A limited-edition series of small format books about subjects including Sylvia Plath alone in Paris in 1956
Sylvia Plath was in Paris during Easter 1956, alone in a hotel near Notre Dame. She’d grown to love the city after spending Christmas there with Richard Sassoon and she’d hoped he‘d be with her for Easter too,but he hadn’t answered her letters. She’d met Ted Hughes a month
earlier;Ted was also in her head and within ten weeks they’d be married.
In the fourth book in his Art Decades series,Dave Haslam describes this key period in Sylvia Plath’s life. We discover how she filled those Paris days, including having dinner with an Italian communist,instigating drunken afternoon sex with a friend of a friend, sketching in the park, and lying on her yellow bed in an attic room listening to the sound of the Paris rain as she considered decisions and future plans:in her phrase, ‘the fatal dance’ of choices and alternatives.
In this beautifully presented small format book David Haslam explores Sylvia Plath’s time in Paris over Easter 1956. We read of her initial encounter with Ted Hughes just prior to her leaving for France and how this would quickly become an important relationship just as Plath was going through a break up with Richard Sassoon.
In such a few pages Haslam beautifully conjures up Paris of the mid fifties, Plath’s mind set and rather tortured love life giving the reader a wonderful book.
This is the first book in this series that I’ve read and have loved the insight that you gain about Plath even when the author is using a very short, specific period in time and how what happens in that period could have such an affect on her. Plath was a rollercoaster of emotions and you are so easily carried along on the ride.
Sylvia Plath is a fascinating character and this book gives you a great sense of her life, her heart and mind. All alongside a gorgeous cameo of Paris. David Haslams commentary is well written, insightful and comes beautifully presented. Well worth reading.
Book: purchased. We went to an independent publishers fair at Manchester Central Library and I bought the Dave Haslam book there.
Published: Confingo Publishing UK | 2020 | ISBN 978-0-9955966-7-2
Art Decades is a highly original and wide-ranging series of mini books by writer, broadcaster and former Haçienda DJ, Dave Haslam, exploring a variety of subjects rooted in cities, in recent history and lived experience, and a love for music, literature and art.
Original Illustration, Design and Typesetting by Zoë McLean, Manchester | Zoë McLean
Author: Dave Haslam grew up in Birmingham and moved to Manchester in 1980 and attended the University of Manchester where he studied English Literature. In 1983 he founded ‘Debris’, a post-punk fanzine. In 1985 he was invited to contribute to ‘NME’ and his journalism has subsequently appeared in ‘The Face’, ‘The New Statesman’,’The Guardian‘ and ‘The London Review of Books‘.
He’s the author of ‘Manchester England’, a groundbreaking study of Manchester’s radical and musical history. On World Book Day in 2003 ‘Manchester, England’ was declared one of the ten booksthat best represent England (alongside books by the likes of Jeremy Paxman, Zadie Smith, and George Monbiot).
He’s subsequently written four more books; an alternative history of the 1970s (‘Not Abba’, some reviews here) and ‘Adventures on the Wheels of Steel’, a book about superstar DJs (reviews here), and ‘Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues’.
‘Life After Dark’ was published on August 13th 2015. ‘The Sunday Times’ declared the work a “must read” and was described by the ‘Herald’ (Scotland) as “impressive…beautifully written, incredibly readable and fascinating”.
Events – In conversations with Cressa (with ticket link).
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