subota, 22. listopada 2016.

For the love of reading....Za ljubav prema čitanju....Sylvia Plath


Today I shall talk (or should I say write) about two things. Poetry and prose. Not poetry and prose in general, but the poetry and the prose of Sylvia Plath. It might come as a surprise (or even shock) to you, but I didn't care much for The Bell Jar, the only novel that Plath published. I will explain why in this post, as briefly as I can, (you can read my 4000 words long review here). I do consider Sylvia Plath to be a great writer, I just have some issues with that one book. I can't help wondering whether her untimely death had something do to with the novel's success. I've been thinking about that issue for quite some time. Like many times before, I find myself wondering just where does art stop and an artist begings and vice versa. Can we seperate Sylvia Plath from her life? Should we forget about her tragic suicide? Should the power of her poetry be more important than the story of her life? Or should we study both? Perhaps we don't have to choose. Indeed, reading her work in a multiple of ways (including biographical reading) can only benefit our efforts to understand her. What I do find problematic is how sometimes her work is intepreted only in light of her death because honestly that just doesn't feel fair. Sylvia's daugher was deeply hurt by the movie version of her mother's life and in 2003 she had written the following poem:

Now they want to make a film
For anyone lacking the ability

To imagine the body, head in oven,
Orphaning children



 [...] they think
I should give them my mother's words
To fill the mouth of their monster,
Their Sylvia Suicide Doll


Danas ću govoriti (ili bolje da kažem pisati) o dvije stvari. Poeziji i prozi. Ne poeziji i prozi općenito, već o određenoj poeziji i prozi, onoj jedne spisateljice. Možda će vaš to iznenaditi (ili možda čak i šokirati), ali nije me se posebno dojmilo Stakleno zvono jedini roman koji je Plath objavila. Objasnit ću zašto u ovoj objavi, što kraće što mogu (možete pročitati moj ogled koji ima oko 4000 riječi ovdje). Imam nekih problema s ovim romanom, ipak i dalje smatram Sylviju Plath velikom spisateljicom. Ne mogu se ne pitati je li njena prerana smrt imala nekakve veze s uspjehom romana. Već dugo razmišljam o tome. Kao i puno puta u životu, ne mogu se, a ne pitati gdje završava umjetnik, a gdje počinje umjetnost. Možemo li odvojiti Sylviju Plath od njena života? Trebamo li zaboraviti njeno tragično samoubojstvo?  Treba li moć njezine poezije biti važnija od priče njezinoga života? Ili možda trebamo proučiti oboje? Možda ne moramo birati. Jer čitanjem njena rada na više načina, pa i biografskim čitanjem, može samo dobro doći našim nastojanjima da je razumijemo. Ono što ja smatram problematičnim je kako se njen rad nekada tumači samo u svijetlu njene smrti, a to mi se jednostavno ne čini poštenim. Sylvijina kćer je bila veoma povrijeđena filmskom verzijom životne priče njene majke te je napisala sljedeću pjesmu koja je obavljena 2003:

 Sada žele napraviti film
za svakoga kome nedostaje sposobnosti
da zamisle tijelo, glava u pećnici,
djecu koja su postala siročad

...oni misle
da bi im ja trebala dati riječi moje majke
da napune usta njihovoga čudovišta
njihove suicide Sylvia Plath lutke





Fever 103  is one of Sylvia's best known poems and for good reason, I might add. I very much like it, but I must confess that I'm not quite sure that I fully understand it even now. Perhaps it is better that way, for this way I can always search for new intepretations of it. Fever 103 continues to fascinate me to this day. It is  written in typical Plath's style. Her almost simple language is contrasted with the complexity of her themes. Like some other Plath's songs, it is composed of 18 stanzas ( 3  lines each). Feel free to have a look at it (here is a pretty decent study of it). How to you like it?  It strikes me as a very powerful indeed, especially after I had listened to Sylvia's own reading of it. Moreover, I must say that I think that the best way to experience Plath's poetry is not by reading it, but by literally listening to it being read by Plath herself! It was only throught her own physical voice that I understood the depth of her poetical voice. I included one youtube video with her recital below, for more information- well, you know how internet works, don't you? Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this. Plath belongs to the confessional poets. Her poetry is focused on herself and on her personal experiences. For her poetry, Plath has received much critical acclaim. In fact, she is considered one of the most influential poets of the 20th century. Her short stories are equally praised. I haven't read them myself yet, but I plan to.

Groznica 103 je jedna od njenih najpoznatijih pjesama, a ja bi mogla dodati s dobrim razlogom. Meni se jako sviđa, ali nisam sigurna je li ju i sada posve razumijem. Možda je i bolje ovako jer uvijek mogu tražiti nova tumačenja ove pjesme. Dan danas me nastavlja fascinirati. Napisana je u njenom tipičnom stilu. Njen jednostavni jezik je u kontrastu s njenim složenim temama. Kao i neke druge njene pjesme sastoji se od 18  strofa (kitica) od kojih svaka ima po tri stiha. Slobodno je pogledajte (ovdje možete pronaći pristojno tumačenje uz tekst). Kako vam se sviđa? Meni se čini da je veoma moćna, pogotovo nakon što sam slušala kako je sama Plath čita. Štoviše, moram reći da mislim da je najbolji način za iskusiti poeziju Plath ne tako što ćemo je čitati, nego tako što ćemo slušati Plath kako je čita! Tek sam kroz njen fizički glas osjetila i shvatila dubinu njena pjesničkoga glasa. Ispod možete pronaći jedan youtube video s njezinim recitalom, a ako želite znati više, pa znate kako internet radi, zar ne? Inače, ne biste ovo čitali. Plath pripada ispovjednim pjesnicima. Njena poezija fokusirana je na nju samu i njena osobna iskustva.














Now, that we have talked a bit about Plath's poetry, let's talk about her novel, the only thing written by her that I didn't quite like. I know, shocking, for it is considered a great work of art, the holy grail of feminism, and what not.  It might be considered a classic, but in my opinion, it is not deserving of that title. My experience of reading it lead me to conclude that it lacks depth. It may have something due to the fact that Plath was trying to write a potboiler (she wrote so both in a letter to her mother and in her journal). I had a feeling like Plath was holding herself back when I was reading this one. She was trying to make herself more accessible, but that didn't work out well.  You can still feel a bit of her brilliance for Plath was uniquely talented. She was never meant for the masses and when she tried to work for the masses she failed....or did she? That's the question of the day. Did you read her only novel? That might not be your experience but in my view, this chaotical narrative told by a protagonist that isn’t exactly sympathetic, doesn’t have much going for it.  However, it talks about important themes and that is one of the reasons why I don't regret reading it. 



Sada, kada smo malo pričali o njenoj poeziji, popričajmo o njenom romanu, jedinoj stvari koju je napisala a koja me nije oduševila. Znam, šokatno jer se smatra velikim umjetničkim postignućem, svetim gralom femizima i što sve ne. Da, smatra se klasikom, ali po mome mišljenju to i nije zasluženo. Moje iskustvo čitanja navelo me da zaključim da mu nedostaje dubine. Možda to ima veze s time što je Plath željela napisati roman koji će se dobro prodavati (napisala je to u piscu majci i u svojim dnevnicima). Imala sam osjećaj da se Plath suzdržavala kada je pisala ovaj roman i to nije ispalo dobro. Pokušavala je učiniti svoje pisanje pristupačnim, ali nije tako ispalo. Ipak se može osjetiti ponešto njene briljantnosti jer je ona bila jedinstveno nadarena. Nikad nije bila za mase, a kada je pokušala pisati za mase, nije uspjela...ili je? To je pitanje dana. Jeste li vi pročitali njen jedini roman? Možda to i nije vaše iskustvo, ali po mome mišljenju, ova kaotična priča koju priča junakinja koja i nije baš simpatična, baš i nema previše prednosti. No, govori o važnim temama i to je razlog zašto mi nije žao što sam je pročitala. 










Plath published The Bell Jar novel under a false name, because she considered it a pot boiler (something written for the masses). Original reviews and reception of this novel were lukewarm, but nobody knew who wrote it back then. It makes me wonder how we would feel about this book if it was not Plath's name on the cover. I can help but wonder what if....What if Sylvia never killed herself? Would she have EVEN let us know that she is the author of this novel? Would she had kept it a secret? Would she go on to write better things? Ironically, it was her suicide that gave this novel its life. Perhaps that is why I kind of dislike it. It is not that this novel killed her, but I feel like it took an unfair advantage of her death. I suspect that much of the praise The Bell Jar got was to make up for Plath's suicide, like our belated praise will do her any good. Let's not judge Sylvia Plath for what she did. We shouldn't idolize her either. There is no need. She truly was exceptional in many ways.  A great writer indeed. Her poetry is raw and powerful. Let's appreciate it as such. We should not look at everything in the light of her mental illness and suicide. Plath was more than that and she deserves better.

Plath je objavila Staklenku pod lažnim imenom, jer ju je smatrala trivijalnom književnošću (nečim napisanim za mase). Originalni ogledi i doček ovoga romana su bili mlaki, ali tada nitko nije znao tko ga je napisao. Pitam se što bismo doista misli o ovom romanu da na njemu ne piše Sylvia Plath? Ne mogu se ne pitati što bi bilo kad bi bilo.... Da se Sylvia nije ubila bi li nam IKADA dopustila da znamo tko je autorica ovoga romana ili bi to zadržala u tajnosti? Bi li napisala nešto bolje? Ironično, ali njeno samoubojstvo je dalo ovome romanu život. Možda ga zato i ne volim vrlo. Nije da je ovaj roman ubio, ali imam osjećaj da je nepošteno iskoristio njenu smrt. Čini mi se da je dobio puno dobrih kritika samo kako bi se nekako nadoknadilo njeno samoubojstvo, kao da će zakašnjele kritike učiniti joj dobro. Nemojmo osuđivati Sylvia Plath za ono što je učinila. Ne bismo je trebali ni idealizirati. Nema potrebe jer doista je na puno načina doista bila izvanredna. Sjajan pisac. Njena poezija je sirova i moćna. Cijenimo je kao takvu. Ne gledajmo sve u svijetlu njene mentalne bolesti i samoubojstva. Bila je više od toga i zaslužila je bolje.


Broj komentara: 48:

  1. Love your post!!
    I am glad you enjoyed reading my recent posts.
    Thanks for the support and thoughtful words on my recent post, I deeply appreciate it!!
    MyLyfeMyStory

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  2. great post!
    NEW BLOG ! please follow me : YOUNG BLOG

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  3. I love plath and her works. I remember reading the bell jar during a really difficult time of my life and it really resonated with me.

    http://www.pinkoolaid.com/

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    1. Yes, the theme of The Bell Jar is a very difficult ones. I think it captures a challening time in any young person's life.

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  4. I know sylvia plath and her tragic end but have not read her poems. Maybe it's the time. Thank you for this very nice sharing ;)

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    1. thank you for reading:) Her poems are lovely.

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  5. Sono onesta, non conoscevo questa scrittrice e leggendo il tuo post mi sembra anche un po' fuori dal mio genere però devo ammettere che mi hai incuriosita!

    Shopping Girls

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  6. Sylvia Plath - beautiful, feminine poetry. Absolutely my favourit. Great choice !!! I admire your love for literature :) . Every time I visit your blog I find sth, right down my street :) . Have a great Sunday - Margot :)

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    1. thank you...I have never thought of her poetry as being feminine but you're right...there is something feminine and vulnerable about it. Might be why I like it so much!

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  7. Wonderful post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

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  8. Nice post dear Loves

    www.nilgunozenaydin.com

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  9. Such a delightful read my dear! I do love Sylvia Plath and I do consider her as a wonderful writer too. Sadly, the world lost her early. Still, her prose and poetry continues to reverberate in every literati's heart. I had a great time reading The Bell Jar though it is one of the most depressing work of lit. that I have ever read. Thank you for sharing with us a few of her best poems my dear! My favorite one from her must be the one entitled The Stone. Somehow, there are some lines in it that I couldn't get inside my head.

    love lots,
    Tin

    mypoeticisolation.blogspot.com

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    1. yes, it is very depressing, isn't it? But I guess we can take it as a warning- mental illness are something that needs to be taken seriously.

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  10. Divan post, volim poeziju! Sylvia je stvarno odlična pesnikinja, svaka čast za izbor!♥

    Kika's blog

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  11. Lovely photos :)

    http://shizasblog.blogspot.com/

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  12. I didn't know either the author or the book, thanks for sharing! :)
    --
    O diário da Inês | Facebook | Instagram

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  13. Lovely post dear!Have a great weekend! xx

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  14. Plath was a great writer. Beautiful post, Ivana. Happy Sunday, doll.
    xoxo
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

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  15. Hello dear Ivana! Hope you're doing great and hope you're having an amazing weekend :D

    I've read this book but long time ago, back in 2006 in high school but I remember I liked it a lot! The way the words and the feelings were connected is something that not all writers can reach, but with Sylvia Plath it works! What I like about her is that feminine strong attitude she developed a long time ago but still considered as a great influence for women empowerment and feminist! It is amazing how we can find inspiration of the past to build the future we want, Plath will be there forever, so I'll definitely go and take a look at 'The Bell Jar' again, it deserves it!

    By the way loved how you showed your love for this writer with these pictures, tons of inspiration and powerful colors!

    Thanks for your sweet comments in every post, I really appreciate them!

    Pablo
    FungiExpress

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  16. I've never read The Bell Jar but from what I understand it's a pretty polarizing piece of work and that most people tend to have strong reactions to it one way or another. I had no idea that Plath had originally had it published under another name.

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  17. Dear Ivana, you know how much I love you blog and thought! I think and know that by reading books we open a new world that enriches our lives so much. The Bell Jar does so. Sylvia Plath's own life is as interesting as her book, but we should read her book with an open mind - maybe not connecting to her, but to ourselves. The verses make us think of life, in my opinion... or maybe I am biased, I think of mine :) It's so refreshing to read your posts because you teach us a lot - not like bloggers I know that only, really only think of impressing, wearing this and that to show "I am chic!" What's to be chic? To be polite, to be kind, but well, I don't want to judge anyone, I just want to praise your thoughts! Hope you have a nice week, dear Ivana!
    DenisesPlanet.com

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  18. Nešto je u čovjeku da želi znati više. Uvijek sam željela, imala tu potrebu, da saznam nešto više o autoru nekog romana koji me oduševio. Sada to pitanje o životu i radu nekog umjetnika...Mislim da je sve to neki nasumični skup vremena u kojemu je isti djelovao...Dali bi Madonna danas bila ovo što jest da se danas počela baviti glazbom? Ne bi, jer meni ona nema niti glasa niti ekstra stasa niti simpatičnosti...ali je ikona koja je u osamdesetima pomicala granice. Dali bi se itko usudio napisati ili reći da Madonnin album nevalja? Ne. Ako se netko i usudi, koristiti će eufemizme a neće direktno reći da ne valja ništa kao što će možda reći za nekog "prosječnog"umjetnika. Nisam čitala ovaj roman ali mogu vjerovati da te nije oduševio. Sama sam puno čitala i proučavala Virginiju Woolf. Ukoliko netko čita njena djela bez da poznaje njen život i aktivističko djelovanje i stavove (kroz njene eseje), ne znam koliko bi ga očarali romani. Tu je također i njeno samoubojstvo i homoseksualnost radi čega je možda (kažem samomo-možda-jer ne mogu znati) danas ovo što jest. Ako gledamo književnu scenu u cijelosti, rijetki su bili "obični" i "dosadni" i rijetki su živjeli život drugačiji od svojih junaka... Sve redom probisvijeti, pijanci, narkomani, alkoholičari, nasilnici... a geniji :) Možda jedino Tolstoj...on je bio sretno oženjeni čiko koji je živio i pisao i umro u miru i na miru :)

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    1. nekad je to stvarno teško odvojiti kao u slučaju Virginije Woolf, mislim da ni pisci ne znaju nekad gdje počinje, a gdje završava njihov život i njihova umjetnost.

      Madonnine pjesme s početka karijere nisu bile loše, ali da slažem se ona nikad nije bila neka posebno dobra pjevačica i bez tih nekih popratnih aktivnosti (privlačenja pozornosti) ne bi se nikada ni proslavila....ali u osamdesetima je pomicala granice, to joj se mora priznati. Gledala sam neki dokumentarac o njoj i njeni profesori s plesne akademije (od koje je odustala zbog pjevanja) su je strašno hvalili, ali valjda je shvatila da se od plesa ne može živjeti dobro, pogotovo onoga umjetničkoga:).

      Tolstoj je jedna od iznimki sa svojim mirnim obiteljskim životom, a možda je samo imao sreće što je našao dobru ženu koja je znala smiriti njegov umjetnički senzibilitet. Navodno je on njoj diktirao sva svoja djela, a ona ih je pisala ili ako bi on nešto zapisao ispravljala pravopisne greške i radila korekturu.

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  19. Do you know that I've never read any Sylvia Plath. One of my fellow students chose her poem, was it the Mirror (?) for his Drama performances but I forget a lot! I can well imagine her daughter being so upset over the obsession with her suicide. I enjoyed reading your copy and seeing the Croatian side by side with the English!

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    1. thanks:) I think you would probably enjoy her poems...her novel is really quite depressive, I'm not sure would it suit you.

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  20. Prava si majstorica u obradi teme, zaista imas dara. Bravoooo

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  21. Još jednom se slažem sa tobom. Roman sam čitala još u srednjoj školi, pa iako se ne sećam baš tačno, pamtim neki utisak sličan tvom. To njeno samoubistvo je verovatno uticalo jer da se nije desilo, možda bi retki danas znali za Silviju. Većina umetnika kao da je znala da treba da bude najblaže rečeno, ekstravagantna, ne bi li doživela neki uspeh. Da su u pitanju bili "normalni" ljudi, nekolicina bi danas bila to što jeste. U svakom slučaju, Silvija je bila sjajna pesnikinja i tu joj skidam kapu.

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    1. pa možda i ima nešto u tome, nekako se te nazovimo "normalne" ljude i podcjenjuje...Moram priznati da sam i sama vrtila oči kada bi netko spomenuo Stephanie Meyer i sjećam se da joj se Stephen King rugao jer u njenim knjigama nema seksa prije braka (ona je mormon mislim, uglavnom neki tip protestantske sljedbe u kojoj je to bitno), a onda sam pročitala njen roman The Host i oduševila se. Ne mogu reći ništa za Sumrak sagu jer ju nisam čitala, ali ovaj njen SF roman me baš pozitivno iznenadio i zapravo mi je bolji od ičega što je King napisao (svaka mu čast što je napisao toliko knjiga, ali nijedna mi nije bila ništa posebno, a gospodin Mercedes je bila katastrofa). Tako da ponekad je stvarno istina da podcjenjuju te neke tihe obiteljske ljude, ali zapravo to što netko ima tradicionalne stavove ne znači da ne može biti uspješan umjetnik baš naprotiv ljudima taj sređen obiteljski život može biti podloga za svakakav uspješan rad.

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  22. Io non sono una grande lettrice, tu invece mi sembri molto esperta Ivana...a dirti la verità non mi sembra molto il mio genere, però la tua recensione è fatta veramente bene (anche se l'ho letta con il traduttore). Un bacio grande,
    Eni

    Eniwhere Fashion
    Eniwhere Fashion Facebook

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  23. She is undeniably very gifted author, but I do prefer Murakami... Szklany klosz "The Bell Jar" was thrilling to me. I have read this as an adult and, although I aprecciate the artistic value, I cannot like this book. After that I thought I will never visiting the US and that it must be spooky place. The second time I thought like that was after the movie "Girl, interrupted!" with Angelina Jolie and Winona Rider. This movie is not based on Plath book, but is spooky in very similar way. I prefer to live in Poland :)

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    1. yes, the book is quite depressive...and now when I visit it, I think it might have inspired Girl, interrupted.

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  24. I actually have yet to read The Bell Jar myself, so I can't speak for the book. But her poetry is absolutely beautiful and she is by far my favourite poet. I consume her words all the time. And yes, that's such an interesting question - where does the author stop and the work begin to speak for itself? Although, if we are using the example of Plath we should also factor in her poetry. Yes, it maybe be famous for her death shortly afterwards. But let's say that death never did happen so shortly afterwards and in the way it did... would the Bell Jar still be famous because of her amazing poetry published beforehand? I think that too, should be taken into account.

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    1. the reason why Plath didn't want it to be published under her name is because she didn't want it being linked with her poetry. So, even if she didn't die, perhaps the book would be famous anyway (if she acclaimed it as her own) because of her status as a great poetess. We'll never know, I guess.

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  25. Another awesome sharing, Ivana! Hope I've the time to read all my books...... xoxo

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.