Wintering—a novel (of/on/exploiting) Sylvia Plath

Kate Moses’s novel Wintering: A Life of Sylvia Plath uses Sylvia’s calendar, journal notes, and poems—especially poems—to novelize Sylvia’s life. According to the Salon interview.

How do I feel about this?

Let’s examine the last page of the excerpt published in Salon, specifically the last paragraph:

In the eye blink of a god, in a heartbeat, all that she clung to rises up with her like smoke, like ash, into the charged, dead air: The cakes of soap. Her wedding ring. His gold filling.

Hmm. Remind you of anything?

On the one hand, it’s really nice that someone is attempting to illuminate the interior chamber of Sylvia’s life. On the other hand, it’s a bit creepy, and more than a bit sad, that the best writing in the whole excerpt is a direct repurpose from her most strident poem. And that Moses had to work so hard to set up the “gold filling” part.

(On the other other hand, I think I need a “Books” category.)