The Pointless Century

S2E5 - Sylvia Plath vs. Allen Ginsberg

*TW: suicide, self-harm, mental illness / Rachel wrestles with long lines; Anna disses silly rhymes; Frank reflects on old times and somehow compares the 90s to the 50s.

1 year ago

Episode Notes

S2 E5: Sylvia Plath vs. Allen Ginsberg

*TW: suicide, self-harm, mental illness

Rachel wrestles with long lines; Anna disses silly rhymes; Frank reflects on old times and somehow compares the 90s to the 50s; we all appreciate these lyric efforts to rise above the conformity of the era but find ourselves critiquing both form and philosophy.

Sylvia Plath - “The Colossus” (1957) from The Colossus and Other Poems (Heinemann, 1960) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/89119/the-colossus

Sylvia Plath - “Lady Lazarus” (1960) from Ariel (Faber & Faber, 1965) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49000/lady-lazarus

Sylvia Plath - “Daddy” (1960) from Ariel (Faber & Faber, 1965) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48999/daddy-56d22aafa45b2

Allen Ginsberg - “America” (1956) from Howl and Other Poems (City Lights, 1956) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49305/america-56d22b41f119f

Allen Ginsberg - “Howl” (1955-56) from Howl and Other Poems (City Lights, 1956) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/49303/howl

Allen Ginsberg - “Footnote to Howl” (1955) from Howl and Other Poems (City Lights, 1956) https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/54163/footnote-to-howl

MINOR CORRECTIONS/NOTES: Frank refers to “the 1950s” in his intro, which he claims lasts from 1953-1964. Sylvia Plath committed suicide in 1963. Rachel keeps referring to Sylvia Plath’s family as “Austrian” in the recording. Plath’s father was born in Grabow, Germany – the name of which is from the Polabian language, hence the reference to its ambiguous origin in “Daddy.” Plath’s maternal grandparents were from Austria. Plath was born in Boston and lived most of her life there and in London, England.

The Pointless Crew: Frank Fucile (he/him/his) – Lit & Theory, Film & Media, Genre, Enviro & Tech Studies // Anna Wendorff (she/her/hers) – Communications, Rhetorics of Sci & Tech, Feminism // Rachel Hamele (she/her/hers) – History, Humanities, Queer Studies, Fandoms // Madalyn McCabe (she/her/hers) – Sound Editing, French, European Studies

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MUSIC: Refused – “Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull” from The Shape of Punk to Come (Burning Heart, 1998)

Sleater-Kinney – “Call the Doctor” from Call the Doctor (Chainsaw, 1996)

ART: Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World. Oil on canvas, 1918. Imperial War Museum.

Metropolis, film still (UFA, 1927)

Find out more at https://the-pointless-century.pinecast.co

The Pointless Century is a podcast of informal discussions about literature and film seeking to understand 20th century history and illuminate 21st century politics. Professor Frank Fucile and research assistants Anna Wendorff and Rachel Hamele work their way through comparative studies of canonical works, examples from pop culture, and some cult classics while reflecting on subjects like technology, art, class, race, gender, sexuality, the environment, (as always) war, and (inevitably) fascism.