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The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath (British Library - British Library Sound Archive) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The bountiful Spoken Word series of compact discs, published by the British Library in conjunction with the BBC, continues with Sylvia Plath. It contains a variety of material, including readings from Plath's brief professional life and a radio review of Donald Hall's Contemporary American Poetry (1962).  . . . Of greatest interest, however, is a twenty-minute interview, conducted by the BBC's Owen Leeming, with Plath and Ted Hughes togehter."
(Times Literary Supplement)

“A new CD from the British Library bringing all of her surviving BBC broadcasts together for the first time has been hailed by scholars of the American feminist icon, who gassed herself at the age of 30, for unmasking the real person behind the tragic myth which has developed since her suicide in 1963.”—Independent

(Jonathan Brown Independent)

“Astonishingly rare recordings."—P. Viktor

(P. Viktor)

"The Spoken Word offers a strongly renewed appreciation for Plath's poetic brilliance--and her demons. . . . This CD preserves Sylvia Plath's strong voice as it was, even as it cannot admit dialogue beyond what took place nearly half a century ago."--Rain Taxi
(James Naiden Rain Taxi)
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Product Details

  • Series: British Library - British Library Sound Archive
  • Audio CD: 1 pages
  • Publisher: British Library; 1 CD and booklet edition (July 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712351027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712351027
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's been a long time coming. To date, there have been three key audio releases concerning the US poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963): Sylvia Plath Reads (1977/1992), The Poet Speaks (1982/1995), and The Voice of the Poet (1999). But this new CD is special: it contains a previously unreleased live recording of Plath reading a poem in a London theatre, providing listeners with the chance to experience the poet with new, tantalising immediacy. All of her other known poetry recordings occurred in radio studios (usually at the BBC or the British Council). But here, she is introduced by a male host to a live audience and loud applause. She was a relatively unknown poet at the time, more famous as the wife of British poet Ted Hughes than as a writer in her own right.

The Spoken Word CD also contains a 20-minute interview with Plath and Hughes, in which they talk about where they were born, how they met, the differences and similarities between their writing styles, and their placidly domestic life in north London. In contrast to the dark myth that rose about her following her suicide in 1963 aged 30 and which rapidly spread as more and more poems - partly of an unforgiving, terrifying nature, but which also showed sharp wit and humour - came to light, Plath sounds relaxed, chatty and open. In another recording included here, What Made You Stay, Plath is interviewed alone and really comes into her own (it was conducted a month before her marriage collapsed in the wake of Hughes's affair with Assia Wevill).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carl Rollyson on March 24, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
To hear Plath's clear, strong voice underscores her insistance that her last poems should be read aloud. They are vivid dramatic monologues.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Emilie on February 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this very much. It has two interviews (one including her husband Ted Hughes) and many readings of her poems. I only wish there were more poems, any of "The Colossus" or "Ariel."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H. Shelton on May 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THey put it onto a CD. I had the tape for years. Hearing her voice and her interpretation of her own work is amazing.
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