The Journals of Sylvia Plath

by Sylvia Plath

Paperback, 1983




Ballantine Books (1983), Edition: 1st Printing


No other major contemporary American writer has inspired such intense curiosity about her life as Sylvia Plath. Now the intimate and eloquent personal diaries of the twentieth century's most important female poet reveal for the first time the true story behind "The Bell Jar" and her tragic suicide at thirty. They paint, as well, a revealing portrait of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet whose stature has seldom been equalled. "A revelation." The New York Times


½ (94 ratings; 4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lilywren
The book certainly made an impact upon me and has made me want to read more about Plath. The journals follow her college years through to the birth of her children.

Plath appears extremely critical of her work and others. She constantly strives for perfection in her work and gives the impression
Show More
that she thought more about the act of writing than actually did. This of course is not so.

The latter part of the journal appears more rambling, incoherent in parts and possibly give us a glimpse of her in her most depressed state of mind during this period.

As with any journal, this is a thought process at work. Ideas, feelings and emotions jumbled up and sometimes forming a stream of consciousness allowing the reader to catch the, often, scathing inner thoughts of Plath.

The journal was edited by Ted Hughes who, by his own admission, tried to include what seemed "the most important elements relating to her work, her inner life, and her valiant struggle to find herself and her voice". As a result, a lot of material had been omitted.

Hughes states in the 'Editor's Note' that;
"There are quite a few nasty bits missing - Plath had a very sharp tongue and tended to use it on nearly everybody...So, some of the more devastating comments are missing'.
This is understandable in some ways, protecting those who may be attacked in a book that was probably never intended for publishing by Plath.

However, all omissions are subjective to the editor and I feel that there are missing pieces to the essential part of Plath's character that made up who she was. But maybe that is as it should be.

Overall an interesting insight and a book I found inspiring (to write) and one that had me hooked from beginning to end. I can't help thinking however, what the missing bits are....
Show Less
LibraryThing member AliceAnna
What a self-centered, self-indulgent little brat! Somebody should have slapped her and told her to snap out of it. No, the whole world does NOT revolve around you, honey. It was also very disappointing to me in that huge chunks of her life were missing. Since Plath seems to epitomize the angst of
Show More
the 50's and 60's woman trying to have and be more, I would have liked to see her write even one word about her kids.
Show Less


Original language


Original publication date



0345309235 / 9780345309235
Page: 0.2084 seconds