So, the other day I watching the movie 'Sylvia' which is based on the real life story of Sylvia Plath. Plath has been portrayed onscreen by Gwyneth Paltrow. It's a beautiful albeit tragic movie. It shows the love/hate relationship that she shared with her husband, the poet Ted Hughes. This is not a movie review, but I would recommend you to give it a watch as it is one that made me think A LOT. It shows the emotional turmoil that a writer undergoes; how frustrating it can be waiting for the muse to strike and once she does, the words certainly flow and how! Now, I must confess that I haven't read any Plath except for the few poems here and there. But this movie certainly had me intrigued and I'm hoping to lay my hands on Plath's semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar real soon in addition to reading more of her works.
Sylvia is a movie that deals with the depression that Plath had been fighting and finally succumbed to. Even today, there is a stigma surrounding all sorts of mental illnesses. Rather than showing empathy and kindness, we live in a world where people are ridiculed and shunned by society. Battling with mental illness is not easy, the least you can do is show your support. I was reminded of another movie that I watched last month called The Hours which is loosely based on the novel Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
I couldn't help but compare the two writers from two different periods and the tragic ways in which they chose to end their lives, which reminds me of this dialogue from a brilliant book that I read recently The truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (I'm in love with quotes, in case you haven't noticed already) between Nola and Harry where she asks him as to why writers are such lonely people, perhaps the loneliest in the world. And the reply given by Harry still blows my mind away:
"I don't know whether it's that writers are lonely or whether it's loneliness that makes them write..."
Writers are definitely an unpredictable lot, after all, how can one really know or even begin to understand how the human mind works?
Sylvia or Woolf, these are writers that I look up to and one can only try and be a better writer by learning from the best. I may have digressed a lot while writing this post but I certainly had fun writing it, which is what I love about writing. I found the above quote while I was spending my time researching (also read as googling) Plath. I couldn't find a better one to conclude as this one resonates with me on all levels. And this, is exactly why I write.