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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Highbrow Monroe

Aside from a few gardening, travel and cookbooks, and odds and ends like a biography of herself, Marilyn's library had mostly serious literature (novels, plays, poetry) & and intellectually serious essays: Plato & Aristotle, Freud, Bertrand Russell, Edmund Wilson, Einstein; some popular science books. I'm gratified by not surprised. Despite worries in the 50s about the spread of middle-brow culture, even the middle-brow literary culture of then seems much more high-brow than our present day's, when some people with PhDs read mostly Young Adult fiction & detective novels. Leaving out the fact that it is Marilyn Monroe's library, and thus belies dumb "dumb blonde" clichés, it provides a glimpse into the cultural history of a particular time and place. Of course, she was married to one of the best-known playwrights of the period.

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