Niklas Pivic's Reviews > Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters

Fragments by Marilyn Monroe
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Feb 01, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: actor, biography, drugs, hero, abuse, autobiography, books, england, hollywood, insanity, life, love, non-fiction, poetry, philosophy, post-modern, psychology, usa
Recommended for: all
Read from January 17 to 28, 2012 — I own a copy

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 for fulfillment.


This collection of letters that Marilyn never sent, notes, diary-like entries, thoughts ranging from her first, failed marriage, up to a run-through of answers to interview questions just before her death, is a very intimate collection.

In the notes - mostly written by herself but also through typed transcriptions by her assistant - and the diary-entries, Marilyn goes through an array of emotions regarding a variety of subjects, persons, projects and other matters, ranging from her psychoanalysis, her seemingly constant self-questioning and self-doubt, to happiness, being married, succeeding with her own production company and of course, on reading.

This brings a very different image of the person, rather than the very two-dimensional, simple creature that some seem to prefer her to be.

Her honesty is key here, to me. Her writing reeks of honesty and is very interesting, especially when she writes of her fears, examining her past and considering her future, notably through the founding of her own production company (taking on MGM by doing so), which is professionally no small feat.

She seems to have been very self-critical. She doesn't dump down on anybody else in these notes.

As a poet, she is quite rough; not my cup of tea, and the lyrics don't seem to have been worked over much. Still, these are notes grabbed from a box in a garage. It's not like she attempted to get them published.

All in all, it's an accomplished bunch of pieces from a very talented, intelligent and seemingly pleasant and honest person's life. I wish she'd get more recognition for all of the things for which she's not most famous, but that's show business, I guess.
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Reading Progress

01/17/2012 page 29
11.0% "Intimate and well-written. Close. All from Monroe so far is blooming. Editors' intro is grand, Tabucchi's intro is navel-gazing, ludicrous guess-works."
01/22/2012 page 150
59.0% "Such depth. Like anybody honest, really."
01/25/2012 page 210
82.0% "Very interesting due to the honest writings and her psychoanalysis. I wish she'd been a lot less hard on herself."

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