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Marilyn Monroe's intellectual side laid bare in new book

9th August 2010

A new collection of writing by Marilyn Monroe will dismiss her image as an intellectual lightweight and highlight her passion for literature.

Marilyn Monroe: Fragments, which is published in September, will use never-before-published diaries and letters to show the cultural side of the Hollywood icon.

Bernard Comment, one of the book's editors, told the Independent that the 'very personal texts' highlight how Monroe discovered the writing of James Joyce when she was 26 and performed extracts of his work.

He also revealed that the actress admired Samuel Beckett, who was just becoming successful when she started acting in New York, and modern American poet Walt Whitman.

Comment also praised the quality of Monroe's writing, telling the newspaper: 'There is a certain melancholy in the tone of the book, and what is very beautiful is the way the ideas interlink even if they are scattered through the page.'

The collection also explains how the star built up a vast personal library, which included books by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck.

A new exhibition of previously unpublished Marilyn Monroe portraits by photographer Eve Arnold, featuring eight shots taken of her at the peak of her career in the late 1950s and early 1960s, is being held at the Castle Galleries in Chester and Cardiff.
 

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