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Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual [Hardcover]

by Kathleen Connors, Sally Bayley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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Book Description

December 7, 2007 019923387X 978-0199233878 1St Edition
Here is the first book to bring long-overdue attention to Sylvia Plath's surprisingly accomplished visual art and to place that art in relation to her literary career. Plath trained as a studio artist before her sophomore year at Smith and her work in tempera and watercolor paintings, pastels, ink, crayon and pencil drawings, and other media reveals a talent that both complements and illuminates her genius as a writer.
Eye Rhymes brings together essays by six Plath scholars-including renowned authors Diane Middlebrook, Landgon Hammer and Christiana Britzolakis, book editors Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley, and Fan Jinghua-and contextualizes approximately sixty of Plath's visual works within her writing oeuvre, starting with juvenilia that reveal the extensive play between her two disciplines. Special attention is given to Plath's unpublished teen diaries and book reports containing drawings and early textual experiments, created years before her famous "I am I" diary notes of age seventeen, when critical examination of her writing usually begins. The book offers new critical approaches to the artist's multidimensional output, including writing that appropriates sophisticated visual and color effects years after painting and drawing became her hobby and writing her chosen profession. The essays gathered here also relate Plath's visual art interests to her early identity as a writer in Cambridge, her teen artwork and writing on war, mid-career "art poems" on the works of de Chirico, her representations of womanhood within mid-century commercial culture, and her visual aesthetics in poetry.
Filled with stunning reproductions of her art and fresh readings of many of her most important poems, Eye Rhymes offers readers a new way of understanding the full range of Plath's creative expression.


Editorial Reviews

Review

These images are fascinating resources for a biographer, or anyone interested in the development of Sylvia Plath's drive. Literary Review [A] superb illustrated work, which includes fresh perspectives on Plath's creative energy and a rich collection of paintings and drawings which have never been published before Oxford Times a lavish OUP volume. The Spectator A visual feast for the readers' senses. Mslexia

About the Author


Kathleen Connors served as director and curator for "The Arts of Sylvia Plath" project at Indiana University in 2002, featuring a literary symposium, an exhibition of Plath's art and manuscripts and a 70th year birthday commemoration. With Sally Bayley of Oxford, she is co-director of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Oxford in October 2007.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1St Edition edition (December 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019923387X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199233878
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 7.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sylvia Plath's art January 25, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Sylvia Plath is in the midst of a renaissance. Since the publication of her Unabridged Journals in 2000, hardly a week goes by without her name appearing in the news, and the publication of a succession of books continues to re-evaluate the poets status in the literary world. Although Plath proved to be one of the most contentious, interesting, and passionate writers of the 20th century, the 21st has been much kinder. The books about Plath published in the last seven years each attempt and succeed to change the way we read her works, examine archival material to enrich our readings, and call our attention to lesser-known poems, stories, and other creative products. This is most evident in Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Visual of the Art edited by Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley.

In addition to six wonderful essays by leading scholars, Eye Rhymes publishes for the first time more than 70 art works by Plath. The earliest dates from when she was just seven years old, and the latest is her Cold War collage, perhaps the most familiar and talked about piece she created. The book marries the artwork and Plath's creative writing, illustrating a one-to-one translation between the two types of creativity; what Susan Gubar in her Afterword calls the "sister arts" of Sylvia Plath.

The essays draw heavily off the Sylvia Plath Materials held at the Lilly Library, Indiana University at Bloomington. It is evident, however, that The Sylvia Plath Collection at the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College was used extensively as well. Plath's artwork informs and inspires each essayist; and it is Plath's writing, either contemporary to the artwork or her later, more mature writing, that allows for a clear, steady progression of Plath's talent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art September 30, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is both a revelation and a must-have for fans of Sylvia Plath's creativity. The illustrations in this book, beautiful art well-laid out,
show the breadth of Plath's creativity. I've been a long-time reader of Plath, and didn't know how much art-work she did in her life. The book is worth the price, and very well-done.
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