Thursday, March 1, 2012

Classics and Cocktails Book Club (March)

The 12 in 2012 classic is Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. The novel was Sylvia Plath's first and last. She committed suicide a month after it was published, under a pseudonym, in the UK.

The Bell Jar follows the mental downfall of Esther Greenwood. Esther is intelligent, beautiful, talented, and successful, but slowly losing her mind.

"I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth." 

From "Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic."

Sounds super depressing. Let's do this.

Some stats:

The Bell Jar is 288 pages long.

It was first published in 1963, the same year Sylvia Plath committed suicide at the age of 30.

It wasn't published under Sylvia Plath's real name until 1967.

In 2008 Plum Pictures announced plans for a Hollywood version of the novel, the movie to be written by playwright and screenwriter Tristine Skyler and Julia Stiles to star as the novel's protagonist, with Rose McGowan as Doreen. As of January 2012, the film remains in development.

Related links:
12 Important Books in 2012

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