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Unravelling the myth of Marilyn Monroe the martyr

Sixty years after her death, we are still fascinated by her legend, but do we really know the screen icon beyond the persona she created and ultimately could not control?

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'After I read the whole book, I could better understand that Joyce is an artist who could penetrate the souls of people, male or female': Marilyn Monroe on Ulysses

'After I read the whole book, I could better understand that Joyce is an artist who could penetrate the souls of people, male or female': Marilyn Monroe on Ulysses

Star quality: Monroe sought comfort in the movies during a difficult childhood. Photo by Baron via Getty Images

Star quality: Monroe sought comfort in the movies during a difficult childhood. Photo by Baron via Getty Images

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.

Ana de Armas as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.

Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch

Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch

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'After I read the whole book, I could better understand that Joyce is an artist who could penetrate the souls of people, male or female': Marilyn Monroe on Ulysses

Next Thursday marks the 60th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death, but in some ways it’s as if she never went away. In May, a new documentary about her life and death was released which rehashed conspiracy theories that have inspired shelf-loads of books. In September, Netflix will release a biopic directed by Andrew Dominik.

At the Met Gala, Kim Kardashian showed up wearing the dress Monroe wore when she serenaded John F Kennedy on the occasion of his 45th birthday, and endured a trial by social media for having allegedly stretched it. And in June, a portrait of Marilyn by Andy Warhol fetched a staggering $195m at auction. Everywhere you look, the myth of Marilyn the martyred confronts you, obscuring the real person, adding to her mystery.


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