The Bell Jar

sylvia_plath

I suppose the only one benefit to being sick is that I actually can get some reading done. Having been holed up with my chronic bronchitus again for over a week I’ve had no choice but to finish off Murakami and move on to Plath (given that I don’t have a TV).

About one year ago, I impulsively bought “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath, for no reason I can remember, but have shelved it as a result of Paris, new job, new boyfriend and too much work. But I’m halfway through, and I’m only sorry to know that there were no more books written after this one. It is an incredible book. It is so raw and honest, and feels so familiar. I liken it to the work of my favourite, J.D Salinger. I’m not sure if any literary scholar would do the same but their styles and genre of writing seem so similar to me.

I’ve already starting dog earing pages, where paragraphs have stunned me with their honest brilliance.

—-

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green-fig in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and off-beat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quiet make out.

I saw myself sitting at the crotch of this fig-tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest…”

—-

Being sick and reading are the two things that make me realize I’m not really doing what I want to do. And I might not always be able to do it. So I damn well better start.

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2 Comments

  1. Have you ever read any books by Jhumpa Lahiri? She wrote The Namesake (which was also made into a great, touching movie). Her other books are collections of short stories. She’s an incredibly gifted writer.

    Reply

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