What comes to your mind when you think about the word “woman”?
I would like to say Sylvia Plath, one of my favourite American writers, not for a special reason, perhaps because the last week I was analysing “Lady Lazarus” and I remember something interesting called “Sylvia Path Effect”, okay to get down to business Sylvia Plath was an American novelist and poet, whose best-know works are engrossed with alienation, death, and self-destruction, She used to believe that Dying is art, like everything else, each time, she feels real, and was easy for her, the perspective of believe that everyone in this world needs to pay to view her scars, hear her heart beat and receive a word, touch, blood, hair or clothes from her, that’s insane.
Lazarus is in my top poems, is complicated, dark and vicious, published in the collection Ariel, commonly interpreted as a wish of Plat’s suicidal attempts and related with the Biblical character, Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the eternal rest, she makes me think in two perspectives, death and resurrection, the perspective of death as a dark performance where the reward is to see you scars and heart and rebuild yourself from the ashes, I believe that “Lady Lazarus” is not just a way to express her wish to die, but also a statement on how the male figure blocks Plat’s creativity but is defeated by her rebirth.
Returning to the main point of this article “Sylvia Path Effect”, which is considered as a historiometric look at eminent disrepair of mental health, specially in female poets, politicians, acting and non-poetry writing, in my study I was convinced that creativity is extremely linked to mental illness, after reading some psychology journals I do have the acknowledge that my work has glamorized mental illness or associated it with being creative, ironic and made the large problem worse, anyway, in the last years young women trend to idolize Plath on social media, and it did make me think, it is easy to idolize and imitating but won’t make someone creative or artistic, but people still do and perhaps can be dangerous, Romanising depression and pain can lead to self-injurious behaviour or bad thoughts that you need to have a tragedy or illness to be an artist, sorry not sorry.
Another example of this effects are the well know Virginia Woolf, Sara Teasdale, Anne Sexton and Sara Kane, in my personal beliefs I wouldn’t call it Plath effect, I mean, I big amount of creative people are alcoholic, drug abusers, and there’s where I lied my statement of addictive personalities and creative minds are almost interlinked, I myself am I couldn’t imagine not having the ability to create and destroy whenever I inclined.
I would like to close this article admonishing our lovely auditorium to face up mental illness, hear your dear friends, speak out, it’s time to change mental health stigma, drop the label.
Illustrations by Alexandra Fastovets