"except for a course in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and a seminar in advanced poetry-composition, I would spend my whole time writing on some obscure theme in the works of James Joyce"
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSmith College, Northampton, Massachusetts - Credit: MacAllen Brothers, Wikimedia Commons

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian writer best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina;

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (or Dostoevsky) (1821-1881) was also a Russian novelist, best known for two novels: Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

James Joyce (1882-1941) was an Irish novelist and poet. Amongst his best known works are the novels Ulysses, Dubliners, and Finnegans Wake.

In June 1953 Sylvia Plath was a student at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and was planning to write her senior year thesis on some aspect of the work of James Joyce.

She later changed her mind and wrote a thesis entitled 'The Magic Mirror' which dealt with the use of 'the double' in two novels by Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov and The Double.