Jacqueline Rose: ‘A Rumbling of Things Unknown’

Erich Hartmann, ‘Marilyn by Magnum’

In February, ES Updates reported that Jacqueline Rose, the feminist and psychoanalytic critic, was planning a book about Marilyn. She has now spoken eloquently about Monroe’s talent, intelligence and courage in a lecture at the British Museum.  You can read, or listen, at the London Review of Books.

“She was luminous – on that much everyone seems to agree … But the question of what – in the aura that surrounds her – she was lighting up or revealing, other than herself, is rarely asked. Luminousness can be a cover – in Hollywood, its own most perfect screen. Monroe’s beauty is dazzling, blinding (no other actress is defined in quite these terms). Of what, then, is she the decoy? What does she allow us to see and not to see? Monroe herself knew the difference between seeing and looking. ‘Men do not see me,’ she said, ‘they just lay their eyes on me.’”