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Topic Summary

Posted by: Sylphide
« on: August 17, 2009, 03:29:59 PM »


I've jush finnish yesterday the book The Bell Jar (la cloche de d├ętresse to me, I've read it in french... in my point of view, the french title is better... but it has is entire sens in english too) by Sylvia Plath.

I found it would be interesting to present it here, and I think it's a good reading to someone who loved 4.48 Psychosis.

For sure, this book may have inspired the play of Sarah Kane. At least, the way it has been written is a bit the same; Plath wrote it and edited it very shortly before her suicide. I'm not telling you the end of the book, but it may give a new sense to the last lines of 4.48 Psychosis. Or, at least, a new way to see them.

As I was reading this book, it seemed to me that I was reading a part of 4.48 psychosis too. Either when Plath talk about the betrayal of her doctor, or a sort of "doctor this and doctor that..." and either when she was saying "I can't sleep, I can't read, I can't eat"... it seems like if there was an echo of this suffering into the play of Sarah Kane.

Also, she wasn't only a patient; she was understanding, as the character does in 4.48

Briefly, this book is about the major depressive disorder/ bipolar disorder that the main character is living. It can be compared to Salinger's novel "Catcher in the Rye", with less "godamn" and teenager's stupidities (and without ducks...) (another note; sorry, I really hated the book catcher in the rye...). It began in New York, where Esther finds herself at the beginning of her "life", where she can be whatever she wants, can marry a boy, have kids... (we are in the 50's...) but she's not able to do anything.

She comes back home, in Boston, and then, everything begins, the breakdown, the doctors, the treatments... and the bell jar is always upon her head, the sadness, the insomnia, the depression...

"To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream. "- Sylvia Plath.

February, 11, 1963. In the darkest time of her life, Sylvia Plath took her life, one month after editing the Bell Jar. As Sarah Kane did, she let us an unfinished oeuvre, killed by what was her life...

further reading;
Sylvia Plath Effect, or a link between creativity and mental illness

A summary of the book