Tag Archives: Sylvia Plath

Hemingway, Plath, and Fear

6 Jun

Today, the Sociological Cinema published a quote from Sylvia Plath.

 “Being born a woman is an awful tragedy… Yes, my consuming desire to mingle with road crews, sailors and soldiers, bar room regulars – to be a part of a scene, anonymous, listening, recording – all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery. My consuming interest in men and their lives is often misconstrued as a desire to seduce them, or as an invitation to intimacy. Yet, God, I want to talk to everybody I can as deeply as I can. I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night…”

Although I’ve never read anything by Plath aside from the odd assortment of poems (The Bell Jar is on my to-read shelf, okay?), her sentiment struck a chord for me, a burgeoning writer who once longed for the safety of masculinity.

In high school and part of college, Hemingway was my favorite novelist (I would be ashamed, but I’m pretty sure 1 in 3 English majors can say this). His concentrated masculinity, his stark refusal to acknowledge any kind of emotion, his cool drinks consumed in warm climates in the face of elephants, lions, and bulls…. all of this, to me, spoke of life. I wanted to live life like Hemingway, not Ernesta Hemingway.

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