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The Boston Globe

Theater & art


Literary figures, but not by the book at Williams College

WILLIAMSTOWN — For the exhibit “Painting Between the Lines,” at Williams College Museum of Art, 14 contemporary artists painted their own versions of art described in literature. Among the literary tidbits in the fresh-faced show is a passage from Sylvia Plath’s novel “The Bell Jar.” The book’s protagonist, Esther Greenwood, a mental patient, is given a mirror by a nurse. She looks, but doesn’t see herself. Indeed, she thinks she’s looking at a picture:

“You couldn’t tell whether the person in the picture was a man or a woman, because their hair was shaved off and sprouted in bristly chicken-feather tufts all over their head. One side of the person’s face was purple, and bulged out in a shapeless way, shading to green along the edges, and then to a sallow yellow.”

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