Friday, February 20, 2015

Esther Greenwood on the eighteenth century

From Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar (1963):

I hated the very idea of the eighteenth century, with all those smug men writing tight little couplets and being so dead keen on reason.
I found this passage on a scrap of paper between pages of a book. My paper, so it must be my handwriting. (As a student, I helped myself to stacks of bank-deposit slips for use as notepaper.)

It occurs to me now that Plath’s sentence could furnish a wonderful exam question for a course in eighteenth-century poetry. The student would of course be asked to argue against.

comments: 1

Chris said...

A healthy dose of Christopher Smart would fix that.