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Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,458 ratings  ·  182 reviews
Fragments is an event—an unforgettable book that will redefine one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century and that, nearly fifty years after her death, will definitively reveal Marilyn Monroe’s humanity.

Marilyn’s image is so universal that we can’t help but believe we know all there is to know of her. Every word and gesture made headlines and garnered controversy....more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jesse


To be honest, I had never noticed how prominently books feature in Marilyn Monroe iconography, but now that it’s been pointed out, it’s almost impossible to miss.

Apparently, this was no accident, for as Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment ask in their introduction to this volume, do we know of any other actresses from the period who “sometimes took pains to be photographed reading or holding a book?” And this wasn’t merely a ploy to counter a fast-crystalizing reputation as an airhead, a dumb b...more
April
Heart wrenching.

I have to start out by saying that I honestly have never been a huge Marilyn Monroe buff - bowing my head I admit that I have never seen one of her films. However, I have heard endless talk of this sensationalized woman, as well as having watched a few bios of her and reading articles about her. Marilyn Monroe's story fascinates me and I find her life struggles and unexplained death heart-rendering. This is a woman whose name and story everyone knows and hypothesizes about. When...more
Emadeddin
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description

In her funeral, Lee Strasberg said:

“We, gathered here today, knew only Marilyn—a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out for fulfillment”

I think these are the best words to describe who Marilyn really was.

I couldn't suppress my tears when I was reading this book.
Marilyn Monroe is the saddest person I've ever known. She says: “I seek joy but it is clothed with pain”
And she cries: “Help Help
Help
I feel life coming closer
when
...more
Eyehavenofilter
Being an avid MM fan I could not help but grab this up as soon as I saw it. I wanted to know if there was anything morethan what was portrayed on the outside, i kind of knew that there was.
With duplicates of actual writings of MM and translations of her scribbles one gets to see the more intimate side of "the Goddess". It is a side that few have gotten to see until now. A seemingly fragile yet intellegent woman with glimpses of greatness in her soul. I always knew she had it in her.
One has to k...more
Jesús Santana
Norma Jeane Mortenson o Marilyn Monroe, el icono eterno de la belleza y la sensualidad femenina, el rostro perfecto; escondía un talento impresionante. Esa belleza que se consideraba a si misma Jekyll & Hyde, ocultaba un lado lleno de sufrimiento, de melancolía, de pasión y de tristeza que los medios le prohibían mostrar y solo lograron que todo ese dolor creciera en intensidad y la llevara a finalizar su vida abruptamente.

Al morir Marilyn Monroe todas sus pertenencias llegan a manos de Lee...more
Jessica
I grew up watching Some Like It Hot on an annual basis. My family and I watched musicals from the 1940's and 50's, which meant Marilyn Monroe was a staple in my childhood viewing habits. When I was quite young, I learned that she had been born into deprivation, abused, and changed her name upon her entry into Hollywood. While many books and documentaries have focused on her beauty and allure and duality, they have all (seemingly) done so from the outside. The movie "My Week With Marilyn" was an...more
Amy
This book came out late last year and I immediately put it on my wishlist. I don't know much about Marilyn Monroe, but I find her fascinating. And I fell in love with her when I watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes for the first time. How can you not love a character as sweet and naive as Dorothy Parker? And, from what I've read, Marilyn was just the same (although maybe not as dumb).

Fragments is a collection of notes, poems, and letters that Marilyn wrote and saved. These papers were not discovered...more
Robert Colomer
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I am just reading this book as we speak,but I will say this,Fragments is a gripping and moving revelation of the Marilyn Monroe we have never met. It is a must read for anyone who shares the limited understanding of her persona developed over the nearly 50 years since her death. This gripping book presents her in a more appropriate and balanced light. Marilyn Monroe expressed her thoughts wherever she was on whatever was handy, using notebooks and scraps of paper, including hotel st...more
Niklas Pivic
From Lee Strasberg's eulogy at Marilyn Monroe's funeral:

Marilyn Monroe was a legend.

In her own lifetime she created a myth of what a poor girl from a deprived background could attain. For the entire world she became a symbol of the eternal feminine.

But I have no words to describe the myth and the legend. I did not know this Marilyn Monroe. We gathered here today, knew only Marilyn - a warm human being, impulsive and shy, sensitive and in fear of rejection, yet ever avid for life and reaching out
...more
Graceann
If these aptly-named Fragments had been written by anyone other than the iconic Marilyn Monroe, they would have no value. However, for those who want to know what was going on behind the million-watt smile, there are some pieces here that are invaluable.

I do feel somewhat hesitant about having read this book, simply because these items (other than the letters written to others) were clearly not meant to be seen by anyone other than Marilyn herself. She jotted down stream-of-consciousness poetry...more
Ken
I have long believed that I would have had a lot to talk about with Marilyn Monroe if I spent some time with her.

You tell someone that and you get a roll of the eyes and maybe some snide joke or remark.

This is a collection of notes to herself, letters, and poems in Marilyn’s own handwriting that haven't been previously published.

Yeah, it's cashing in on her name for some people, but I'm glad that they made it into a book.

Should I feel guilty about reading this?

Is it great writing? No, but it's...more
Sara
I read an excerpt of this book in Vanity Fair, and I was intrigued. I can report that the best parts were in fact in Vanity Fair. This book has some gorgeous photographs, but very little content - it shows the writings of a woman who was very confused, and feels intrusive and depressing. Save your money unless you are absolutely Marilyn obsessed.
Carl Rollyson
As portrayed in her own words, Marilyn Monroe emerges as thoughtful and accomplished -- not characteristics that most biographies emphasize. She had marvelous taste and could decorate a house or cook a meal with panache. Photographs in this book document her avid reading and her craving for the classics. Her diaries, letters and notes record responses to literature even as they reflect the misspellings and grammatical errors of an earnest but self-educated artist.

Monroe's unstable aspect certain...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Usually when one thinks of Marilyn Monroe, they think of a gorgeous, blonde sex symbol. This book displays another side to her that few have heard of. Monroe was an avid reader and sometimes writer with an interest in psychoanalysis.

I'm a huge Marilyn Monroe fan so I was interested to read this book to get a different view of her. It's a really interesting look at a person that is still so well known and beloved by so many. Some of the psychoanalysis is not the most exciting but I enjoyed readi...more
Jana Gutiérrez
Jun 08, 2014 Jana Gutiérrez is currently reading it
Remarkable. The reader sees her own handwriting, the depth of her emotion, sensitivity, and even brilliance. She was more savvy and composed than people think. Very well-read too. The analysis of these written archives is very interesting too. What a loss in her early and mysterious death. But what a find in these intriguing and revealing fragments.
Tara
I've read many books on Monroe over the last 25 years, but Fragments has come along after all this time and put most of them in the shade. Mainly because these are Marilyn's own words, not speculation, and she was a sensitive, witty observer of her own life. Obviously these were private musings and not intended to be viewed in a professional light, and may be misread by some. But perhaps with someone as iconic as MM, who has become almost a subject of fantasy, reading her side of the story can b...more
Anika
I’ve been a fan of Marilyn since I was a little girl. I’ve read several biographies of her over the years, but this is a different sort of book. It’s a collection put together by an editor of poems, notes, and letters all written by Marilyn herself. It’s not exactly a cohesive collection, but the editor breaks it up well into sections. The book is an interesting glimpse into Marilyn’s life and thoughts, but also a rather sad one. Reading about her sadness and hopelessness in a biography is one t...more
Angela
This aptly titled book contains snapshots of actual handwritten pages from Marilyn Monroe's notebooks as well as typewritten diary entries and letters written between the 1950s to her death. Photographs of Marilyn Monroe either reading or writing bookend each chapter.

Although a book of scribbling from an unknown writer or poet would never be published, Marilyn Monroe's mystique continues to captivate public attention. This volume of thoughts, impressions, images, and feelings is a bit voyeurist...more
Courtney Gawthorp
I wasn't actually a fan of Marilyn Monroe until I read a biography of her by Donald Spoto. The reason I'm a fan of hers isn't because of the "dumb blonde" movies she made. I'm a fan of her for her human qualities. The ones that I relate to.

I got this book the day it came out and I love it. It's one of my most treasured books. It includes beautiful pictures of Marilyn showing the more passionate and intelligent side of her.

But best of all is seeing her own handwriting and reading the things she w...more
Enas
كتاب شذرات هو مجموعة غير منشورة من رسائل وخواطر ومذكرات مارلين وقصائد شعرية كتبتها فى كراسات خاصة بخط يدها ولم يسبق نشرها من قبل، وعلى قصاصات ، وأوراق الفنادق سجلت عليها انطباعاتها حول نفسها ، إلى جانب مايحتويه الكتاب من مجموعة نادرة لم تُشاهد من قبل لنجمة الاغراء الشهيرة ، ومعظم ما كتبته يعود للسنوات العشر التي سبقت وفاتها في عام 1962، و يوضح الكتاب جوانب غير مألوفة او متوقعة حول شخصية مارلين ،إذ تبدو من خلال خواطرها انسانة حساسة وخجولة وعميقة وترغب فى الوصول للكمال فى شخصيتها ـ كما ترغب فى الش...more
Maggie
I bought this book in Germany. It's a collection of Marilyn Monroe's personal letters, diary entries, and notes. As a big fan of the actress, I was endlessly fascinated by this small glimpse into the workings of her mind. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she was a very smart, astute, sensitive and caring person with a keen mind. She's not exactly known for being smart, but some of her entries were downright poetic. Some examples...

"I'm a dancer who cannot dance."

"I think to love...more
Katherine
If you are a Marilyn fan, this book will surely interest you.

I loved being able to read her personal notes and thoughts in her own handwriting. I wish there was more background information or narration concerning the times of here life during which these snippets were penned. This book is perfectly titled "Fragments"; Chunks and slivers are dropped in your lap. The reader is not led through any kind of manner except for chronological order.

The pictures show the more personal and thoughtful side...more
Hanna
Minun Marilyn kuvaani "Välähdyksiä, sirpaleita" syvensi. Pörröpäinen seksisymboli väistyi lopullisesti ajattelevan, syvällisen ja analyyttisen naisen tieltä, joka pyrki jatkuvasti kehittämään itseään ja kärsi jatkuvasta itseensä kohdistuneesta epävarmuudesta. Kirjassa pidetään voimakkaasti yllä tätä Marilynin "todellista" kuvaa ja kirjaan hänestä valitut valokuvat eivät kuvaa ainoastaan seksisymbolia, vaan hänen tuntemattomanpaa puoltaan (monessa hän lukee juhlapuvuissa gaaloissa keimailun sijas...more
Kayla
First, I must thank Paula Strasberg for being kind enough to share these fragments of Marilyn with the world. Then I must thank Lee Strasberg for saving such seemingly mundane fragments for so many years. Can you imagine if he had seen these notes, poems, and lists as junk?
This is by far my favorite Marilyn book! I loved having a glimpse into who Marilyn really was rather than just what someone thought she was. It was really fascinating and almost intimate to see poems handwritten by Marilyn her...more
Juliette
Yes, more Marilyn. Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters is a collection of Marilyn's personal writings. Her own notes, journals, and letters are scanned as is, scribbles and spelling mistakes evident, self-edits and eraser marks clearly visible. The book's editors typed (and spell checked) Marilyn's entries, which are easier to read than her own handwriting. When Marilyn died in 1962, she left the bulk of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. Strasberg's second wife, Anna, is cur...more
Yoake
Cuando Marilyn Monroe murió dejó la mayoría de sus posesiones personales a Lee Strasberg. Cuando éste también falleció, veinte años después, su viuda, Anna, los encontró en una caja. Entre ellos estaban todas las notas, los apuntes, los pensamientos, los dibujos y las recetas que aparecen en este libro.

El objeto de sacarlos a la luz, imagino, es demostrar una vez más que Marilyn Monroe no era la rubia vacía que interpretaba en muchas de sus películas, sino una mujer culta, con inquietudes, algo...more
Susannah
I enjoyed reading this book, which is a collection of Monroe's poems, thoughts, letters, and notes. The original handwritten texts are included, with the typed version on the facing page. She had large, looping handwriting - like mine! Her writings reveal her to be a thoughtful, vulnerable person, who grappled with her own unhappiness, and who strove to be the best actress she could be under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg, and his wife, Paula, to whom this collection of writing was left. Her poem...more
Tom
There's a special place in my heart that's reserved for Marilyn Monroe. Ever since I watched that fantastic movie called 'Some like it hot', I've found myself more and more intrigued by the legend that is Monroe. This book, more than any biography or movie, makes the woman behind the icon come alive.

Surely, there's some cryptical and random notes that could have been left out. It's not like I'm talking grocery lists here, but still. But it goes to show how thorough the research was, and, well, t...more
Beatriz
I'm a huge fan of Marilyn Monroe. Since I was a little girl I remember looking at her on magazines, photos, and I felt so inspired by her. First I was overwelmed by her beauty and only that . I was too young to see something more. Then I decided to read a few things about her, biographies and stuff. Well, a biography doesn't say much actually, just what you do and nothing else, usually.
One day I found a book named Blonde (that now is one of my favorite books and I value it so much) by Joyce Caro...more
Presley Hall
As I am openly going to say that Marilyn Monroe is my idol, she is also one of the most iconic and famous person in our time. She has made world history with her infamous voice and unforgettable movies and performances. This book focuses on her journey through life and how she dealt with her own demons and issues.


Marilyn surprisingly used to write poetry and journaled like crazy. She had a very negative and yet open outlook on life. The world jumped to conclusions that a woman in her position...more
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Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox....more
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“Trying to build myself up with the fact that I have done things right that were even good and have had moments that were excellent but the bad is heavier to carry around and feel have no confidence.” 170 likes
“try to enjoy myself when I can - I'll be miserable enough as it is.” 43 likes
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