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Her Novels Make Mine Possible
The Influence of Virginia Woolf on Sylvia Plath

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James F. Coyne. Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath in their Boston apartment: photograph, 1958.
Plath’s journal from her 1957 to 1958 teaching year at Smith College, which Ted Hughes unsealed shortly before his death in 1998, narrates her turbulent year struggling to find time for her writing. While writing what she called the “kernel chapter” of Falcon Yard, which was posthumously published as her short story, “Stone Boy with Dolphin,” Plath repeatedly returned to Woolf in her journal when frustrated with the simplicity of her story. It is after resolving to “try reworking” her chapter that Plath asked, “What is my voice? Woolfish, alas but tough.”

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Sylvia Plath. Journal: autograph manuscript, 28 August 1957-15 October 1958.

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Sylvia Plath. “Stone Boy With Dolphin.” In Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. New York: Harper & Row, 1979. Purchased.

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Sylvia Plath Collection
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College

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