The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Convergences)

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9780674382251: The Haunting of Sylvia Plath (Convergences)

Since her death in 1963 at the age of thirty, Sylvia Plath has become a strange icon---an object of intense speculation, fantasy, repulsion, and desire. Jacqueline Rose stands back from the debates and looks instead at the swirl of controversy, recognizing it as a phenomenon in itself--one with much to tell us about how a culture selects and judges writers; how we hear women's voices; and how we receive messages from, to, and about our unconscious selves.

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About the Author:

Jacqueline Rose has written and lectured widely on feminism, psychoanalysis and culture. She is the author of The Case of Peter Pan, or The Impossibility of Children's Fiction, Sexuality in the Field of Vision, Why War? - psychoanalysis, politics and the return to Melanie Klein and States of Fantasy, the 1994 Clarendon Lectures. The Haunting of Sylvia Plath received wide critical acclaim on its publication in 1991. She has a chair in English at Queen Mary University of London. She lives in London.

Review:

As Rose demonstrates in her ambitious and original book, Plath has become one who 'haunts our culture'...Rose both reads Plath's writing for its multiplicity, its ghostly subtexts of ambiguity and fantasy, and discusses the ways in which she has become the object of critical fantasies and debates about femininity, violence and contemporary culture...Her goal is to repair both the blatant and the subtle editorial cuts made in the body of Plath's writing, to restore the poet's sexuality, anger and left-wing politics to the historical and aesthetic record...Rose's book is surely one of the most illuminating to date about the contradictions and the haunting power of the Plath legacy. (Elaine Showalter London Review of Books)

In her powerful new book, Jacqueline Rose refuses the temptation to lay claim to the 'truth' about Plath's work; in her illuminating readings of individual poems, she restores their ambiguity and sexuality, striving to 'stay with that anxiety and not resolve it.' (Voice Literary Supplement)

Working at the source, [Rose] transforms an existential dilemma (which is how most people read the Plath life and work) into a problem of knowledge. In a stroke, she redefines the debate...Her book is thrilling. (Manchester Guardian)

The Haunting of Sylvia Plath gives us a new Sylvia Plath, even more troubling and contradictory and compelling than the one we thought we knew, and more important for the ways we understand literature and its place in twentieth-century culture. Rose's book--original, deftly-argued, and bold both in its perceptions and in the materials it chooses to include--will render most existing criticism of Plath obsolete. (Stacy Carson Hubbard American Literature)

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Jacqueline Rose
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