Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Sad Like Sylvia Plath

I loved the comments I got about my bout of Self-Pity and particularly liked hearing the term, 'Pity Party' which I hadn't heard before. Thank you.
My friend Marge reminded me of the, was it Overwhelming Sadness, Misery... even Self-Pity perhaps? of writers like Sylvia Plath & Charles Bukowski. I haven't read anything by him since at least 1979. Back then, if you were a little bit disaffected or felt that you'd like to be, Charley B was your kind of guy. I personally couldn't stomach him because reading his stories made me feel like I had a hangover, even when I didn't. And I kept on imagining how ugly & smelly he'd be In Real Life. Sometimes when I start thinking how unappealing an artist or a writer is, it ruins everything for me. Like with Salvador Dali. I've always loved his paintings but since reading about how he had a really bad case of Bad Breath, it's never been quite the same.
But looking at pictures of Sylvia Plath, like that seductive but wholesome one above doesn't turn my stomach. Only the fact that she made food for her kids & then went & stuck her head in the oven. Knowing that about her has made it hard for me to teach her poems. But I do occasionally teach them.

The good news is that I'm Not Sylvia Plath! And I'm definitely NOT the 'old woman (who) rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish'.

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Sheila said...

I love Bukowski's poetry, but he's such a repulsive man (see the movies "Barfly" and "Factotum", both of which are based on his life).

I always liked Plath. She greatly appealed to me when I was young and angsty.

Della Street Dreaming said...

Yes, I've noticed Sheila that when I teach Plath there's always at least one, very soulful girl who takes her up with a passion while the rest of the class sit there & yawn.
I forgot about 'Barfly' & I haven't heard of the other film, but now sort of interested to see them.

La Belette Rouge said...

I love Bukowski's poetry. And, I read everything Plath ever wrote---including all of her journals and letters. I cannot read her widowed husband's poetry. I just cannot do it.

If you at all like Bukowski you might like this, it is a post I wrote about visiting Bukowski's grave:http://tinyurl.com/6odtdw

see you there! said...

Several women writers of Plath's era committed suicide. Tragic really.

Not familiar with Bukowski, off to google.