Michelle Williams on Reading ‘Fragments’

Michelle Williams, while filming ‘My Week With Marilyn’

“You just finished playing Marilyn. Was it amazing?
Many things — amazing being one of them. The movie (‘My Week With Marilyn’) takes place when she was making ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ and married to Arthur Miller. I didn’t stop shooting that long ago, so I’ve still got one foot in it.

Did you read ‘Fragments,’ the book of Marilyn’s writings?
Oh, isn’t that a beautiful book? You know that was an auspicious day on set. We were filming at Park Side House, which is where she stayed when she was in London, and it was our first day there and it was the day the book came out and there are notes in the book written on Park Side House stationary.

Ever come home from work depressed?
Um, look, there is residue, always, always for me. No matter what the role, there’s some residue and rightly so, necessarily so. But my primary commitment in this world is my daughter and I cannot commit myself, not to say I haven’t, but I can’t stay there.

PopEater

Parkside House, photographed by MM fan

Marilyn Souvenir ‘Bookazine’

This 64-pp magazine special, published by Compendium, is exclusive to WH Smith stores in the UK, and is currently on sale for £3.99. The text, by Richard Havers, is abridged from his 2010 book, Marilyn in Words, Pictures and Music, and is presented in a red folder with six A5 postcards inside. (The CD included with Havers’ previous book is not available here.) The narrative is a potted biography, but the main attraction here is an eye-catching selection of photos. (Non-UK magazine collectors are advised to watch out for this on Ebay.)

Angela Carter’s Marilyn: ‘The Good Bad Girl’

Marilyn by Nickolas Muray

“Monroe was not born but became a blonde; blondeness is a state of ambivalent grace, to which anyone who wants it badly enough may aspire … The blonde’s physical fragility is, of course, only apparent. She must have a robust constitution to survive the arrows life deals her… The mythic role of the Good Bad Girl is, however, directly at variance with the real facts of her life, as all mythic roles are apt to be… The reality of her could never live up to her publicity.”

From an essay by the late British author, Angela Carter, in her 1979 collection, The Sadeian Woman: Exercises in Cultural History.

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Marilyn by Bert Reisfeld, 1953

“The full impact of this setting becomes apparent as Marilyn the screen star stands triumphant amid flashing sparklers. Even that spangle on the hem of her swim suit seems to add to the effect.”