"Journal of Education Culture and Society" 2015_1



Sylvia Plath and the Dangers of Biography


Selma Asotić

University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Philosophy

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 71000 Sarajevo, Franje Račkog 1

E-mail address: asoticselma@gmail.com




2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Sylvia Plath and was commemorated by a flurry of new publications on the life and work of the late poet. The renewed interest in Sylvia Plath also revitalized the decades-old debate on the interdependence of her poems and her biography. This paper investigates and problematizes the way in which poetry in general and the work of Sylvia Plath in particular are read and interpreted. It tries to shed some light on the “biographical fallacy” which has for so long plagued critical approaches to her work and shows ways in which S. Plath’s own poetic method differs from the method of confessional writers such as Robert Lowell, in the hope of revealing why S. Plath’s work cannot and should not be approached through the prism of her biography. 



confessional, poetry, Sylvia Plath, biography


DOI: 10.15503/jecs20151.55.64    pdf full version