Fragments of Marilyn Monroe’s Literary Life.


From “Marilyn & Her Monsters” by Sam Kashner, in the November 2010 issue of Vanity Fair:

“Several photographs taken of Marilyn earlier in her lifethe ones she especially likedshow her reading. Eve Arnold photographed her for Esquire magazine in a playground in Amagansett reading James Joyce’s Ulysses [above]. Alfred Eisenstaedt photographed her, for Life, at home, dressed in white slacks and a black top, curled up on her sofa, reading in front of a shelf of books [which forms the cover for Fragments]her personal library, which would grow to 400 volumes. In another photograph, she’s on a pulled-out sofa bed reading the poetry of Heinrich Heine.

“If some photographers thought it was funny to pose the world’s most famously voluptuous ‘dumb blonde’ with a bookJames Joyce! Heinrich Heine!it wasn’t a joke to her. In these newly discovered diary entries and poems [which make up the bulk of Fragments], Marilyn reveals a young woman for whom writing and poetry were lifelines, the ways and means to discover who she was and to sort through her often tumultuous emotional life. And books were a refuge and a companion for Marilyn during her bouts of insomnia.”

Related: All Eyes on Marilyn.

Marilyn Misfit.

Lindsay Lohan: Marilyn, Eat Your Heart Out.

The Ten Books I Wanted to Read This Year But Didn’t.

Marilyn Misfit.


Most of us know Marilyn Monroe as the sexy blonde bombshell that all other sexy blonde bombshells who’ve followed look to emulate.

Personally, I prefer the other, oft-unseen side of Monroe; the one who appreciates literature, who yearned to be a serious actress. The one who, to borrow a line from Elton John, was innocently “found… in the nude”.

Here are some rare pictures of the star on the set of her last completed film, The Misfits, taken by Eve Arnold, who says, “Marilyn was very important in my career. I think I was helpful in hers too.”

Elsewhere: [The Daily Mail] Portrait of a Misfit: Rare Pictures of Marilyn Monroe Show More Relaxed Side to Glamorous Star.