Censoring poetics through translation: the filtered reception of Sylvia Plath in Franco’s Spain


  • Sofia Monzon Rodriguez University of Alberta


In this article I analyze Sylvia Plath’s reception in Spain during the Francoist dictatorship. Considering the feminist features that the author and her oeuvre present, I examine the conclusions drawn by the Censorship Board when the Spanish publishing houses requested to issue Plath’s works in translation. The censorship and import files stored at the General Archive of the Administration in Madrid confirm that several publishers repeatedly applied for permission to translate her only novel, The Bell Jar, into Spanish and Catalan from 1967 to 1982; a Spanish compilation of her poems in 1974; and to import her famous poetry collection, Ariel, in 1968. Nevertheless, the censors’ notes and verdicts reveal that her literary depth was neither admired nor understood by the ones who authorized, censored, or rejected the different editions of her work.

KEYWORDS: Literary Translation, Censorship, Francoism, Sylvia Plath, Archival Research

Author Biography

Sofia Monzon Rodriguez, University of Alberta

Sofía Monzón is a PhD student in Comparative and Transnational Literatures at University of Alberta, Canada. Born in Spain, she completed her BA in Modern Languages and Translation Studies at Universidad de Alcalá, Spain in 2015. She received her first MA in Community Translation and Interpreting from Universidad de Alcalá, Spain in 2016, and her second MA in Spanish Literatures and Linguistics from Auburn University, United States in 2018. Her research interests include ideology, censorship, and manipulation in translation; North American literary reception in Spain and Latin America; self-translation and creative writing; as well as Spanish and Latin American Literatures. Sofía's first collection of poems was published in April 2019 under the title Alas by the publisher Editorial Club Universitario.


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