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    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Tete a Tete 2


    Having investigated the substance of the
    Beauvoir-Sarte relationship
    yesterday on My Amusement Park, we now turn to the equally obsessing and obsessed-about literary love affair of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.

    Michael Frank discusses the new exhibition at The Grolier Club in New York City, called "No Other Appetite: Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and the Blood Jet of Poetry":

    Exhibitions like these have curators, of course. Inclusion itself is a biographical gesture. So is omission. So are labels that supply context, bridge gaps, help parse the mysterious and the fragmented. To go in thinking that this show presents Plath and Hughes utterly raw is a mistake. But at least they have not been fully baked into a biographical pie, and the mission at hand appears to be a fairly neutral and open-ended one.

    If there is a way of thinking about the Plath-Hughes relationship that we haven't seen yet, I am amazed. Though I am not a Hughes-hater (Plath was easily the superior poet, but she was also crazy, so I can't blame him entirely for his choices), I do find he always looks like an asshole in photographs, so, if the exhibition is fair, it will keep the pictures to a minimum.

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