the journals of sylvia plath

4 maj 2012

Jag har precis börjat läsa The Journals of Sylvia Plath och det kan nog vara det bästa hon har skrivit tycker jag. Nästan varje stycke är på något sätt påtagligt eller igenkännande. Som det här (något långa) stycket från hennes tid på college. Hon lyckas sätta ord på saker jag inte kan.

"Now I know what loneliness is, I think. Momentary loneliness, anyway. It comes from a vague core of the self -- like a disease of the blood, dispersed throughout the body so that one cannot locate the matrix, the spot of contagion. I am back in my room at Haven House after the Thanksgiving Holidays. Homesick is the name they give that sick feeling which dominates me now. I am alone in m room, between two worlds. Downstairs are the few girls who have come in - no freshmen, no one I really know. I could go down with letter paper as an excuse for my presence, but I won't yet -- not yet. No, I won't try and escape myself by losing myself in artificial chatter "Did you have a nice vacation?" "Oh, yes, and you?" I'll stay here and try to pin that loneliness down I hardly can remember those four days of Thanksgiving - a blur of home, smaller than when I left, with the spots on the darkened yellow wallpaper more visible; my old room, now no longer really mine, with all my things gone; Mother, Grammy, Clem and Warren and Bob; my walk with the boys before the family reunion and dinner; my talk with Bob after we say "The Red Shoes;" my date at the party Saturday, tall, blonde, and horribly popular, and then Sunday - numb, gray, and just as I had begun to accustom myself to familiar faces, the ride back. Oh yes, the ride back. When "Hump" got in back beside me, Tooky next to me, told him to get in front because his legs were to long. So my one clutch on the situation was gone. All the other three boys were short. Tooky could talk gaily to all about times they had in common. Oh, she had the situation well in hand, and I was jealous of her superior reserve of tactics - in other words, I grudgingly admired her. So there it was, two hours of driving through the dark, the warmth of the people on either side of me - animal warmth penetrates regardless of sensibilities and arbitrary mental barricades. I was there, yet not there. Part was back home, with love and security, and part was at Smith, the present necessity and hope. So here I am , in my room. I can't surround myself with friends and chatter and oblivion because my few comrades are not yet here. I can't deceive myself out of the bare stark realization that no matter how entusiastic you are, no matter how sure that character is fate, nothing is real, past or future, when you are alone in your room with the clock ticking loudly into the false cheerful brilliance of the electrick light. And ifyou have no past or future which, after all, is all that present is made of, why then you may as well dispose of the empty shell of present and commit suicide. But the cold reasoning mass of gray entrail in my cranium which parrots "I think, therefore I am," whispers that there is always the turning, the upgrade, the new slant. And so I wait. What avail are good looks? To grab temporary security? What avail are brains? Merely to say "I have seen; I have comprehended?" Ah yes, I hate myself for not being able to go downstairs naturally and seek comfort in numbers. I hate myself for having to sit here and be torn between I know not what within me. Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. I record here the actions of optical nerves, of taste buds, of sensory perception. And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted narrowed, warped, by my enviroment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living -- a set of values. This loneliness will blur and diminish, no doubt, when tomorrow I plunge again into classes, into the necessity of studying for exams. But now, that false purpose is lifted and I am spinning in a temporary vacuum. At home I rested and played, here, where I work, the routine is momentarily suspended and I am lost. There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter -- they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside of you for so long. yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship -- but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering."

Jag har tyvärr inte The Unabridged Journals, utan det är en tidigare utgåva som blivit redigerad och censurerad bland annat för att hon var för erotisk (skulle de göra så om hon var en man? I think not.) och för att hon skrev elaka saker om sina vänner. Den kursiva delen i texten fanns inte med i min bok men (antar jag) i den oredigerade versionen. Jag måste få tag på den.
I förordet skriver Ted Hughes, hennes make, att han förstörde de sista av hennes dagböcker för att han inte ville att hennes barn skulle läsa dem. Jag hatar honom lite för det. De hade garanterat varit väldigt intressanta att läsa.

Bara ett citat till:
"Frustrated? Yes. Why? Because it is impossible for me to be God — or the universal woman-and-man — or anything much. I am what I feel and think and do. I want to express my being as fully as I can because I somewhere picked up the idea that I could justify my being alive that way. But if I am to express what I am, I must have a standard of life, a jumping-off place, a technique - to make arbitrary and temporary organization of my personal and pathetic little chaos. I am just beginning to realize how false and provincial that standard, or jumping-off place, must be. That is what is so hard for me to face."

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