The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is opening a visual biography of the author Sylvia Plath, including her rarely-seen artwork.
Sylvia Plath once got blazed with Frida Kahlo. This is the setting of Musas, which invites us to be a fly on the wall and listen in on these women’s conversations as they smoke, eat, play, and work.
Let’s start at the beginning. Vice magazine recently published a fashion spread from its new Women in Fiction issue. Titled “Last Words,” it features seven models posed as female writers who committed suicide (or in one case, attempted to) at the moment of their deaths.
America, says Charlie Citrine in Saul Bellow’s novel Humboldt’s Gift (1975), is proud of its dead poets. Especially the mad ones: the bridge-leapers, the drink-guzzlers, the pill-snackers. Robert Lowell thought everyone was tired of his turmoil, but he obviously wasn’t thinking ahead to the possibilities he and his fellow scribblers presented to the movie business. You can only imagine the film gurus and movie execs surveying the poetscape of the twentieth century with nods of excited approval, foaming about their mouths. Drink, adultery, jealousy, madness, suicide: who knew poets led such cinematic lives!