Love the cover of the new issue of Poets and Writers, in which Marilyn Monroe is seen reading Ulysses (and she’s made it all the way to the end, too! “I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.”)
It would be easy to make wisecracks about the world’s most famous “dumb blonde” reading one of the world’s most difficult books, but Monroe did strive to educate herself, especially around the time she was married to Arthur Miller. Can’t vouch that she actually did read Ulysses all the way through, though.
I’m not a full member of the Marilyn Monroe cult. I think she’s certainly one of the best examples of a “movie star,” and she is an icon that represents all sorts of things. But I’m troubled about how many young women I’ve come across (including a lot of nude models and the like) who idolize her. The woman came to a very sad end, I would think she should be a cautionary tale, not someone to look up to.