<dTitle>The Bell Jar
<dAuthor>Plath, Sylvia </dAuthor></byLine>
<dImprint>New York: Harper and Row, 1971 1961-1962<dImprint>
<p>IT WAS A QUEER, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted
the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing
in New York. I'm stupid about executions. The idea of being
electrocuted makes me sick, and that's all there was to read
about in the papers -- goggle-eyed headlines staring up at
me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanut-smelling
mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but
I couldn't help wondering what it would be like, being
burned alive all along your nerves.
<p>I thought it must be the worst thing in the world.
<p>New York was bad enough. By nine in the morning the
fake, country-wet freshness that somehow seeped in overnight
evaporated like the tail end of a sweet dream. Mirage-gray
at the bottom of their granite canyons, the hot streets
wavere . . .