me) would be intrigued by this book. It is a biography but it consists mainly of Sylvia's own letters to family and friends and, as she was such a voracious letter-writer, it is basically an autobiography also. The book gives tremendous insight into her life and eventual demise and is deeply personal. I really enjoyed it, although it left me quite upset.
Camilla
Sylvia Plath's letters to her mother are in some ways revealing and others guarded. Mother and daughter didn't have the easiest relationship, although in many ways, Sylvia appeared to be the average Southern girl. Her letters tell of the high expectations of herself, her naive adoration of her husband, Ted Hughes, and her ultimate dissatisfaction with her life. A must-read to understand The Bell Jar.
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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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“I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still”
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“How frail the human heart must be―a mirrored pool of thought.” 561 likes
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