Sylvia Plath (lost unpublished work from American writer; 1963)

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Sylvia Plath.jpeg

Sylvia Plath in 1961.

Status: Lost

Sylvia Plath was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of poetry. She also wrote short stories, and the only novel she published prior to her death, The Bell Jar. Orginally, she published the novel under a pseudonym, Victoria Lucas. It was released under her real name posthumously. However, this is not the only novel she wrote. She also kept journals that were highly detailed and what is available has been published unabridged. One novel, Falcon Yard, was burned by Sylvia Plath herself. Double Exposure is said to have disappeared in 1970, and her last two journals are said to be missing or destroyed by her husband Ted Hughes.

Double Exposure[edit | edit source]

The missing novel titled Double Exposure was a novel for which little is known. Reportedly, it was going to be semi-autobiographical, like The Bell Jar was. Ted Hughes has cited figures of 60 or 70 pages up to as high as 130 pages. Plath's literary executor, Olwyn Hughes, said only two chapters were completed. The plot was said to revolve around a woman discovering her husband having an affair culminating in the husband's desertion of his family. Plath said it was a "dark comedy."[1]

Two Journals[edit | edit source]

Ted Hughes outright said he destroyed the final journal in the Foreword of the abridged version Journals of Sylvia Plath. However, in his archive at Emory university an unsent letter that reads like a confession says otherwise:

"...First you must believe me when I tell you — I have never told this to anyone — I hid the last journal, about two months of entries, to protect — possibly to my utter foolishness — somebody else..."[2]

Rumors[edit | edit source]

Biographers speculated about a trunk at Emory University that was said to be sealed until 2023 or the lifetime of his last wife, Carol Hughes. It was discovered the trunk had been opened many years ago and much of the material was incorporated into the archive. The missing Plath material wasn't among the contents.[3]

The whereabouts of Double Exposure and the two journals remain unknown.

References[edit | edit source]