Top critical review
24 people found this helpful
on 27 October 2010
I'll start my review by making some personal comments first; I don't usually review books, but since this is about Marilyn Monroe and since I am also a fan of hers, I'll make an exception in this case.
One of the main reasons in purchasing `Fragments' was to read her poetry, sadly, there's not that much in my view, (Very Disappointing) and as a poet myself I would have liked more, (perhaps her complete collection-as yet as I understand it, there is no book that has her complete poetry, 'My Sex is Ice Cream:The Marilyn Monroe Poems' by Nellie McClung, comes to mind, but as I don't know if this has all of Marilyn's poetry, I can't really comment, but if there is a book out there, please let me know) searching the Internet you can found some of Marilyn's poetry which isn't in this book; although I did recognise two of Marilyn's poems within 'Fragments', but overall the book only offered (extended) glimpses. If Marilyn had lived, I think she would have produced a book of poetry, with great success, in my mind.
As for the rest of `Fragments', I am in two minds, at first I was very excited about reading Marilyn's thoughts, as this would give me an insight into her world so I could understand her and not just as an actress, but as a person.
Marilyn was a woman of deep reflection, not just about herself, her doubts, her being and her reason for living, but about her world around her and the people she came into contact with, `Fragments' shows Marilyn's intellect (a dumb blonde she is not); she tried so hard to comprehend her world, to prove to others, she was more than the 1950s icon, which we now associate.
No one really gave her a chance to prove her worth in Hollywood, so Marilyn rebelled to only way she could. In the end, the system in which she was apart, became too much, and took its toll, thus she passed away on that day in 1962.
In all honesty, if `Fragments' was not about Marilyn, the book would not be in publication-why? It's simple, we in society have this mystique about a woman that the media has hounded in her lifetime to get inside her head-they couldn't leave her alone. `Fragments' in my mind is an invasion of a woman's emotional, private, personal thoughts; do we have the right to read those thoughts now that Marilyn has passed away? Would she approve of this book if Marilyn were still alive today? I personally believe that Marilyn would not approve of `Fragments', they were her private thoughts for a private person, who needed to write down her `Meaning of Life', so she could make sense of it all and put herself and the world in perspective.
So I have to ask why publish it? Well, I have an answer to this too, to preserve written history about a woman we know so little about, the mystique is a little less mysterious when we read about how Marilyn thought about her world. We begin to respect her point of view, and more importantly respect Marilyn as a decent human being, with emotional feelings she tried to understand within herself.
`Fragments' is a personal journey, full of emotions about a woman's understanding in herself, in her career as an actress, and in her personal relationships with people that have influenced her until her death. It is a fascinating look into a person's mind, a piece of personal history about a woman we just can't get enough of.
I would like to give this book 5 stars, but I can't, I am still in two minds about it, and sitting on the fence trying to decide which way to go. This book is a personal journey and I feel, I am invading Marilyn's world without her permission-but I do it out of respect. When I read `Fragments', I feel I am holding a piece of her mind-if not herself; and strange as it may seem, Marilyn's presence is also felt when I read what she wrote. Is Marilyn seeking my voice of approval in her private thoughts? Or perhaps her understanding, in expressing what she felt through her tortured (too harsh?) years?
If you are a Marilyn fan and or collector then `Fragments' is a worthy addition to your library, (But there are still holes-and rightly so). But remember, purchase this book with respect, not because you want it or need it, but because you want to remember about a woman who gave you her memories, not just in movies but in the written word.
We have here a unique physical representation of Marilyn, showing various emotional abilities. A woman seeking as are we, the meaning of ourselves.
`Fragments' is a book that reveals a different Marilyn, a side of which we must understand, if we are to understand her and her world (1950s).
A very personal journey.
Perhaps the following poem by Marilyn may reflect her and her fragmented persona (the last line may refer to physical energy) trying to be one with herself.
Help this weary being
To forget what is sad to remember
Lose my loneliness,
Ease my mind,
While you eat my flesh.
Rest in Peace....Dear Marilyn.