Circling Marilyn approaches the famous star in a manner that recognizes the impossibility of ever locating the "real" Marilyn Monroe. The book gets close to the actress by discussing the chameleonic performances of Marilyn as woman, star, and text. Like Elvis, Marilyn lives, because she has become a discourse articulating major issues in the cultures she inhabits, whether in the 1950s or in the 21st century. In circling "Marilyn country," this book discusses Marilyn Monroe as text, since those who knew and did not know her - husbands, lovers, fans, writers, directors, co-stars, critics - have written about Marilyn differently, and endlessly. Circling Marilyn also scrutinizes Marilyn as 'body,' but it locates not just one body, but many, including a disciplined and a communicative body. Other chapters consider the performing Marilyn and Marilyn performed. Marilyn takes on various roles as herself, as a cowgirl on the last frontier, and as a 'white and black' woman - destabilizing conventional categories of race and becoming whiter and whiter to the point where she combines whiteness and death. Others play Marilyn by snatching her famous body for their own purposes, at gay parades or in cyberspace. Circling Marilyn is for those whose appetite for Marilyn Monroe keeps her alive, if eternally elusive.
Publication Date: 12/15/2010