Jacqueline Rose Plans Monroe Book

Jacqueline Rose, a feminist and psychoanalytic critic, is perhaps best known for her 1991 book, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath. Interviewed in today’s Guardian, Rose talks about her work in progress, which will feature MM:

‘In her living room is something unexpected – a box of Marilyn Monroe DVDs. Rose has been boning up on Monroe for a lecture, which will eventually form part of a book provisionally entitled Women in Dark Times: From Rosa Luxembourg to Marilyn Monroe. It will be her return to feminist theorising. How do Rosa and Marilyn connect? “They both straddle the divide between political and inner life. I read Rosa’s letters and the relationship between her political concept of spontaneity and the unknownness of revolutionary life and the unknownness and intimacy of personal life. It seemed her notion of revolutionary and personal lives were inextricably linked.”

Why is Monroe interesting? “There’s been so much written about her as a screen on to which everybody projects their fantasies. I think that’s complicit with her victimisation. I think she knew exactly what was happening to her. I think she was casting herself as a sort of lead in the detritus of postwar American culture. Everything from the commodity to the sexualisation of women to the crass materialism to McCarthyism.” Classic Jacqueline Rose feminism: woman as more than victim, implicated in and maybe even conniving at her own oppression.’

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