Bernard Comment: Editing Marilyn’s Words

“The way Marilyn explored her own despair. It often leaves you reeling, and it is always touching. She was very generous, endlessly giving of herself. What also struck me was the poetic brilliance of some of the writing, although the style is never affected. We know that she got her friends to read these texts, especially the writer Norman Rosten. But they weren’t designed for publication. They are intimate, but always very chaste. I was never in the slightest embarrassed as I read them. I can tell you that there are no revelations about her sex life, or about the Kennedys.”

Swiss author Bernard Comment discusses Fragments, here

Vanity Fair: Analysing Marilyn

page 146

Pardon me
are you the janitors wife

page 147
caught a Greyhound
Bus from Monterey to Salinas. On the
Bus I was the person
woman with about
sixty Italian fishermen
and I’ve never met
sixty such charming gentlemen—they
were wonderful. Some
company was sending them
downstate where their boats
and (they hoped) fish were
waiting for them. Some
could hardly speak english
not only do I love Greeks
[illegible] I love Italians.
they’re warm, lusty and friendly
as hell—I’d love to go to
Italy someday.

From a 1951 notebook, written by Marilyn during filming of Love Nest. The first line is from the script; the second may have been written during filming of Clash by Night in Monterey less than a year later, shortly after her love affair with Italian-American baseball star Joe DiMaggio began.

This and other excerpts from Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters are featured in ‘Marilyn and her Monsters’, an article for November’s Vanity Fair. A complementary piece, ‘The Writing on the Wall’, analyses Marilyn’s large, extravagantly looped handwriting (which I have often seen as a reflection of her open, generous yet somehow elusive spirit.)

MM: The Personal Archive

SYNOPSIS: There is no more recognized actress of the twentieth century than Marilyn Monroe. She starred in some of the greatest films ever made and had relationships with some of the most famous men in the world. Even after death she has continued to be surrounded by interest and controversy. Through over 170 beautiful photographs and approximately 20 rare and removable facsimile documents, “Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive” will uncover the private life of the star, revealing her crippling stage fright, insecurity, difficult childhood and her ambition to be the greatest actress the world had ever known.

CONTENTS: A Child at Heart; War Bride; Goodbye Norma Jeane; The Talk of Hollywood; Gentlemen Prefer “Dumb” Blondes; A Guy Named Joe; The Eight-Year Itch; The Egghead and the Hourglass; Some Like it Hot; The Misfit; Something Had to Give; A Bright Future Ended.

Cindy De La Hoz is a film historian who has written extensively on cinema and legendary cinematic figures. Her books include ‘Lucy at the Movies’; ‘A Touch of Grace: How to Be a Princess, the Grace Kelly Way’ and ‘Lana: The Memories, the Myths, the Movies’, which Leonard Maltin called “one of the best books about a star I have ever read”. Cindy also wrote Marilyn Monroe: Platinum Fox.

When Marilyn Hid From Norman Mailer

In a few clips about Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, the narrator states that Mailer had visited the Miller home, but Marilyn was not there. It turned out she was upstairs sequestered in a bedroom because she did not want to meet Mailer.

Carole Mallory’s review of a new documentary, Norman Mailer: An American, alludes to Mailer’s fruitless pursuit of Marilyn Monroe, then married to his literary foe, Arthur Miller. After her death, Mailer would make Monroe the subject of two bestselling, if controversial books: the ‘factoid’ biography, Marilyn, and a fictional memoir, Of Women and their Elegance, both lavishly illustrated; and finally an off-Broadway play, Strawhead, in which Mailer’s daughter, Kate, played Marilyn.

Marilyn by Vachon, August 1953

Marilyn Monroe is seen in this collection of previously unpublished photos of her in Alberta, Canada taken in the summer of 1953. The collection of more than 100 previously unpublished photos of Monroe can be seen for the first time in a new book “Marilyn: August 1953.” The book, published this week by Calla Editions, features digitally restored black and white images of a then 27-year-old Monroe. REUTERS/The Estate of John Vachon/Dover Publications, Inc/Handout