Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Many Marilyns

Here's another of those images that is much used on book covers: the famous shot of Marilyn Monroe reading Ulysses (and suspiciously close to the end), taken by Eve Arnold.





A different photo by the same photographer of the same subject reading the same book was used on the cover for the Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction, which I particularly enjoyed as it had a lot of (excellent) short stories, and relatively few extracts from novels.




Novel extracts piss me off no end; they seem so pointless (and this is one of the reasons I no longer read Granta magazine--most of their new fiction turns out to be bits from novels in progress). If you want to read the book, read the whole book, rather than a segment that was never designed to be read in isolation.

The worst offender in this regard from recent years is the Vintage Book of War Stories, which is in fact nothing of the sort. It's actually the Vintage Book of Extracts from War Novels, containing only one single solitary self-contained story, and that one only a couple of pages long.



Circling back to the topic of Marilyn Monroe and cover duplications, see this cover for what used to be just called the Faber Book of Blue Verse.



While the same image being used on another cover is not that unusual...



..it's the first time I've seen an unrelated image being used on both a book cover and a movie poster.



UPDATE: The wise ctorre points out that "You boys don't know your Marylin. Arthur Miller confirmed that she had indeed read Ulysses, and that she wanted more of Molly Bloom." So I stand corrected.

9 comments:

Ian Shimkoviak said...

I still don't believe Marilyn Monroe ever really read Ulysses. She strikes me more as an Archie comic kind of gal.

rev'D said...

-Knew- that movie poster looked familiar...

JRSM said...

Ian: I think you might be right. Though I haven't managed 'Ulysses' yet myself.

rev'D: Just been looking through your comics stuff--great! I love the Telethuggee!

Ian Shimkoviak said...

They seemed to have opened up Marilyn's mouth a bit more for that Deep Throat movie poster. I guess to better accommodate...

Peter L. Winkler said...

She was reading the last page cause she wanted to know how the story ended.

ctorre said...

You boys don't know your Marylin. Arthur Miller confirmed that she had indeed read Ulysses, and that she wanted more of Molly Bloom.

JRSM said...

That i did not know, but I'll update the post to include it. Thanks!

illuminata said...

Moreover, if she's reading the end, then it's Molly Bloom she's reading - something I'm sure both photographer and subject were aware of...

JRSM said...

Good point!