Home PRESS RELEASE Sylvia Plath Collection Coming to New York Antiquarian Book Fair

Sylvia Plath Collection Coming to New York Antiquarian Book Fair

by Ohio Digital News

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The materials on offer will include manuscripts, original art, first editions, personal ephemera, and even books from the library of the famed poet.

Rare book company Type Punch Matrix will feature more than two dozen items from the life and career of poet and THE BELL JAR author Sylvia Plath at the 64th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which will be held April 4th through the 7th at the Park Avenue Armory.

“Many of these items have never before been seen publicly,” says Rebecca Romney, co-founder of Type Punch Matrix. “For decades most were in the private collection of a friend of Plath’s mother, Aurelia, and he acquired them directly from her. We’re excited to give people the chance to see these items in person for the first time.”

Among the most significant is a copy of Karl Jaspers’s TRAGEDY IS NOT ENOUGH (1953), a book Plath used for one of her first classes at Cambridge in 1955. “It’s heavily underlined and annotated by Plath throughout,” explains TPM co-founder Brian Cassidy. “But what is most remarkable and moving are two particular annotations.” The first references her 1953 first suicide attempt and subsequent institutionalization, events that would inspire and inform her novel THE BELL JAR. The second is a passage marked by Plath in Jaspers’s discussion of Shakespeare, specifically the characters Prospero and Ariel from THE TEMPEST. Cassidy notes, “This section was underlined by Plath 10 years before her collection ARIEL appeared. In many ways, you can see the beginnings of her two most famous books right here.” 

Among the other highlights that will be on display are the signed contract for Plath’s first appearance in SEVENTEEN (a magazine that was an important early supporter of her writing), original works of art (including a Fauvist-inspired gouache portrait of a young woman, pictured), a juvenile poem written entirely in her hand (“The Snowflake Star”), and a mimeographed reading list for one of her sophomore English classes at Smith College — with notes in her hand about an upcoming blind date. 

These unique and personal items will be displayed alongside important editions from throughout Plath’s career. Among the rarities are her first separate publication, “A Winter Ship,” one of just 60 copies printed, as well as a beautiful example of the true first edition of her classic THE BELL JAR, published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.

“Taken as a whole, we hope the collection presents an intimate and revealing look at one of our most enduring and influential poets,” says Romney. “It’s also a great introduction to the delights of collecting and the excitement of the New York Book Fair.”

Type Punch Matrix can be found in booth A35 of the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, opening at the Park Avenue Armory on Thursday, April 4th, and continuing through Sunday, April 7th.

Source: Type Punch Matrix

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