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Elena Ciobanu Bogdan C.S. Pirvu, Sylvia Plath: Arta de a muri.

Elena Ciobanu Bogdan C.S. Pirvu, Sylvia Plath: Arta de a muri (Iasi: Institutul European. 2018)

As suggested by its title as well as the biopsycholiterary discourse that ends up setting the psychiatric diagnosis of bipolar II disorder upon a borderline personality disorder, the volume Sylvia Plath: Arta de a muri (Sylvia Plath: The art of dying) presents the image of a poet whose life, and work were turn off by this debilitating illness. The two "fields" are conveniently explored by the two authors, a literature professor (Elena Ciobanu) and a psychiatrist (Bogdan C.S. Pirvu).

The first two chapters highlight story of Sylvia Plath's bipolarity. Chapter I, Luna, nici ca-ipasa! (The moon, she won't care!), focuses mainly on her depressive symptoms (despair, insomnia, apathy, cognitive impairment, sinusoidal appetite, torturing macabre thoughts, suicide attempts) while Chapter II, Si soarele rasare ... (The sun also rises ...), emphasizes her hypomaniacal behavior in terms of excitability, compulsive verbosity, exaggerated self-evaluation, burnout syndrome, altered perception, hyperacusis, recklessness).

In the last chapter, ... si dinte pentru dinte! (... and eye for eye!) the authors focus on to Plath's borderline personality through several detailed references taken from her autobiographical memories (memoirist fragments) on the intrusive image of her mother and the pathological figure of her father' loss at an early age, both of them with a fatal impact on her affective life.

The book is a really insightful journey into the freakishly bleak layers of Plath's world of re-discovering the fantasy of self-dissolution as the ultimate self-definition. It is suffused with a sense of the looming tragedy that has come to define the poet's legacy.

By this inspiring volume the authors offer a re-reading of one of the most dynamic and admired poets of the twentieth century by experiencing an ambivalent process of self-discovery through psychotherapy within the stream of lived passions, trivialities, and interruptions that surrounded and fed her inside "the bell jar".

Cristina-Georgiana Voicu, PhD; English teacher, Titu Maiorescu School; Iasi, Romania;

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Author:Voicu, Cristina-georgiana
Publication:Romanian Journal of Artistic Creativity
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2019
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