emcmullin at kl.com
Mon Dec 20 17:34:50 EST 1999
"I once audited a class where this was mentioned, and I remember the
> also mentioning an autobiography of Anne Sexton's daughter, who had a
> terrible relationship with her mother, which mentions this book - might be
> interesting to you."
Oh yeah. I read a recent bio of Sexton last fall and she was A
Trial to live with, extremely volatile. It's amazing how hard we can make
our lives sometimes. It gave me quite a different view of her than her
poetry did. Still liked her, but glad not to have known her myself. It's
interesting to have a look into some of those mad, mid-century american
poets, each seems more outrageous than the last. I saw a play once ( I will
try to remember the name) which had 4 characters - based on Sylvia Plath,
Ted Hughes, Anne Sexton and Robert Lowell. No matter how outrageous it
seemed, it wasn't far off the mark of real life. I think it might have been
called Psychic Savages - oh well.
"The daughter tells how once when she was young, she was
> reading a book of fairytales in the kitchen, and her mother came in and
> watched her, and asked her which were her favorite stories. Which pleased
> her at the time because it was an unusually warm interest from her mother.
> And then Anne Sexton went off and wrote "Transformations" which is
> basically a corruption of each of these stories, and a vicious thing to do
> to a child, if I'm rememberig the story correctly. The biography is
> apparently in the "mommy dearest" line."
It didn't seem as if Sexton was even conscious of how she affected
others. She only seemed noticed how others affected her. She probably
didn't even notice she had hurt her daughter's feelings. Good luck to Linda
Sexton, she's been through a lot.
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