Death and the Maiden: Marilyn Monroe Remains a Subject of Lurid Fascination, but Still We Refuse to Acknowledge Her Artistic Achievements
Churchwell, Sarah, New Statesman (1996)
To the roll-call of such original stories about the death of Marilyn Monroe as Marilyn: the Final Days, Marilyn: the Final Truth, Marilyn: the Last Sitting, Marilyn: the Last Take, Marilyn: the Last Months, Marilyn: the Last Word and The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, we can now add Michel Schneider's Marilyn's Last Sessions, Doubtless we can soon expect Marilyn: the Last Gasp. I am tempted to posit the emergence of a new subgenre of "faction" - the dernier manque. These works never manage to deliver the last word, although each in turn feels like the last straw.
To be fair, this may have something to do with how many of them I read for my 2004 meta-biography, The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe, which looked at the competing, unreliable stories about Marilyn's life and death. Upon hearing at a talk that I had read more than 300 books about Marilyn, a member of the audience once demanded: "Didn't you have anything better to do with your life?"
This aggressive rudeness both reflected and was licensed by the reflexive disdain that so many enjoy feeling about her. My book finally became about this paradox: we insist that Marilyn is beneath our contempt, even as we write …
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Publication information: Article title: Death and the Maiden: Marilyn Monroe Remains a Subject of Lurid Fascination, but Still We Refuse to Acknowledge Her Artistic Achievements. Contributors: Churchwell, Sarah - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 140. Issue: 5079 Publication date: November 14, 2011. Page number: 50+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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