Secs, sans cavalier, les mots Et leur galop infatigable Quand Depuis le fond de l'étang, les étoiles Régissent une vie.
« Ariel, génie de l'air de La Tempête, de Shakespeare, est aussi le nom du cheval blanc que montait à l'aube dans le Devon, en Angleterre, l'un des plus extraordinaires poètes du XXe siècle, Sylvia Plath, aux derniers mois de sa courte vie.
Ariel, borne décisive marquant un "avant" et un "après", parole intense jusqu'à la rage parfois, question de vie ou de mort.
Ariel, jusqu'au bout, l'extrémité du dernier souffle. » Valérie Rouzeau.
Lips the colour of blood, the sun an unprecedented orange, train wheels that sound like 'guilt, and guilt, and guilt': these are just some of the things Mary Ventura begins to notice on her journey to the ninth kingdom. 'But what is the ninth kingdom?' she asks a kind-seeming lady in her carriage. 'It is the kingdom of the frozen will,' comes the reply. 'There is no going back.' Sylvia Plath's strange, dark tale of independence over infanticide, written not long after she herself left home, grapples with mortality in motion.
The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath's only novel. Renowned for its intensity and outstandingly vivid prose, it broke existing boundaries between fiction and reality and helped to make Plath an enduring feminist icon. It was published under a pseudonym a few weeks before the author's suicide.
'It is a fine novel, as bitter and remorseless as her last poems . . . The world in which the events of the novel take place is a world bounded by the Cold War on one side and the sexual war on the other . . . This novel is not political nor historical in any narrow sense, but in looking at the madness of the world and the world of madness it forces us to consider the great question posed by all truly realistic fiction: What is reality and how can it be confronted? . . . Esther Greenwood's account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing.' New York Times Book Revie
Highly readable, witty and disturbing, 'The Bell Jar' is Sylvia Plath's only novel and was originally published under a pseudonym in 1963. What it has to say about what women expect of themselves, and what society expects of women, is as sharply relevant today as it has always been. Now strikingly repackaged for the key teenage market.
In the "Poet to Poet" series, a contemporary poet advocates a poet of the past or present whom they have particularly admired. By their selection of verses and their critical reactions, the selectors offer intriguing insights into their own work. Here, Ted Hughes selects Sylvia Plath.