Foibles Episode 17 Part III: Subversive Blondes- Sex Vibrations


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Bibiliography: My Story by Marilyn Monroe, 1974. Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote, 1980. (Chapter 6 A Beautiful Child is Capote's novelized non-fiction story about MM.) Marilyn Monroe by Barbara Leaming, 1998. Marilyn Monroe: The Biography by Donald Spoto, 1993. Links: Calendar photos of Marilyn: Scudda Hoo Scudda Hay: Marilyn Miller (Marilyn's namesake):

From My Story At 13, first time walking down the beach in a bathing suit: "I was full of a strange feeling, as if I were two people. One of them was Norma Jean from the orphanage who belonged to nobody. The other was someone whose name I didn't kow. But I knew where she belonged. She belonged to the ocean and the sky and the whole world." Acting teacher Michael Chekhov, "You are a young woman who gives off sex vibrations-no matter what you are doing or thinking...You can make the studio a fortune by merely vibrating in front of the camera. You more valuable to them as a sex stimulant." MM: "I want that. Because I want to be an artist, not an erotic freak. I don't want to be sold to the public as a celluoid aphrodisical. Look at me and start shaking.It was all right for the first few years. but now it's different." Background: Maternal great-grandfather has syphilis and got dementia as a result; maternal grandmother died in a straitjacket (violent and ran around naked); maternal grandfather was an alcoholic; mother was commited to mental hospital; was not sure who her father was. When she was 7 a neighbor chopped her dog in 2 in front of her.

From Music for Chameleons: Constance Collier's description: She is a beautiful child. I don’t mean that in the obvious way—the perhaps too obvious way. I don’t think she’s an actress at all, not in any traditional sense. What she has—this presence, this luminosity, this flickering intelligence—could never surface on the stage. It’s so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera. It’s like a hummingbird in flight: only a camera can freeze the poetry of it. But anyone who thinks this girl is simply another Harlow or harlot or whatever is mad. ..This beautiful child is without any concept of discipline or sacrifice. Somehow I don’t think she’ll make old bones. Absurd of me to say, but somehow I feel she’ll go young. I hope, I really pray, that she survives long enough to free the strange lovely talent that’s wandering through her like a jailed spirit.”

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