The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes

Hardcover | January 9, 2011

byHeather Clark

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Throughout their marriage, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes engaged in a complex and continually evolving poetic dialogue about writing, love, and grief. Although scholars have commented extensively on the biographical details of Plath's and Hughes's marriage, few have undertaken a systematicintertextual analysis of the poets' work. The Grief of Influence reappraises this extraordinary literary partnership, and shows that the aesthetic and ideological similarities that provided a foundation for Plath's and Hughes's creative marriage - such as their mutual fascination with D. H. Lawrenceand motifs of violence and war - intensified their artistic rivalry. Through close readings of both poets' work and analysis of new archival sources, Clark reveals for the first time how extensively Plath borrowed from Hughes and Hughes borrowed from Plath. She also explores the transatlantic dynamics of Plath's and Hughes's 'colonial' marriage within the context ofthe 1950s Anglo-American poetry scene and demonstrates how each poet's misreadings of the other contributed to the damaging stereotypes that now dominate the Plath-Hughes mythology. Following Plath and Hughes through alternating periods of collaboration and competition, The Grief of Influence showshow each poet forged a voice both through and against the other's, and offers a new assessment of the twentieth century's most important poetic partnership.

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Throughout their marriage, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes engaged in a complex and continually evolving poetic dialogue about writing, love, and grief. Although scholars have commented extensively on the biographical details of Plath's and Hughes's marriage, few have undertaken a systematicintertextual analysis of the poets' work. The Gri...

Heather Clark is Professor of Literature at Marlboro College and teaches Irish Studies at NYU's Glucksman Ireland House. She is the author of The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 (OUP, 2006), which won the Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book and the Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature from the Ameri...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pagesPublished:January 9, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199558191

ISBN - 13:9780199558193

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Affinities and Assimilations2. Secret Anxieties3. The Other Two4. Colonial Contexts5. The Early Dialogue6. Disarming the Enemy7. Tracking the Thought-Fox8. Hughes's Plath9. Crow and Counter-revision10. The Old Factory Demolished: Wodwo to Moortown11. Fixed Stars: Birthday LettersBibliography