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Subject:Tick tock
Time:11:55 pm
Four minutes. Tick tock tick tock. After this nothing's ever going to be the same, although nothing's really going to change.
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Subject:Lady Lazarus
Time:01:53 pm
Current Mood:apatheticapathetic
Frieda Hughes wrote of the 2003 film SYLVIA (or in the UK, The Beekeeper's Daughter):

They are killing her again,
She said she did it
One Year in every ten,
But they do it annually, or weekly,
Some do it daily,
Carrying her death around in their heads,
And practising it. She saves them
The trouble of their own;
They can die through her
Without ever making
The decision. My buried mother
Is up-dug for repeat performances.

Now they want to make a film
For anyone lacking the ability
To imagine the body, head in oven,
Orphaning children. Then
It can be rewound
So they can watch her die
Right from the beginning again.

The peanut-eaters, entertained
At my mother's death, will go home,
Each carrying their memory of her,
Lifeless - a souvenir.
Maybe they'll buy the video.
Watching someone on TV
Means all they have to do
Is press pause
If they want to boil a kettle,
While my mother holds her breath on screen
To finish dying after tea.

The filmmakers have collected
The body parts.
They want me to see.
But they requiere dressings to cover the joins
And disguise the prosthetics
In their remake of my mother.
They want to use her poetry
As stichting and sutures
To give it credibility.
They think I should love it-
Having her back again, they think
I should give them my mother`s words
to fill the mouth of their monster,
Their Sylvia Suicide Doll.
Who will walk and talk
And die at will,
And die, and die
And forever be dying.



It's just sad. I cannot see how Gwyneth Paltrow, usually such an intelligent and sensitive woman (or at least that is how she strikes me; how should I know, really?) would consent to do a film like that, a glossed-up "biopic" on poet Sylvia Plath. I mention it because it was on Lifestyle again. I remember how a friend of mine recommended me the film, said it was on Cinemax, I should try to watch it, etc. I was against it in the first place. On principle I object to biopics, particularly those on the lives of artists, writers, poets. I'm beginning to think the only biographical film I ever really liked was Hawking (although it does tend to make something of a Gary Stu of Stephen Hawking. Surely he couldn't really have been that likeable all the damn time, though he was surely that brilliant). I shouldn't have watched Sylvia, ever, because it fills me with a sort of righteous indignation that I have no right to possess, not even knowing her closely and not even beginning to understand her poetry in its entirety, and its complexity.

I do understand some of the principle behind the film. Like most other teenaged girls there was a time when I was obsessed with Sylvia Plath, but I don't think it was because she killed herself; I think it was because she was such a bloody (and I use this not as an expletive but as a real adjective) perfectionist, how she was a bundle of nerves and neuroses and how this was evident even when she was in her first years of college. I purchased her "unabridged" journals and I remember thinking, That's me, that's me speaking, only she's more eloquent about it. I loved how she wrote her journals leaving one with the faint impression that she expected them, someday, to be read, like the closet egotist I thought she was. In any case, I loved her imagery, I loved the intensity of each piece--how there was always expectation of something triumphant and destructive even in the most humdrum first lines of every poem. I loved her hatred for her father, a hatred which most young girls who have had to live without their fathers can begin to understand. I loved her voice; I downloaded as many clips as I could, thanking God for the internet, wishing I could talk like her, sincere without being insincere, deep without being mannish. (For goodness' sake, Gwyneth Paltrow is, at this very moment, murdering "Daddy" on screen. How I want to turn off the television.) A testimony to my obsession: if one searches my name on the internet one of the first search results will be a link to my (actually less-than-stellar) Amazon review of Ariel, which I think my father bought me when I was fifteen or sixteen.

In any case, I wanted other people to read her, to understand her. I was a schoolgirl in unmatched socks clutching a copy of The Bell Jar and knocking on the doors of my classmates' intellects, wanting them to understand and wanting them to help me understand. I showed them her journals. No response. Then her poetry. No one was really interested in her poetry. They only raised their eyebrows when they saw the word "bastard" in "Daddy". (There, I have asked my uncle to change the channel. I'd rather watch an old Tagalog talkie than listen to one more minute.) So, I... and of this I will be eterally ashamed... tried to attract them with the most salacious gossip. I told them that she tried to commit suicide at least three times in her life, finally succeeding about forty years ago (I was, again, in high school when I was telling them this). I told them that her husband had committed adultery, pushing her to produce some of her best works and further supporting the teenagerish idea of "I'm an artist. Torture is a prerequisite" (HELLO, Dawson's Creek). I told them she had an unresolved Oedipus complex. I told them she was married to Ted Hughes, poet laureate of England. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

O tempora! O mores!

This makes me think of the 2003 film. Perhaps They wanted Sylvia Plath to be read, thinking that no matter what criticism the movie received (and of negative criticism it received much, I shouldn't neglect to say) then the film would have not been in vain. And why shouldn't it have attracted readers? She was the famous poet who stuck her head in an oven and killed herself, et cetera, see above. I realize now that I was wrong, that I was not doing my friends a favor by trying to lure them in with gossip and hoping that in the course of their reading they would see past that salacious juice. For it would forever colour their perception. And for this same reason I regret Sylvia. "Sivvy" in the film is less than what she really was, less than what her poetry conveys. The film doesn't understand her--not that I claim to. But really, how could it have missed out on her people-pleasing, her constant desire to be the best, her vanity? Her love of sex, the dichotomy in her--her femininity and her savage spirit that presaged feminism? Her insanity? It even gets the facts wrong; shoddy, shoddy research particularly on the Plath home. And most of all... it gives the impression, to the less perceptive viewers at least, that she was driven to commit suicide by Ted's adultery--and only Ted's adultery. It is so very wrong. I imagine Angsty teenagers or gossip-mongering old women popping on a video of Sylvia and watching it again and again, again and again. And I feel the second-hand Frieda indignation of a faithful, if not entirely intelligent, reader and Plath purist.

The producers were fortunate they were even allowed to use "Daddy". Had Frieda Hughes wanted, she could have sued them. And won, I should think.
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Subject:aloysius
Time:11:17 pm
Tomorrow is the feast day of St Aloysius--after whom, incidentally, Sebastian Flyte's teddy-bear in Brideshead Revisted was named.
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Current Music:Infatuation's Always There - Typecast
Current Location:L-space
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Subject:The Glorious May25th Lilac Fandom Wank: Were you there?
Time:10:22 pm
Current Mood:amusedamused
The weirdest thing is happening over at discworld. Everyone's got their knickers in a twist over whether to wear lilac or not. (We even made fandom wank! ) I say live and let live. :)
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Subject:All the Little Angels
Time:10:56 pm
I know that this is premature, but:

See the little angels rise up, rise up; See the little angels rise up high.
See how they rise up, rise up, rise up; See how they rise up, rise up high?
They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, All the little angels rise up high.

See the little angels rise up, rise up; See the little angels rise up high.
See how they rise up, rise up, rise up; See how they rise up, rise up high?
They rise hands up, hands up, hands up, See the little angels rise up high.

All the little angels rise up, rise up; See the little angels rise up high.
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up; See how they rise up, rise up high?
They rise ARSE up, arse up, arse up, See the little angels rise up high.

All the little angels rise up, rise up; All the little angels rise up high.
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up; How do they rise up, rise up high?
They rise knees up, knees up, knees up, All the little angels rise up high.

All the little angels rise up, rise up; All the little angels rise up high.
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up; How do they rise up, rise up high?
They rise feet up, feet up, feet up, All the little angels rise up high.


Happy twenty-fifth. RIP Sgt John Keel.
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Subject:Five-letter Words (or Maybe, Never, Early)
Time:09:39 pm
i. ***** (or maybe)


You smelled like apples
Left too long on a summer table,
Or maybe mangoes
In a field long-forgotten.
When you stepped,
Shower-fresh,
From a cocoon of steam
You smelled like
Bottled sun,
Manufactured female.
But most of all deceptively
You smelled


Of possibility.



ii. ----- (or never)


We run in circles, you and I
As children who, having found themselves
A playground,
Allow the hours to march swiftly by as soldiers
As they play
A silent game of hide and seek
Scraping knees,
Bruising elbows
Against the secret brambles.
How to find you?
Darkness falls.


We cannot be children forever.



iii. _ _ _ _ _ (or early)


Behold this weary traveler
Who knows the insides of train stations
Of far away places,
Who has a close acquaintance
With the passing clouds.
Her bags are heavy with the dust
Collected from Madrid and Costa Rica.
She is browned from her exposure
To the unkind suns of all the tropics
Where she was never welcome for very long
Chasing ghosts
Leaning against doorways
Peering through the windowpanes
Of promises.
She will not bother you
And she makes a decent sandwich,
And is good at choosing drapes
And all the fripperies
Of an unnecessary life.
Oh will you not please


Let her in, let her in.


5.18
22 May 2006
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Subject:Chasing ghosts
Time:09:30 pm
It is incredibly unfair of her to do this to me. Especially now. Now, when I am so happy.
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Current Music:"I Am" - Nicole Nordeman
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Time:05:27 pm
We watched HOUSE in Humanities I!!!

That was the most unexpected and most wonderful thing about today. :) The episode we watched was "Fidelity", and we were supposed to take note of Foreshadowing. :) I'm glad my blockmates have had a taste of House MD.
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Subject:HOUSE
Time:02:02 pm
Does anyone know where I can download House MD episodes that aren't in avi format? :(
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Subject:Duck
Time:01:06 am
...And Happy Birthday, our beloved Terry Pratchett.
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[icon] Sans toi, les émotions d'aujourd'hui...
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