Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fragments of Marilyn Monroe

Day 318 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Ginny has been reading Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters, by Marilyn Monroe, edited by Stanley Buchtal and Bernard Comment, because of her long-standing fascination with the fragile and talented actress. And so have I, because Ginny gave me the book to keep while she travels this winter, since I am also interested in Marilyn.

More about the book, which came out this fall, here.  And more about the the book and a film, My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, here (but you'll be at a site with commercials....).

The book, indeed fragments, handwritten and typewritten, with charming misspellings and bursts of her natural sincerity side by side with marvelous sophistications, sucks you right in.  So do the photographs, as always.

Here's something she wrote: "I love poetry and poets."  There are recipes and business letters, fragments of lines she was learning. (I recognized lines from  Bus Stop, for instance.)

And I was struck by this:

I'm finding that sincerity
and trying to be as simple or direct as (possible) I'd like
is often taken for sheer stupidity
but since it is not a sincere world--
       it's very probable that being sincere is stupid.

She continues with this idea, and it's certainly something I've observed in our cynical and sophisticated world.  If you speak as clearly and directly as possible, some people assume you are just plain stupid.  Sigh....

Right now we are in a simple, direct, and sincere season.  I wish you well as the year ends and another begins.  Marilyn had a sweet little Christmas reunion with Joe DiMaggio, mentioned in Fragments.  May you have good visits with friends and family.  And stay alive.

And if you think diamonds are a girl's best friends, take a look at these Fragments.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Merry, merry, Kathleen. Hope you are all jolly & bright.

Kathleen said...

Jollity and brightness to you, too, Sandy!