diane arbus & sylvia plath : the art of not killing self

Posted on September 5, 2015 by


d1(În ultimele zile m-am tot gândit la un articol despre Diane Arbus fiindcă am observat că nu există unul aici, în cele din urmă am decis să-i cuplez fotografia cu fragmente din jurnalul Sylviei Plath. De-abia aştept să văd ce o să iasă. Ele sunt două dintre obsesiile mele despre care cred că mă vor ţine toată viaţa, măcar într-un articol şi-n mintea mea să se întâlnească.)


God, if ever I have come close to wanting to commit suicide, it is now, with the groggy sleepless blood dragging through my veins, and the air thick and gray with rain and the damn little men across the street pounding on the roof with picks and axes and chisels, and the acrid hellish stench of tar. I fell into bed again this morning, begging for sleep, withdrawing into the dark, warm, fetid escape from action, from responsability. No good. (page 149)


People specialize; people become devoted to an idea; people ’’find themselves.’’ But the very content that comes from finding yourself is overshadowed by the knowledge that by doing so you are admitting you are not only a grotesque, but a special kind of grotesque. (p.44)


No: perhaps I will awake to find myself burning in hell. I think not. I think I will be snuffed out. Black is sleep; black is a fainting spell; and black is death, with no light, no waking. (…) To have your mind broken and the contents evaporated, gone. For with the record of images ingrained in our heads, all goes and is nothing. (p.45)

d6There will be time, she says, knowing somehow that in her beginning is her end and the seeds of destruction perhaps now dormant may even today begin sprouting malignantly within her. (p. 103)


(…)- the musical falling of itself, tinkling faintly on the thin garbage pails in a high pitched tattoo. And it seems that always in August I am more aware of the rain. (p. 123)


I am a conglomerate garbage heap of loose ends – selfish, scared, contemplating devoting the rest of my life to a cause – going naked to send clothes to the needy, escaping to a convent, into hypochondria, into religious mysticism, into the waves – anywhere, anywhere, where the burden, the terrifying hellish weight of self-responsibility and ultimate self-judgment is lifted. (p. 150)


(…) – how all photograph-portraits do catch our souls – part of a past world, a window onto the air and furniture of our own sunken worlds, & so to the mirror twin, Muse. (p.333)


(…)drugged, half-drunk, I fell in bed to the sound of knocking, tapping & hammering downstairs, nightmare dreams in halls echoing with the sound of the hammer, & waking each hour to fall back again into sweaty velvet, bad sour and acid tastes, headache sharp & vinous – to drag up groggily & foul fur-tongued at 4:30 & make tea, cleansing myself with scalding amber-tinted water. (p. 335)


(…) about Virginia – she I feel cold facing, but merging with, I too, merging. With the rhythms of days & words. Talk. Pipe dreams. A grave wish. And so, eyesore & tetchy, to bed & tomorrow less grim. (p. 340)


I am angry at these people and images. I do not seem to live up to them. Because I don’t want to. (…) Main Questions: (…)Why do I freeze in fear my mind & writing: say, look, no head, what can you expect of a girl with no head? (p. 437)


: can I bear up the sky? (p.341)


Quotes from The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962, edited by Karen V. Kukilfaber and faber, 2000

photography: (c) Diane Arbus