Recently, I saw The Hours (2002).  I was captivated.  I’m not going to bore you with a review here, though.  I have faith that at least a handful of capable critics out there have given the film the credit it deserves.  As I watched the special features included on the DVD, I was reminded of my intention to someday seriously research the psychology behind the creative female mind.  I'm sure you have taken similar note of the fascinating work of artists and writers who have experienced mental illness.  I am particularly interested in the effects of society pertaining to gender in the arts. 

The five women who I intend to research include Virginia Woolf, Diane Arbus, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and Francesca Woodman.  I realize that there has already been quite an extensive amount of research and writing that has been made available to us in numerous books.  Although these five gifts to contemporary art and literature committed suicide in morbidly poetic ways, I do not wish to further romanticize the tragedies.

I am most interested in finding the links between these women, and the similarities of their collective circumstance.  I have also asked myself if perhaps it could be possible that one influenced another.  For instance, I believe that it is entirely possible and quite likely that Woolf influenced Plath, to some extent.  I can’t say that I know anything for certain at this point, and my feelings are entirely hypothetical.  Formal research begins with intention, and will be carried out by desire and dedication.

I am at a point in my life where I feel the need to actually do the things I have always wanted to do.  I wonder if I am at my mid-life point, and if I am in crisis.  I feel time is moving faster with each passing day, and I don’t want to have any regrets when I make my own exit from this world.  I am interested in this project for both professional and personal reasons. 

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
-Walked into a river. 
Diane Arbus (1923-1971) 
-Slit her wrists in the bath.
Anne Sexton (1928-1974)
 -Enclosed herself in her car in the garage with the engine running.     
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
-Stuck her head into her oven.
Francesca Woodman (1958-1981)
-Jumped out of her apartment window.   


  1. I'm going through a similar stage in life... I think it happens to women when they are turning 40 or around that time, no? I love your qoute: I am at a point in my life where I feel the need to actually do the things I have always wanted to do.... this is not a crisis but a transition, a potential 'awakening'! enjoy and go with the flow :) PS Love your idea as well, all amazing women, and I bet your hypothesis that they somehow influenced each other, and what are their connections, is right on :)

  2. I'm glad to know I'm not just freaking out...that it's not unusual to want to do a multitude of things before it's too late...I have to fit it all in somehow...