• Thu, Jan 24 2013

Let’s Make Sylvia Plath Happier!

A lot of people have been critiquing the cover art for the 50th anniversary edition of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. They seem to think that the picture of a pretty woman staring at a vanity is not appropriate for a book that is about struggling with the idea of suicide.

This is the image:

bell jar

Over at Blackbook Tyler Coates writes:

It’s been fifty years since the novel’s publication, and to celebrate, U.K. publisher Faber and Faber has released a new cover for the golden anniversary. And it really captures the glamour of the book, right? Remember when Esther Greenwood lives in the cellar for a few weeks after trying to kill herself? Très chic!

Critics are correct. The proper image for The Bell Jar would have been a high heel that is cracked. Another appropriate image would be a bell shaped perfume jar. Ladies only like to see lady imagery on the front of their books! Let’s try to pick some other cover imagery that would work well with Sylvia Plath stuff:

For instance, “Daddy,” a portion of which runs…
I have always been sacred of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat moustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You –
Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.

We could put this sexy blue eye!

Obviously, where it says "Maybelline" it should say "Daddy."

Obviously, where it says “Maybelline” it should say “Daddy.”

Or with “Lady Lazarus”:

Ash, ash–
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there–

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

So, this:

lindsay lohan

UGH WAIT. SYLVIA PLATH IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PRETTY.

I think maybe it’s confusing for people because she was a pretty blonde lady with pretty hair so it seems like a good idea to give her a party hat and a smile.

sylvia plath

It’s not.

Picture via Wikipedia, Maybelline, Mean Girls

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  • jamiepeck

    I would totally buy a book with the final image on the cover. Party hats and smiles for all!

  • Sabrina

    That is the worst cover they could have possibly made for The Bell Jar. It’s pukey.