“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”—Marilyn Monroe
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Now TASCHEN has paired Mailer’s original text with Bert Stern’s extraordinary photographs
—widely considered the most intimate ever taken of Monroe—to create a fitting tribute to the woman who, at the time of her death in 1962, was the world’s most famous, a symbol of glamour and eroticism for an entire generation. But though she was feted and adored by her public, her private life was that of a little girl lost, desperate to find love and security.
Mailer’s Marilyn is beautiful, tragic, and complex
As Mailer reflects upon her life—from her bleak childhood through to the mysterious circumstances of her death—she emerges as a symbol of the bizarre decade during which she reigned as Hollywood’s greatest female star.
This book, conceived by Lawrence Schiller, Mailer’s collaborator on five works, combines the author’s masterful text with Stern’s penetrating images of the 36-year-old Marilyn.
Photographed for Vogue magazine over three days at the Bel-Air Hotel, Marilyn had never allowed such unfettered access, nor had she looked so breathtakingly beautiful.
Six weeks later, mysteriously, she was dead. In this bold synthesis of literary classic and legendary portrait sitting, Mailer and Stern lift the veils of confusion surrounding Monroe—the woman, the star, the sex symbol—and offer profound insight into an iconic figure whose true personality remains an enigma even today.
I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.
It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.
I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.
I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
Ever notice how ‘What the hell’ is always the right answer?
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring
There was my name up in lights. I said, ‘God, somebody’s made a mistake.’ But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, ‘Remember, you’re not a star.’ Yet there it was up in lights.
The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.
I don’t mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.
Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.
Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.
"This book is really two books. It is a biography, and it is also a pictorial retrospective of an actress whose greatest love affair was conceivably with the camera."
Norman Mailer wrote these words in his 1973 biography.
"I once saw her at a party. I thought she was too important for me to photograph." Stern said.