Georgia Tech | Literature, Media, and Communication

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Golden Publishes Two Pieces in Ted Hughes Society Journal

Posted March 4, 2013 | Atlanta, GA

While many critics assume that Hughes did not annotate his books, Hughes underlined and added notes in several of the books in his personal library in preparation for teaching. The first essay to analyze Hughes's strategies as an annotator and their relationship to his pedagogical strategies, Amanda Golden's article ncludes images of the copy of Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment that Sylvia Plath annotated to teach in her freshman literature course at Smith College in 1958 and Hughes subsequently inscribed with his own markings and comments for his Great Books course at the University of Massachusetts. As Plath had already filled the margins with a thorough response to the novel's characters and themes, Hughes added quick notes to view while teaching. Plath and Hughes's shared copy of Crime and Punishment,housed with Hughes's personal library in Emory Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library records both poets' reading styles and presents an extensive record of their parallel approaches to literary criticism and pedagogy.

 Jules Chametzky arrived at UMass, Amherst in 1958, following Hughes and Plath's departure for Boston. In "Ted Hughes, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and an Interview with Jules Chametzky," Chametzky contextualizes Hughes's teaching at UMass, addressing the curriculum and the surrounding academic climate. Chametzky also recalls his later friendship with Hughes and his interest in Isaac Bashevis Singer's fiction. Golden's introduction to the interview provides an overview of Hughes's reading of Singer and its relationship to the responses of Plath and Hughes to Jewish subject matter in their poetry and prose.