Sunday, 11 November 2007

My Sister's Boyfriend

Riley Baugus and Friends - Merlefest


Modo said...

Big fellow with the banjo?

The Hitch said...

real music by real people
Not crap
No doubt the chap with the banjo would loves one of Hitchs banana cakes (+:
Really good
thanks lilith

lilith said...

That's right Lucien :-)

lilith said...

Thank you, Hitch. I find this kind of stuff irresistable, and I defy anyone listening to it live, with a drop of moonshine in their system, to stand still. Gets everybody grooving, young and old alike.

Wilcot Chaffey said...

The daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath has mounted her strongest defence yet of her father, who was vilified after the suicide of her mother in 1963.

Over the past 40 years, the marriage of the two poets has spawned endless speculation in the form of biographies, poems, academic papers and films. Some have depicted Hughes as a callous adulterer who drove Sylvia Plath to suicidal despair and then, as her literary executor, suppressed journals, letters and poems that were critical of him.

Ted Hughes: 'temperate'

But, in a new edition of Plath's last book, published later this month, Frieda Hughes insists that Hughes, who died in 1998, was a quiet and loving father, more "temperate and optimistic" than his volatile wife.

She also says that Hughes sought a reconciliation with Plath. "He told me many years later that, despite her apparent determination, he thought my mother might reconsider. 'We were working towards it when she died,' he said."

Ted Hughes left the family home only when Sylvia, egged on by her own mother, ordered him out. After the separation, he visited his two children almost daily, "often babysitting when my mother needed time for herself".

He also handed over to his estranged wife their house in Devon, their joint bank account, their car, and money to look after the children. "When my mother died, my father had insufficient funds to cover the funeral, and my grandfather paid for it."

After Plath's death, she adds, he "kept the memory alive of the mother who had left me", making everything to do with her appear "miraculous." He even played a record of Plath reading her poetry.

Though she pays tribute to Plath's poetry and to the courage with which she fought depression, Frieda Hughes says that she has revised her once-perfect image of her mother: she "had a ferocious temper and a jealous streak". And Plath, she reminds us, twice destroyed her husband's work - once by ripping it up and once by burning it.

Ariel itself, Plath's most celebrated book, is described as an "act of revenge". Of her mother's poetic process Frieda Hughes writes vividly but chillingly: "She used every emotional experience as if it were a scrap of material that could be pieced together to make a wonderful dress."

She also writes of the "extreme ferocity" of her mother's "merciless" poems – some of which "dismembered" those close to her.

When Plath killed herself, she left her last batch of poems lying on her desk. Hughes, overriding the contents list alongside them, chose which to print and in which order. He was subsequently accused of excluding some poems that showed him in a bad light.

The new edition of Ariel, to be published by Faber & Faber on Nov 25, for the first time reproduces the manuscript exactly as she left it – though all the poems in the book have been in print for more than 20 years.

Frieda Hughes says that her father omitted from the original Ariel only those poems that he thought would hurt other people, alienate readers or damage Plath's literary standing. He told her: "I simply wanted to make it the best book I could."

Far from being a controlling figure, Ted Hughes was the "victim" of Plath's poetic "mastery", their daughter concludes. Her explanations, however, do not account for all the poems – almost a third of the total – that he withheld in 1965 (the astonishing The Rabbit Catcher, for instance). But even if Hughes was trying to protect himself, he was protecting his two children, too.

Frieda writes: "It was as if the clay from her poetic energy was taken up and versions of my mother made out of it, invented to reflect the inventors, as if they could possess my real, actual mother".

She remains enraged that her mother can be re-interpreted at the whim of strangers. "Since she died, my mother has been dissected, analysed, reinterpreted, reinvented, fictionalised and, in some cases, completely fabricated,'' she says. The Ariel poems, she writes, "became symbolic to me of this possession of my mother and of the wider vilification of my father". Her aim in the introduction to these poems seems to be publicly to reclaim Plath, faults and all, and to redeem her father.

lilith said...

I think he follows the Atkins Diet so your cake would be a no,no...:-(

Wilcot Chaffey said...

...that Frieda, left with her brother in a gas filled flat. Some mothers can be cunts to their children.

Wilcot Chaffey said...

Sorry to be off topic. Like the music.

lilith said...

Well, well, well Johnny. I feel much better informed. More recent thinking on suicide for me has been about the aggressive, vengeful nature of it (both to the perpetrator and his/her family and friends.) It is quite topical for me.

lilith said...

Yes, what has happened to "mother love" in the event of her suicide? The Suicidal Mother visits terrible, terrible shit on her offspring.

The Hitch said...

Yup Lilith
That would be good "lock in" music, a good pub with good people and that music

Sen. C.R.O'Blene said...

Marvellous stuff Lilith!

Enjoyment is the norm here, by players and audience. No big but pathetic egos, just going for it all the time.

I know it's not a patch on this clip, but only last week, I heard the finale to Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, and felt so much better.

BTW - Just heard a bit of Gorecki's 3rd on Nature Watch. Can't go there; just can't. It just wells me up - and Younger Daught too...

The Hitch said...

Ive listened to even more
love it
must be fantastic to have him at a family BBQ or any get together

lilith said...

Glad you like Hitch :-) I will let you know when he gigs over here. If you want an album that gets you jigging try

Bloody brilliant.

Newmania said...

I cant play this as I am at work but it looks a bit crusty...

I `vew beena ina couipel fo bands , doing soul msuic and some rocky stuff earlier

idle said...

lil, have you come across The Johnsons locally? They do quite a few places near you. Country stuff, diminutive lead singer, lives near Bruton, might be related to me.....