Interesting piece from last week’s NYT Sunday magazine…It’s nothing groundbreaking, that’s for sure, but it’s always a good question to contemplate. When I fell in love with Sylvia Plath’s poetry during 10th grade of high school, I loathed Ted Hughes. Vehemently. And when I read some of his poetry later that year, I willed myself not to like it, even though I knew I did. So many wonderful artists are maniacal, misogynist, downright cruel. How easy is it for you to disconnect an artist from his work? I’m tired. Just read the article and think about it.

Can You Hate the Artist but Love the Art


One thought on “Wondering..

  1. I like Sylvia Plath (her poetry, that is). I like Ted Hughes (his poetry, that is). I have read quite a number of interpretations of their relationship and what happened, but at the end of the day the biographical details read like sloppy, rain-soaked tabloids compared to their volumes of pure, hard poetry.

    If you put two poets as singularly terrifying as Plath and Hughes in the same room (never mind the same bed), more often than not they will destroy each other. I guess creation and annihilation are two sides of the same coin. I guess that’s how it’s always been ever since the time of, oh I don’t know, Shiva and Vishnu?

    Any attempt at answering the question of who caused what in a human relationship is likely a meaningless foray into the metaphysical jungle of causation versus correlation. What did Ted do? What did Sylvia do? Who caused what to happen? Isn’t this all part of the so-called “mystery of love” — When you love, are you agent or victim, subject or object? Are you the one who causes things to happen (elation or despair or what have you), or are you the victim to whom all the darndest things seem to happen?

    The answer is: Yes!

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