Diane Arbus and Sylvia Plath: “The Horror! The Horror!”

Jeffrey Meyers at Salmagundi:

Sylvia Plath is the Diane Arbus of poetry, the verbal equivalent of her visual art. Since Arbus and Plath had strikingly similar lives, it’s surprising that they never mentioned each other and that their biographers have not compared them.  They were self-destructive sexual adventurers, angry and rebellious, driven and ambitious.  Both suffered extreme depression, had nervous breakdowns and committed suicide.  But they used their mania to deepen their awareness and inspire their art, and created photographs and poetry to impose order on their chaotic lives.  They shared an ability to combine the ordinary with the grotesque and monstrous, and expressed anguished feelings with macabre humor.  Arbus was consciously and deliberately bohemian, Plath outwardly conventional yet inwardly raging.  Both explored the dark side of human existence and revealed their own torments.

more here.