"The Grim Keys of My Smug Typewriter": On the Material Practice(s) of Sylvia Plath
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Join us for this interactive seminar with Plath scholar & editor Amanda Golden, who will discuss the impact of everything from the pink paper Plath chose to compose on to her annotation of T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land (which itself includes an "automatic hand") to her playful tendency to refer to her writing instrument in the third person ("this machine" and "my smug typewriter").
Golden will also consider such material aspects as recycling (e.g., she typed many of her Ariel poems on the back of her drafts of her novel The Bell Jar) and what we might learn from Plath's intense engagement with the physical dimensions of the writing process.
Amanda Golden is Associate Professor of English at New York Institute of Technology and a current Research Affiliate at Smith College. Golden is the author of Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets (Routledge 2020; paperback, 2021) and editor of This Business of Words: Reassessing Anne Sexton (UPF, 2016). She has co-edited The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath (due out in 2022) with Anita Helle and Maeve O’Brien and is co-editing The Poems of Sylvia Plath (Faber & Faber) with Karen V. Kukil.
Part of the Typewriter Talks series in honor of the recent donation of John Ashbery's typewriter to the Woodberry Poetry Room.