Book #9: The Bell Jar

From one book that made me wax philosophical and go all melancholy to another that (probably) will. Next I get to read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

"The Bell Jar" Sylvia Plath hardcover

Now, I like Sylvia Plath. I haven’t read any of her books, but I have read her poetry. It’s very sad, but very beautiful. I guess that sums up Sylvia Plath as a whole, doesn’t it?

Here’s a quick anecdote about my early exposure to Sylvia Plath: My sophomore year I went to the English department costume party at my professors’ house. I wound up talking to this girl whose head was in a cardboard box. I didn’t look closely at the box at first, but I was intrigued.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“Sylvia Plath,” she answered. After that, I noticed that the box was drawn on to look like an oven.

I proceeded to laugh heartily for a long time. I probably freaked her out, because I spent the rest of the night giggling every time I looked at her.

This is going to be a very painful, intriguing descent into madness, I fear. The Bell Jar is one of those books that most people in the English-nerdy world at least know about, even if they haven’t read it. I know going in that it’s going to be depressing and intense.

I’m a little nervous for this one. I know going in that I’m going to follow Esther Greenwood’s slow fall into insanity and despair. And, knowing Plath, it’s probably going to be pretty intense. I don’t want to slowly descend into my own madness! I have a couple Goodreads friends who’ve read this one. One of them wrote a review that says only, “eerily relatable. that’s all.”

I was sort of expecting to find Esther at least a little relatable, because I’ve heard things. But, as I’m sure you must understand, I’m a bit nervous about relating to this particular character.

Here goes nothing.


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