Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Reflections on her legacy / Sylvia Plath by Jeanette Winterson

Sylvia Plath

Reflections on her legacy
Sylvia Plath 
by Jeanette Winterson

8 February 2013

Jeanette Winterson
 Jeanette Winterson
Photo by Murdo Macleod

The early 60s was a terrible time for women. Worse for clever ambitious women. Valium had been on the market for two years in 1963 and by this time was being advertised aggressively at healthy women who felt trapped and desperate and whose distress had to be medicated away. This is the world of The Bell Jar.
The Bell Jar was published at the same time as Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer was reissued after its long ban in the USA. The misogynist masterpiss billets half the population to the whorehouse. All women are for sex. Rich women are for cash. Poor women are for housework. Why wouldn't a woman go mad in a world like this? Why wouldn't a woman as gifted as Plath become terminally depressed and end in suicide? Pills don't change the world. Feminism did.
The Bell Jar was a call to action because it is a diary of despair.
Plath was gifted. She could have been great. Wrong generation. Wrong medication.
Jeanette Winterson's most recent book is Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal (Vintage)

No comments:

Post a Comment