View full screen - View 1 of Lot 18. Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on madness and art, and the literary scene, 20 October 1956.
18

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on madness and art, and the literary scene, 20 October 1956

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on madness and art, and the literary scene, 20 October 1956

Sylvia Plath | Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on madness and art, and the literary scene, 20 October 1956

Sylvia Plath


Typed letter signed, with lengthy autograph postscript, to Ted Hughes ("dearest love teddy...")


fulminating against the English literary scene following a rejection of Hughes's fables ("...people have the right of judging your life and work here who are narrow, bigoted, and just plain ignorant; worse, there is no higher court of appeal than this monolithic london..."), with her opinion of the latest New Yorker, rumours about the mental health of J.D. Salinger leading to significant comments on madness and art, also her latest plans for submissions to magazines and competitions, with a 26-line autograph postscript in which she expresses how much she misses living as his wife ("...it is so hard for me to be deprived of doing all the woman-things for you - cooking & bedding & listening & telling you how fine you are & how all my faith is in you. I walk in the thought & love of you as in a sheath of radiance which keeps me. in spite of the nightmares, the strange instinctive guilt I feel at being your wife, and cut off from all the symbolic, rich gestures and acts of a wife..."), scattered autograph corrections, 6 pages, 8vo (177 x 140mm), blue writing paper, headed stationery of Newnham College, Cambridge, 20 October 1956


"...heard rumors yesterday that j.d. salinger is supposed to be in a mental hospital. I feel strangely about him for some reason; I am sure insanity is the most necessary state for a fine artist--that 'divine madness' where the terror & piercing insights he has daily are not locked in retreat or raving but made into works of art; a kind of flickering wild light of susceptibility playing over psychic states which, if frozen, would become intolerable and result in madness. I wish I knew about j.d. salinger..."


Salinger had been one of the authors whom Plath had requested to interview during her ill-fated guest-editorship at Mademoiselle magazine in 1953. Her comments about madness here echo Ted Hughes's opinions; he had written to her in a letter earlier that month that madness meant "your thoughts have autonomous life, whereas sane people have them in harness, under their will, in slavery" (quoted in Clark, Red Comet, p.469).


LITERATURE:

The Letters of Sylvia Plath: Volume One, pp.1313-17

Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.