There's this great line in Annie Hall where Alvy Singer notices a book in Annie's collection as she is moving in with him and says, "Sylvia Plath - interesting poetess whose tragic suicide was misinterpreted as romantic by the college girl mentality." Carefree, gorgeous, ditsy Annie responds with a blithe shrug.
So imagine you're me, watching the film for the first time as a college sophomore with black paint-chipped nails and a half shredded notebook of scratched-through private-school poems. Little hard not to squirm. Ya stereotype. Just a little bit harder to take yourself so seriously. But, it's not your fault that you're young and alienated and feel ignored. Don't deny Sylvia. Don't crumple her up and stow her away in the bell jar of your heart simply because some neurotic old white guy - who made a couple of fantastic movies - gently pokes fun at your first angry girl-crush. That bitch could write. She could feel. She could bite Ted Hughes upon their first meeting like it was yesterday's news.
Well, what if now you're an adult and no longer hate your father and all that junk and you're eating vegetables and going to bed at a decent hour and not wasting away for your art? It's okay. Trust me. You can still worship Sylvia Plath.
Which explains my exuberant glee when Scott Horn over at the Magnolia Theater Gallery sent word that Dallas painter Aralyn McGregor will be presenting a solo show of new work informed and inspired by Plath's poetry.
McGregor holds a BFA from UNT and she makes no claims to interpret the poems "the correct way." She says:
I find that Plath's poems are full of incredibly beautiful metaphors and juxtapositions. What comes to mind while reading her work is vivid enough to want to put it down on canvas. Whether or not it's "correct" doesn't really matter. They're not meant to be illustrations. Ideally, the paintings stand by themselves, without titles or explanation.
But, for this exhibition, Muse, McGregor will be posting the respective poems that catalyzed her new work juxtaposed with and in conversation with her paintings. I'm eager to see the textual and visual combination and whether its result is symbiosis or chaos. Either could be beautiful.
McGregor's opening is not until June 21 from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m., but there simply couldn't be a better weekend to express that anticipation by celebrating those "Daddy" issues: