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"Black Phones": Postmodern Poetics in the Holocaust Poetry of Sylvia Plath

Boswell, MJ (2008) "Black Phones": Postmodern Poetics in the Holocaust Poetry of Sylvia Plath. Critical Survey, 20 (2). 53 - 64 . ISSN 0011-1570


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This essay offers a fresh perspective on the Holocaust poetry of Sylvia Plath, taking issue with the idea that in her poetry she uses the Holocaust as a metaphor to figure her own personal pain. This essay offers close readings of the eccentric monologue 'Lady Lazarus' and the 'German trilogy' of 'Little Fugue', 'Daddy' and 'The Munich Mannequins'. Paying particular attention to the recurring motif of the 'black phone', this essay argues that Plath's Holocaust verse offers a self-aware response to the genocide that is identifiably postmodern in its innovative, self-reflexive treatment of history.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Critical Survey. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Boswell MJ,‘Black Phones’: Postmodern Poetics in the Holocaust Poetry of Sylvia Plath Critical Survey 20(2):53-64 Jun 2008 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/cs.2008.200206
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2012 14:55
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2014 11:46
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/cs.2008.200206
Status: Published
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Identification Number: 10.3167/cs.2008.200206
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74545

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