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Nymphadora's Attic

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath As far as ratings go, this one was a hard one to give. Of course, I could dispute that I shouldn’t be giving them anyway, since different genres ought to be evaluated differently and you can’t establish proper criteria for a fair rating system, but let’s be honest - we live in a rating system. People perhaps shouldn’t ever be compared either, but our social and professional hierarchy impels us to do so all the time based on random criteria, every single day of our lives. But I digress… I do understand why Sylvia didn’t consider this as a “serious” work compared to her multiple poetry books. It is not exceptionally well-written, it’s not that innovative and it will always be haunted by the question – would it be a classic if its publication didn’t follow the author’s suicide? The awkwardly good thing about this book is that it doesn’t need to be preceded by tragedy for people to know it is real. People around the world (mostly women in their 20s, I’m sure) have perceived through this work how imperceptible it can be to be pulled to the irresistible void. And that and solely that, in itself, is a service to Humanity in the name of the fight against the stigmatization of mental illnesses.

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