Academic journal article Romanian Journal of Artistic Creativity

The Nicest Thing for Me Is Sleep, Then at Least I Can Dream

Academic journal article Romanian Journal of Artistic Creativity

The Nicest Thing for Me Is Sleep, Then at Least I Can Dream

Article excerpt

A gay side to me and also a sad side

The spoiled Hollywood celebrity was simultaneously idolatrized and pitied for her cinematic performance and excessive conduct in her personal life and, at the same time, viewed through a web of legendary events and controversies that belonged to the traditional Hollywood public relations tactics but were most of the time exaggerated or even created by Marilyn herself. Even after her tragic and disputed death that initiated a series of conspiracy theories, the phenomenon continued since her biographic experiences were recounted by a very large number of persons who interacted with her and who were not only prone to their own subjectivity but also to the versatile character that she played in public. She always seemed open and available to the audience, as opposed to the old Hollywoodian cinematic apparatus that preferred to offer a sometimes fabricated image of the stars that could be admired from a distance, but this was only an illusion since "Marilyn Monroe had a love-hate relationship with the truth, and at times with reality itself. It's no great mystery why she so desperately tried to avoid the truth. Often it was agonizing, unbearable, and, she hoped, escapable. Why? Because, Marilyn--the picture of glamour and confidence to the outside world --was a woman far more troubled than most people knew. Though she would try to hide it from the world with her seamless portrayal of style and wit, those closest to her were privy to her deepest, darkest secret: She feared for her own sanity." (Taraborrelli 2009: 2)

Because of the mental illness problem inside her family, Marilyn fought an inner secret battle with the thought of becoming herself mad and the constant fear of being committed; against all odds, she apparently overcame all the obstacles in her life, persevered in building a career in film and climbed the celebrity ladder to the point that she not only became respected as an actress but also adored by people around the world. Paralleling her artistic career, Monroe kept on trying to rebuild family relations, find her anonymous father, and maintain close connections with her institutionalized mother and secret half-sister, in an attempt to acquire the family she so much longed for. Unfortunately, this never happened but she cannot be accused of not having had faith and not having tried, since she believed and abundantly proved that anything was possible in this world. She trusted the opportunities of the present and thought that "her 'now' was more important than her past and future. Sadly, while she attempted to remain in the present, her past haunted her almost as much as her future frightened her" (Taraborrelli 2009: 2). Her third famous husband, tried to explain the roots of her condition: "She had a crazy mother. That is not a good start; her mother was quite mad. She was a paranoid schizophrenic who ended up spending half her life in an institution. The mother tried to kill her three times and #Marilyn$ was convinced that she was a worthless creature because she was illegitimate." (Miller; apud Meyers 2009: 5)

The memory of a struggle for survival

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortensen, on June 1, 1926 during the Depression period, in an impoverished family with a history of bigamous marriages, promiscuity and mental breakdowns. She was later baptized Norma Jeane Baker. Her maternal grandfather, Otis Monroe, died at the age of forty-three of tertiary syphilis in an insane asylum, while her grandmother Della Monroe, died 90 days after being committed to the Norwalk State Hospital, after a nervous breakdown and a delusional state in which she tried to smother her baby granddaughter with a pillow. Her own mother, Gladys, about whom Marilyn would often lie and say was dead, took after Della's behavior and developed a bad reputation. She married John Newton Baker at the age of sixteen and they had two children together that were taken away from her by their alcoholic father when the marriage ended up in violent fights and after an accident that left Marilyn's stepbrother crippled. …

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