The exile of Sylvia Plath: envisioning social alternatives through artistic production
Waterbury, Elizabeth M.
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From the peripheries of a society that is defined by pragmatism and has small interest in that which cannot easily be commodified, the artist engages inwardly and their work is the symbol of this independence of consciousness. In this research I’m focusing specifically on the creative written word as a form of resistance to both domination and reification. I look to illustrate how engagement with art either in production or contemplation is insurrectionary in modern society in that it defies pragmatism and instrumentality and instead speaks to an essential commonality within the human experience. In my work I explore the experience of Sylvia Plath as a prototypical transcendental artist whose creative work informed a material restructuring of society. This work reframes the transcendental realm as the representation of common longing for alternatives to the existing order, rather than a realm that is ontologically separate from humanity.