Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Grim Little Anniversary

(October 27, 1932 – February 11, 1963)

Today is the 46th anniversary of the death of Sylvia Plath. I've always felt a kind of spiritual kinship with her in ways that go beyond the stereotypical and the fashionable. The fact that we both share the same illness has given me a kind of sympathy for her troubles and also allowed me to understand myself better as well as my own rapidly shifting moods. I can't help but wonder how much longer she would have lived if had there had existed, in her day, more effective treatments for bipolar disorder and mental illness in general. It is quite feasible that had she lived in this age, with the improvements in medication and therapy made since then, she might have been able to carry on very normal life without the highs and lows.

Here is a rarely heard interview from the BBC, recorded in October 1962, only a few months before her death. Since YouTube limits video to only ten minutes a piece the interview is posted in two sections.

Part One

Part Two

For the curious, the best biography of the life of Sylvia Plath is entitled Rough Magic: A Biography of Sylvia Plath (1991, Da Capo Press) by Paul Alexander

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