Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

‘Marilyn Monroe Reading Ulysses,’ Long Island, 1954

with one comment

This is so sexy, precisely because it’s Marilyn reading James Joyce’s Ulysses. She doesn’t have to pose, we don’t even need to see her face, what comes off the photo is absolute concentration, and nothing is sexier than absolute concentration. There she is, the goddess, not needing to please her audience or her man, just living inside the book. The vulnerability is there, but also something we don’t often see in the blonde bombshell; a sense of belonging to herself. It’s not some playboy combination of brains and boobs that is so perfect about this picture; it is that reading is always a private act, is intimate, is lover’s talk, is a place of whispers and sighs, unregulated and usually unobserved. We are the voyeurs, it’s true, but what we’re spying on is not a moment of body, but a moment of mind. For once, we’re not being asked to look at Marilyn, we’re being given a chance to look inside her.

Jeanette Winterson on “Marilyn Monroe Reading Ulysses,” Long Island, 1954, via Bookslut. Happy Bloomsday, one and all.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

One Response

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  1. yes I said yes I will Yes.

    Christ, I Need A Drink

    June 17, 2010 at 12:30 am


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