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Frank Soos, a retired English professor, was in a cycling group with Mr.
Hughes, and he knew the work of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes well. “It was so apparent he didn’t want to go there,” Mr. In fact, he recalled, their relationship changed when Mr. “You could feel a palpable distance creep in there,” he said.
But he also appreciated another quality of Alaska the shared reverence for being left alone.
Several of his friends politely refused interview requests, saying they simply did not believe that Mr. Likewise, those who knew of his family story considered it basic good manners not to trespass on the subject uninvited.
Here a community of scientists knew him not through his parents’ poetry, but through the ingenuity of his research into freshwater ecosystems.
They knew him from ice fishing and cycling, from gardening or making pottery.
The lines were a succinct rendering of Nicholas Hughes, a man who joyously devoted his career to the study of fish in Alaska’s snowy rivers and whose home, a handsome 2,800-square-foot cabin on 20 pristine acres of spruce and birch, faced toward the distant Brooks Range. In the weeks since, the news of the suicide has cut through two distant and disconnected worlds in vastly different ways. He was “the baby in the barn” in “Nick and the Candlestick,” from Ms.
He was a man who made it clear to friends that he would rather discuss the finer points of ice fishing than the writings of his parents. Hunter, a wildlife ecology professor at the university, went upstairs to grade papers. In the thriving community of Plath and Hughes scholars, the death has been deeply felt through the prism of his parents’ writings. Plath’s best-known collection, “Ariel,” written in her final months.
Plath, explored the beauty and then fracturing of their marriage before her suicide in 1963.At his cabin that afternoon, he drank tea with his girlfriend, Christine M. “They almost feel like they know them through the poetry,” said Karen V.Kukil, who curates the Sylvia Plath collection at Smith College. Kukil said that when she gave talks, people inevitably asked about Nicholas and Frieda.Carin Bailey Stephens, a public information officer at the university, had studied poetry and knew about his parents through the grapevine.“I hear you are the son of Sylvia Plath,” she recalled telling him, hoping for a conversation about writing.“He just immediately made it clear that he knew about science and he wasn’t interested in writing,” she said.