Monroe and Joyce: when celebrities read books


My article ‘Reading Marilyn reading Ulysses: when celebrities are photographed with books’ has just been published at Kill Your Darlings. In the article I discuss the famous image of Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce’s Ulysses, and how discussions surrounding the photograph tap into broader arguments about celebrity culture and literature.  Here is the opening:

In 1955, photographer Eve Arnold snapped a now-iconic image of American actress Marilyn Monroe, in her bathers on a Long Island playground. It is notable not only for her beauty, but for the fact that she is pictured reading what is considered to be one of the most impenetrable books of modernist literature: James Joyce’s Ulysses. In the sixty years since the photograph was taken, it has prompted continual speculation as to whether it was staged…

To read the article, click here.


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