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The Sylvia Plath Effect

  • Jan. 9th, 2009 at 11:19 AM
Online and Alone....
For all my female writer and poet friends:

Some of you have heard of the story of Sylvia Plath, some not.. It's a sad story, even if I may say so.
I was quite surprised though, when I came across something known as The Sylvia Plath Effect. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

The Sylvia Plath Effect:

The Sylvia Plath effect is a term coined by psychologist James C. Kaufman in 2001. It refers to the phenomenon that creative writers are more susceptible to mental illness, though Kaufman's studies demonstrated that female poets were more likely to suffer from mental illness than any other class of writers. This finding has been discussed in many international newspapers, including the New York Times.

The effect is named after the American poet Sylvia Plath.

Although debated (and occasionally mocked) on many internet websites, the finding is consistent with other psychological research studies

Take heed O' feminine mortals, the end is nigh! :o)



(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jan. 9th, 2009 07:00 am (UTC)
angiasaa wrote:
Jan. 9th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
Heh! You'll be okai.. Just stay away from the Poetry and Prose that haunt your heart. :P
sepiaverse wrote:
Jan. 10th, 2009 07:02 am (UTC)
its but a small bargain..if only one could write like she did :)

some of my favourites :
love is a parallax - http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/sylvia_plath/poems/18912
mushrooms - http://www.angelfire.com/tn/plath/mushrooms.html
appearance - http://www.angelfire.com/tn/plath/appearance.html
insomniac - http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/insomniac-2/

and besides, there's no knowing one won't go crazy if they didn't put pen to paper...only dead people don't do foolish things, hai naa :)
angiasaa wrote:
Jan. 13th, 2009 07:28 am (UTC)
Love Is A Parallax: Was good reading. Very visual, detailed delivery. Strange rhyme scheme, but very connected.

Mushrooms: Bouncy, but bland. :( The vision is devious, but at least she maintains track of the theme down to the mysterious closure. Still, Nice as it feels, seems somewhat unnatural. Though that might have been exactly what she'd wanted to portray. Not my type tho.

An Appearance: Appeals to me on a very raw level. Reminds me vividly of helplessness as if, having been in an accident of sorts, making peace with the last breath.... Inches from the end. lightening, thunder.. At the end, we all seek death.

Insomniac: I did not like. :( It appears rather forced to me. Like she was attempting to say something without actually feeling the words.

That's my critical eye. But I find her poems rather ruffling in general anyway. :o)

only dead people don't do foolish things, hai naa :)

lol! very true. :)
inspirethoughts wrote:
Jan. 12th, 2009 06:40 pm (UTC)
That is so sad! I meant abt Sylvia Plath, not us female writers or poets.
angiasaa wrote:
Jan. 13th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC)
I lost a level of respect for her when I first heard her story. Not because she was suicidal, mind you, but because, once I'd learned the details, I sensed a powerfully abrasive personality in her.

Half the reason for her attempts at suicide appear to stem from an addiction to being near-death and asphyxiation. Add to that, the fact that cooking often tends to induce hallucinations.

Many people sometimes attribute her poetry to these hallucinations and profound near-death experiences. The truth though, we'll probably never know.

inspirethoughts wrote:
Jan. 13th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
More than barasive personality, I felt that she had a suicidal tendency all along. Her poetry is sometimes depressing too. That was one reason I had not read her poetry much. Again, without knowing about the reality or her personally, I do not want to jump into conclusions or judge her. Just that her poetry I felt depressing and avoided.
angiasaa wrote:
Jan. 16th, 2009 12:11 pm (UTC)
I agree with you there. Most of her work is pretty depressing. Sometimes makes you wonder if all she saw was that one side of life, and nothing else.

I've found that some of the best stuff I've written is when I've been sad and depressed. It's usually the easiest way to let the emotions flow into text. probably because I have difficulty talking to people about my feelings.. Especially when I'm down and out.
inspirethoughts wrote:
Jan. 16th, 2009 04:29 pm (UTC)
I've found that some of the best stuff I've written is when I've been sad and depressed.

It is very true. I have experinced that too. Some of my beautiful compositions or fictional stories came out when I have been down and depressed too. I feel that by writing down at that time, you let your emotions and feelings flow from u thru the pen's ink and on to paper, making your heart less weight of the issue and able to bear the pain. :)
pun_princess wrote:
Feb. 7th, 2009 07:41 am (UTC)
I totally agree here. Her poetry is too depressing for me to handle, hence never really explored her work despite that evanescence , lacuna coil [female goth] lyrics somehow attract me a lot but then I'd need to listen to something cheerful to get over em.

Gosh! scary to say the least...

cooking often tends to hallucination? I always found cooking to be stress buster for me , hmm...either coz i cook annually or I must be hallucinating then :P
inspirethoughts wrote:
Feb. 9th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
I agree...if I want to listen, I wud pick a cheery one or at least one with less goth in it. :)

Hmm...Cooking is a real stress-reliever for me...i tend to remove all the stress from my body by cutting vegetables and mxing the curries and rasams. I feel so much relaxed after cooking. Contrary to your thoughts. Sorry to dsiagree.!
nikitamehta wrote:
Jan. 13th, 2009 02:43 pm (UTC)
Her's is a story I would never know how to respond to, so I keep it with the simple "I hope she is resting in peace."

Her work though is profound, and does leave one thinking.
angiasaa wrote:
Jan. 28th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
She must be. :) and I don't believe in the afterlife.. So peaceful, she would be.

It leaves one thinking indeed. I guess that's one of the joys of writing. There's something about being able to take a thought and preserve it over time and turbulence for someone else to chance upon. :)