Thoughts for Thursday - Sylvia Plath

I confess: I am one of those obssessive Sylvia Plath people. I wouldn't call myself a "fan." You really can't be a fan of a suicide, can you? I am drawn by her surprising, stunning use of language and haunted by her legend -- cut off at the height of her powers, made famous by the slight volume of poems. She's sort of like the Titanic of literature.

Besides, depressives can't help but admire brilliant depressives. Somewhere in the primal recesses of the brain stem, you applaud them at having beat the system by producing something that will outlast even themselves.

So, for those who are similarly obssessed, a note on the publication of two new books:

The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath , Anita Helle, editor

Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's Rival and Ted Hughes' Doomed Love, by Yehuda Koren and Eliat Negev


Holy bad parenting, Batman!

Can you believe this?

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A fed-up mother had her 12-year-old son arrested for allegedly rummaging through his great-grandmother's things and playing with his Christmas present early.

The mother called police Sunday after learning her son had disobeyed orders and repeatedly taken a Game Boy from its hiding place at his great-grandmother's house next door and played it. He was arrested on petty larceny charges, taken to the police station in handcuffs and held until his mother picked him up after church.

If you possibly can bear reading more, find the rest of the story here.

Um, there are so many things wrong with this, my mind is literally stuttering. All I can say is:
We're all doomed.


More holiday gift giving ideas

Don't you love the holidays? The perfect excuse to give such fun, goofy presents to family and friends (or yourself). Here are some stocking stuffer ideas for the literary in your life.

Jane Austen Action Figure. Just the thing for a writer's desk, to inspire prosody and whatnot. Of course, there's also the Bronte mousepad. Surely, those three stern faces exhorting you to write could get those fingers flying over your keyboard!

These Little Women gift cards are great.

The Disappearing Civil Liberties Mug. Pour in a hot beverage and watch your civil liberties disappear! For the environmentalist, consider the Global Warming mug.

Inspire your child with a Shakespeare infant bodysuit or a Bauedelaire hoodie.

If you really want to blow a literary geek's mind, buy one of these. Crass commercialism at its best!

And here are two awesome holiday ideas I purloined from BookGirl:

Great Author pot belly figure (the Shakespeare figure is my personal fave).

"I read Banned Books bracelet." What a way to accessorize.


A literary anecdote

This weekend at a Berkeley cafe, I met a man who had met Jack Kerouac. (I think he overheard me talking about my recent reading of The Dharma Bums.) He said he met Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady in Big Sur around '61 or '62, and he was surprised at how "physical" Kerouac was, "like a lumberjack."

He also said he Kerouac and Cassady punched and hugged each other a lot, so he thought there was a "homoerotic" relationship between them (what can I say? He's a psychiatrist.). He also mentioned that he knew Gary Snyder. He said Snyder used to collect seashells in his hat as a way to pick up women. I still can't figure out how he used seashells in his hat as a pickup line, but apparently, it worked.

Gotta love Berkeley!