Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Torchwood and Sylvia and Ted

The new 5 part series of Torchwood, "Children of the Earth", is currently playing for the first time on Canadian TV on our Space channel. Every night at 10 pm my brain is seared. So I'm watching most excellent science fiction on tv. It is so good, so dramatic, so dark, that I can't fall asleep right after! After this, to be rounded out by the new (for us anyway) Dr Who: the first of the last 4 episodes David Tennant will star in, the episode with the bus (can't remember the name of it) is on Saturday night. I have a date with the Doctor that night!!

I just found this most amazing reading of Ted Hughes' letter to Sylvia Plath's mother after Sylvia's death, courtesy of a link provided by Jane at Reading, WRiting, Working, PLaying, found at Fly High ( a new to me blog site), here.

I know, I know. Richard again! Honestly, this is just coincidence! But I promise, this will leave you with shivers, or if you're like me, tears, at the end. 4 minutes of one of the most honest letters ever written, involving two of the 20th century's greatest poets, read with great skill by Richard Armitage.

I don't mean to be quiet here. I keep falling asleep after dinner, which is one of the signs of diabetes. And I'm still trying to get to 56 books read by July 31! so I'll be on target for 100 this year....I'm not even at 50 yet, so I'm plowing through what I can (and still taking time to enjoy it).



I'm glad to see you appreciated my vid. I too had tears in my eyes the first time I listened to Richard reading this letter. I had always hated Ted Hughes. Richard's moving reading made me reflect on his sense of guilt instead, made me hate him less. Wonderful Richard! BTW, Do you know also the woman Ted left Sylvia for, Assia Welville, committed suicide? How terribly selfish could that man be?

Anonymous said...

At first I assumed Hughes treatment of Plath contibuted in part to her ultimate sucide but on learning about his second partners suicide I did wonder if perhaps he was just attracted to women of a particular personality type, women who were incredibly creative but with it also deeply disturbed, I don't know much about Plath's and Hughes personal lives, so I can't really comment. Great reading though.
Envey you the new Torchwood,I wonder when we will get it here in Australia. Currently watching re-runs on Friday night followed by episodes of Being Human, the flat share drama about a vampire, a werewolf and ghost, which has been great. Dr Who, always great, especially the David Tennant version.

JaneGS said...

Hey, Susan. Thanks for the book recommendation on Plath, Hughes. I think I will read it this fall.

bloglily said...

thank you, susan, for the link. I don't think it's possible to really understand what was happening to Plath and Hughes, but his letter seems so honest that it makes me think he was not the villain he is sometimes made out to be.

brideofthebookgod said...

So, Susan, what thoughts on Torchwood? I can't wait to hear! Will it surpise you to find out that I loved it?

Susan said...

Maria Grazia: I'm not sure that Ted was selfish, so much as what Book pusher says below: he might have been attracted to unstable creative women who were torn between their own creativity and having a marriage. If or when you read Birthday Letters, while it's Ted's view only, he certainly knew Sylvia as well as anyone could, both her glory and beauty as well as her darker side. I love the letter on the video because you can hear Ted trying to be honest there, too, without hurting anyone. Thanks so much for posting it!

Bookpusher: I think he was attracted to women of a particular personality type. If you haven't read Birthday Letters, it really is a portrait of their life together - his view, but as I say above to Maria, he does try to be honest.

Being Human sounds interesting! I don't think we've had that here yet!

I'll be doing a post on Torchwood shortly, I'm still thinking it over. It's powerful and wonderful up to the ending, which I hated. (but it looks like Bride below loved it!)

Jane G: oh, I hope you do! then you and I can talk about Birthday Letters, not many people seem to have read it yet. It really is amazing poetry. And honest, too, about Sylvia, what he knew about her, and their love. A tribute to someone he did after all consider one of the best American poets ever.

bloglily: everyone has this perception of him as a monster! I think I did vaguely, for a while, because I first read Sylvia Plath's poems when I was quite younger, but I really enjoy his also. I think he was a driven creative genius who thought he could be married - wanted to be - but maybe couldn't be. that's not to say any of us will ever really know what happened between them, no one can except those two, but his poems about their life do give a view, poetically in.

bride: I'm going to be doing a post soon - it was so gripping and emotionally involving that I was mesmerized every night until the final twenty minutes, when I sat open-mouthed and disbelieving through that final act and ending......oh yes, it's dark all right! I'll post soon, did you write about it? I'll come by and see.....

brideofthebookgod said...

Hi Susan, yes I did post about Torchwood here
Not the most articulate perhaps! Have bought the DVD already and am planning to watch it again soon.

Bybee said...

I hated Ted when I was younger, but after Birthday Letters came out, my heart softened towards him. This letter is incredibly honest and raw.