The page you see on the picture below is my most favourite book quote ever. Never before have I come across something that so elegantly and so pointedly describes exactly this feeling - a feeling, a thought, a problem I have myself. That blazing insecurity that threatens to take over. The want of everything and the inability to chose just one path. Obviously today we are less restrained, we can have several of the life goals which Plath describes all at once or one after the other, but then again can we really? How do we find the time for it all, the strength?
The book follows Esther's life and feelings from her summer job in NY, back to her school days, forward to her attempted suicide and then throughout the various treatments at good and bad asylums. Unsatisfied by the rather open ending I googled the book and the woman behind it and was in for rather a shock. I've never encountered the book during my school years nor her, so I didn't know anything about either and was rather appalled to discover that Plath's crippling depressions drove her to suicide barely a month after the book was published (under the pen name Victoria Lucas). It does make certain parts in the book click though. I'm not sure anyone who hadn't experienced those feelings would be able to write about them like that [note; I've never been suicidal nor properly depressed, just occasionally rather sad]. Esther's feelings and breakdown are so palpable, at times even almost rational; it's all explained so well.
The Bell Jar took my breath away and it's a book that demands to be read and reread and reread again to get it all. I never before encountered a book quite like it, a book that made me pause and actually properly appreciate the writing, the word structure, the deeper meanings behind it all. Plath was an amazing writer, whom driven by her own black thoughts and feelings managed to portray the darker emotions of a young woman despairing. I'm rather sad that this book in Denmark at least seems so relatively unknown. It's dark and it's scary, yes, and obviously not for a younger audience, but it's just so ... important. I think particular in lieu of how more and more people nowadays struggle with depressions and loneliness and so on and so forth - this book has something to tell. It can put some perspective on matters, like, you're not alone. It's okay to be feeling like that. Let someone help you. Don't give up, there are people loving you.