"Mad Girls’ Love Songs: Two Women Poets—a Professor and Graduate Student—Discuss Sylvia Plath, Angst, and the Poetics of Female Adolescence"
November 20, 2009
If you have access to Project Muse, you can read the article on Sylvia Plath and teenage girls that Founding Editor Becca Klaver co-wrote with advisory board member Arielle Greenberg.
If you don't have access and want to read it, email Becca at becca[at]switchbackbooks[dot]com.
Congratulations Becca! So proud of you.
Here's the abstract:
The legacy of Sylvia Plath’s poetry and the received notion of the teenage girl writer wallowing in self-pity are discussed in terms of their significance to adolescent female readers and their ramifications for girlhood culture at large. Plath’s legacy endures in part because of the recognition that a fluctuation in moods and personas is often the experience of young women, of writers, of those who struggle with depression or anxiety (and the overlap between these populations), and also because of Plath’s ability to craft the fever of her emotions into poems that rely on bold and rich figurative language. This essay uses memoir, a survey of Plath’s popular and critical reception, and a close reading of Plath poems that take on more adolescent concerns and themes, then concludes by looking at contemporary women poets whose aesthetics, attitudes and themes are relevant to contemporary teenage girl readers.